William Morris Chapter
Daughters of the American Revolution
Pratt, Kanawha County, West Virginia
History of the William Morris Chapter, NSDAR
The William Morris Chapter was named in honor of William Morris, “Pioneer” of the Great Kanawha Valley. William Morris was born January 1, 1722, in England. He came to the United States in 1736, at the age of 14. History has it that he was at the shipyard in Liverpool, England, and boarded a ship out of curiosity. While exploring the ship, unbeknown to him, it set sail. It was 2 hours out of port before he was aware it had left dock. A well-to-do gentleman aboard the ship from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania befriended 14 year-old William and provided him a home and an education.
William married Elizabeth Stepps, who was born in Orange County, Virginia, in 1729. They had 10 children: eight sons and two daughters:
William Morris, Sr., died December 1, 1792. His wife, Elizabeth, died in 1793.
William Morris was guardian of Kelly’s Post and founder and defender of Fort Morris, the first fort on the Great Kanawha River.
He and his eight sons gave service from 1744 to 1792, first in the Dunmore War, the Battle of Point Pleasant and at different forts in the Great Kanawha Valley.
Mrs. Fenton Morris Brown, Organizing Regent, organized the William Morris Chapter, NSDAR, February 27, 1922 in Pratt, West Virginia. The Chapter was confirmed by NSDAR on March 27, 1922, and the Charter issued March 13, 1944.
On November 5, 1927, William Morris Chapter unveiled a marker at Virginia’s Chapel, “The Little Brick Church,” located in Cedar Grove. Inscribed on a bronze plate and imbedded in a bolder:
In Honor and Memory of
1722 - 1792
Founder and Defender of Fort Morris
The first Fort built on the great
Kanawha River in 1774 near this site
and school house and made
the first permanent white settlement
in the great Kanawha Valley
and of his wife
This tablet erected by the
William Morris Chapter DAR
Our chapter was strengthened in 1992, when a merger between the William Morris Chapter and Fort Lee Chapters was approved. This merger has brought with it new friendships and increased opportunities for service.
Past Regents of the William Morris Chapter: