The Souvenir of Western Women/Bishop B. Wistar Morris
Bishop B. Wistar Morris
By MRS. BELLE J. SELLWOOD
THE Right Rev. Benjamin Wistar Morris, D. D., S. T. D., the second missionary bishop of Oregon, was born in Willsboro, Pennsylvania, May 30, 1819. He was graduated from the Veil Theological Seminary, New York, in 1846, was ordained deacon in St. Philip's Church, Philadelphia, on the 28th of June, in the same year the Right Rev. Alonzo Porter, D. D., and presbyter in St. Matthew's Church, Sanbury, Pennsylvania, on the 27th of April, 1847, by the same prelate. The bishop
received his degree of S. T. D. from Columbia College, New York, and that of D. D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He was rector of St. MatthewsChurch, Sanbury, for four years, and of St. David's for six years, when he was appointed assistant minister of St. Luke's Church at Germantown, where he remained until his election to the episcopate during the session of the general convention October, 1868. He was consecrated missionary bishop of Oregon and Washington Territory, December 3, 1868, in St. Luke's Church, Philadelphia, by the Right Rev. Alfred Lee, bishop of Delaware, assisted by Bishops Odenheimer, Vail, Clarkson, Randall and Terfoot, not one of whom is living.
Bishop Morris, with his family, sailed from New York on the 21st of April, 1869, reaching Portland June 2. In 1880 the bishop was relieved from the oversight of Washington Territory. In 1889 Oregon became a diocese, and at the first convention held Bishop Morris was elected diocesan bishop. His administration has been marked by "wisdom, zeal, energy and consecration to the arduous task set before him. With clear business foresight, in the early years of his episcopate he secured property at a reasonable cost and founded churches and other institutions whose benefits will endure—a lasting memorial to their worthy founder. In his 86th year he still attends to the duties of his office, preaching once and often twice on the Lord's day. He spends a portion of each day at his desk, and daily receives many callers. Thus he still labors with unabated devotion, the glory of a noble life about him.