His political resume was short. He failed in a run for a legislative seat in 1896. Following that, he served as chair of the Republican Party for three years. The Republicans nominated him for governor, and he won a two-year term in 1903. The party was not moved to nominate him for another term, choosing Frank R. Gooding to run instead.
Under Morrison’s governorship, the state established an organization to monitor weights and measures, enacted a pure food law, and built the reform school at St. Anthony.
I was moved to write a sparse little piece about him because I ran across a blurb he had written for the October 15, 1903, edition of Leslie’s Weekly. The newspaper was quite popular for several decades, its claim to fame being the elaborate illustrations of current events included in every issue. This edition featured an Idaho mining scene on the cover. Inside was Governor Morrison’s chamber-of-commerce-esque piece, to wit:
“IDAHO INVITES attention. There is much of interest to the world within her borders. Her people are active, intelligent Americans for whom no excuse is needed and with whom one finds pleasure and profit in living. Her rich and diversified resources challenge comparison. They are quickly developed and yield ready profits. It may well be doubted if there is a State in the Union which to-day offers as inviting a field for the profitable investment of energy and industry. This fact is having wide announcement. The world is learning of the beauties and bounties of “the Gem of the Mountains.” The home-seeker and investor are attracted hither. Twenty-five thousand settlers have come to the State since January 1st, 1903, and capital knocks for admission to our mines, forests, and fields. The next ten years will witness marvelous development in Idaho.”
Who could resist?