Joseph Robert Morris

Joseph Robert Morris (April 24, 1828 – December 6, 1885) was a metal worker, business owner, investor, and inventor. He briefly served as mayor of Houston, Texas.

Joseph Robert Morris
Joseph robert morris.png
Mayor of Houston
In office
Preceded byAlexander McGowan
Succeeded byThomas Howe Scanlan
Personal details
BornApril 24, 1828
Milton, Connecticut
DiedDecember 6, 1885(1885-12-06) (aged 57)
Houston, Texas
Resting placeGlenwood Cemetery, Houston, Texas, U.S.
Spouse(s)Hannah Cordelia Buckner
ResidenceHouston, Texas
ProfessionMetalworker, entrepreneur.

Early life and familyEdit

Joseph Robert Morris was born on April 24, 1828 in Milton, Connecticut, now a part of Litchfield. He attended school through the age of fourteen, when he moved to New Haven, Connecticut for an apprenticeship to a tinner. He moved with his two younger brothers and his father to Bastrop, Texas around 1845.[1]


Morris established a tin shop in Bastrop that quickly failed. He relocated to Houston with his family, where he performed metal work for Alexander McGowan. The next year, in 1847, he set up his own tin shop in Houston, which later expanded into a general hardware business. His inventions included a furnace and a spark arrester, and he gained membership to the British Academy of Sciences.[1]

Morris co-founded two transportation companies: the Houston Direct Navigation Company and the Buffalo Bayou Ship Channel Company. According to the 1870 Census, he was one of the wealthiest persons in Texas.[2]


Morris died on December 6, 1885. His final resting place is Glenwood Cemetery (Houston, Texas) in Houston.[2]


  1. ^ a b History of Texas, together with a biographical history of the cities of Houston and Galveston. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company. 1895. pp. 393–396.
  2. ^ a b Kleiner, Diana J. (May 31, 2017). "Morris, Joseph Robert". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved July 7, 2018.
Political offices
Preceded by
Alexander McGowan
Mayor of Houston, Texas
Succeeded by
Thomas Howe Scanlan