Tressa Morrow (1871-1933)

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Genealogical KeynotesEdit


  • Born: 6 Jun 1871 Waterbury, Washington, VT,
  • Married: 1) Eugene Clark (1859-1903)11 Aug 1892 Storm Lake, Buena Vista, Iowa,
  • Married: 2) Francis Scribner (1856-1931)
  • Died: 27 Sep 1933, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada,
  • Burial:


Teressa was the daughter of James S. Morrow (1846-1902) and Ellen Stackpole (1847-1901). James family came to America from Ireland c.1836 ten years before the beginning of the Irish Potatoe Famine. They settled first in Moretown, Washington Co, VT, and later moved to Waterbury in the same county. Ellen's family is not known,but she consistently gave her place of birth as Ireland in US Census records, and her children's census records when adults show their mother as having been born in Ireland. Whether she came to America alone as a young woman, or came with her parents is unknown. Family tradition, from descendant Evelyn Francis Morrow (1913-2005) tell us that she had a "hard early life"; this may indicate that she came to America during the Potatoe Famine.

Eugene was the son of George Clark a barber and Mary Antoinette Lachapelle.


Child ListEdit

  • Mary Ellen born April 24, 1893,
  • George Henry born December 12, 1895,
  • Nellie Rosella born June 4, 1897,
  • Louis Edward born July 1, 1899,
  • James Morrow born November 15, 1901, and
  • Fred Eugene born July 28, 1903.

Family HistoryEdit

The following is from Gerry Apperley's web site at "Eugene and Tressa moved to Backus, Cass County, Minnesota, about 1900. Eugene worked as a general labourer and farmhand until he became ill with cancer of the liver and he was admitted to St. Joseph's Hospital in Brainerd on August 13, 1903....The Clarks had no family in Backus so Tressa had to support the six children with what she could earn cooking and cleaning for her neighbours. She also made several trips to Brainerd, more than 40 miles away, to visit her husband in the hospital. Mary Ellen, who was only 10 years old, was frequently left to look after her sister and brothers, including 3-month-old Freddie.

On October 7, 1903 the children were taken from their home and placed in The Minnesota State Public School For Dependent Children in Owatonna. Ten days later, on October 18, 1903 Eugene Clark died in hospital in Brainerd.

Tressa did everything she could to get her children back. By January 1904 she was working as a cook at the Hotel Fairview in Backus. The children were more than 200 miles away, but she still managed to visit them. Charles Scribner, County Commissioner for Cass County, wrote to the Superintendent of the State Public School several times on her behalf. Meanwhile, the State Public School was trying to find someone to look after the children. They contacted Tressa's family; her brothers, James and Henry Morrow in Spirit Lake, Iowa, and Thomas Morrow in Spencer, Iowa, and her sister, Mrs. George Stoddard, in Brookings, South Dakota; but no one was willing or able to take six children.

Tressa Clark and Frank Scribner were married June 6, 1904 in Walker, Minnesota. By July 1905 the Scribners were living in Mortlach, Saskatchewan. Tressa never got her children back; she spent the rest of her life in Saskatchewan and died in Moose Jaw September 27, 1933."

Alternative InterpretationEdit


Hello Bill,

I can't thank you enough for the information about my great grandmother Teressa (Morrow) (Clark) Scribner and her father James Morrow. I was amazed to hear that your mother could recall meeting Teressa, considering that she passed away more than seventy years ago. Please give my thanks to your mother for sharing with me what are truly priceless memories.

I have attached a couple of documents that you may find of interest. I transcribed them from handwritten correspondence I located in the files of the State Public School (orphanage) housed in the Minnesota State Archives. They describe the efforts made by an agent of the State Public School to solicit assistance for Teressa and her children from her Morrow siblings. They offer a unique snapshot of the circumstances of your grandfather James Morrow and his brothers and sisters in 1904.

Best regards,
Gerry Apperly
Thunder Bay

File:Letter 06011904.pdfLetter from Frank Lewis, 1904 File:Report 13021904.pdfReport to Superintendent of Schools concerning the Clark Children



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