Raymond C. Morrison was born on Sep. 13, 1900 in Alworth, Illinois, to Phillip Huntley and Edith Adella (Cleveland) Morrison. On Jun. 9, 1924, he graduated from the New York State College of Forestry at Syracuse University. Morrison married Helen Estelle Steele on Feb. 28, 1924, and they had two children. Morrison is noted for being Fort Worth’s first City Forester, beginning Jan. 1926. His most prominent works were an arboretum and a nationally-recognized municipal rose garden in Rock Springs Park, which later became Fort Worth Botanic Garden in 1934. He resigned in Dec. 1938 to form a landscape architecture firm with Eugene Carter. Morrison was named director of Holland’s Southern Institute for Town Service in Jul. 1939 which was initiated as a way to address issues pointed out in the National Emergency Council’s report on the South’s economic conditions. In Mar. 1941, Morrison became Federal Coordinator with the Federal Security Agency’s Office of Coordinator for health, welfare, and related defense activities. In 1947, he focused on his own business ventures including a soil company and turkey ranch. In 1951, he became the southwest regional representative for community services with the U.S. Air Force. During his term as chairman of the Educational Committee of the American Institute of Park Executives, he co-authored the book Let’s Go to the Park with Myrtle E. Huff. Morrison was also known for his public speaking, photography, magazine and journal articles, and the various community groups he started. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and died of pneumonia on Apr. 12, 1989. His ashes were spread at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.

• State Historical Site (17028)
Visited: 04/24/2015
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