Frank W. Morse

Prince Rupert British Columbia, Canada

Frank Watrous Morse

Left- Frank Watrous Morse, ca 1909
Right- Alfred W. Smithers (Smithers BC named after him)
Credit: Charles Melville Hays / Library and Archives Canada / PA-021883

Frank Watrous Morse
b- Dec 31, 1864 in Lafayette, Tippecanoe, Indiana, USA
d- aft 1929

father- John B. Morse
b- 1830, Medfield MA, USA
d- 1879
Machinist in machine shop in 1870 in La Fayette
mother- Ann Eliza Seamans , b-1844- d-?
daughter of Col. John B. Seamans, who was one of the promoters and builders of the Erie Canal, and founder of the Pioneer News, of Tippecanoe County, IN
various alt spellings: Semans, Seamons.

Educated at Perdue University, La Fayette, Indiana

First he entered the shops of the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railway at Brookfield MO, USA, as an apprentice, first at Lafayette, and then Fort Wayne, until late in 1882.

1885, Graduate of the Manual Training School of Washington University in St. Louis MO, USA

He then went to Springfield, and took a position as Machinist, in the Wabash Shops.
He spent 6 weeks there, then was appointed General Foreman in the Company's shops at Quincy Illinois.
Then he went to Des Moines Iowa as Assistant Master Mechanic of the Wabash Western Road.
After a short time, he transferred to St. Louis with same title.

Next he had the position of Master Mechanic of the Wabash Western and the St. Louis, Des Moines and Northern, with headquarters in Des Moines.
From Des Moines he went to Trinidad, Colorado. and was for awhile Master Mechanic of the Denver, Texas and Fort Worth road.
He was then called to Denver to serve as assistant to the company's General Master Mechanic.
In 1889 he resigned that position, and August 1, 1889 He became Master Mechanic, of the Wabash's Eastern Division, and lived for many years in Fort Wayne Indiana.

Hired by Charles Melville Hays, President of the GTPR, in 1896, as Superintendent of Motive Power, in the Grand Trunk

Advanced rapidly in the Company, and became First Vice-President and General Manager, of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railroad in Jan 1905.

His headquarters were in Montreal, Quebec

Retired unexpectedly from the Grand Trunk, Feb 1909

Jan 16, 1909 he applied for a passport to leave the US for one year.

He lived in Montreal- May 1, 1896- Nov 1, 1910
Lived in Karlewska 1, Warsaw Poland- Aug 18, 1919 to 1923, at least

He left USA Nov 3, 1923, after living in Philadelphia, PA.
He arrived in Warsaw Poland, Nov 23, 1923.
He was in commercial business on behalf of The Baldwin Locomotive Works, Philadelphia, PA

He travelled all over Europe, on Baldwin business. His passport shows them all!

1880 census Frank was living with his Uncle, R. H. Godman, grain merchant, age 45, a widower
and his son, Fred Godman, age 19,
son, James R. Godman, age 17,
daughter- Helen E. Godman, age 2
also there his mother A. E. Morse, age 35 a widow,
shown as a sister-in-law to R. H. Godman.
all in La Fayette, Tippecanoe, Indiana, USA

His signature

I thought he was single all his life, but then I found the record below of him with his wife Florence.
I also can't find a death record for him yet, so he might have died in Poland?

1914 he was living at the Plaza Hotel, in NY, with his mother

He was decorated by the Polish Government, for the Baldwin locomotives he was selling them, which helped them win the Bolshevist war. They ordered 150 locomotives from Baldwin.

Frank was on the Mauretania in 1929, age 65, shown married, b- Dec 31, 1864, La Fayette IN, so I know it is the right guy,
with his wife, Florence A. Morse, nee Phelps
b- Apr 4, 1890, in New York, NY, USA, age 39
d- aft 1929

I have seen her name as Florence W. Phelps, and Florence Watrous Phelps.
Would 2 people have a middle name Watrous?
I don't think that is right myself.

Florence Morse, nee Phelps

also found him in 1925 on another ship the Majestic, with his younger wife, Florence.
so we know he married her before this now.

Florence went to France to be married. her passport says “wife for 3 months only”?
passport issued Dec 2, 1919.

Her father was Charles Phelps, born in San Francisco
died in 1909 in NY

Their marriage I can not find.
I believe they were married in Le Havre, ca Jan 14, 1920
In his passport application he knew her for 6 years prior to 1920.

They lived very well, in the Plaza Hotel in NY, Ritz Hotel in Paris, Bristol Hotel in Warsaw, and many more.

Frank Morse was a Director of the Montreal Trust and Deposit Company, a Director of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Company, also associated with many other subsidiary companies,
in which his keen business capacity was a main factor in their successful development.

Mr. Morse was an Anglican

Frank Morse was connected with numerous clubs, among which may be mentioned the following :

  • St. James Club, Mount Royal Club, Montreal Hunt Club,
  • the Canada Club, the Royal Montreal Golf Club, the Forest and Stream Club,
  • the Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club,
  • and the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association.
  • He is also a member of the Rideau Club, Ottawa,
  • the Manitoba Club, Winnipeg, the Union Club, Victoria,
  • the Detroit Club, Detroit, the Engineers Club of New York,
  • and the Chicago Club, Chicago.

There is another Frank W. Morse, born same year,
b- Lagrange IN, but this is NOT the same guy.

Mount Morse, and Prince Rupert Harbour
Credit: Charles Melville Hays / Library and Archives Canada / PA-021925
Photo taken by Charles Hayes makes it extra special
Mount Morse named after Frank W. Morse, VP and General Manager of the Grand Trunk Railroad

Mount Morse is a 2,517 ft / 767 m, mountain peak Lat- 54º 23' 3“ N, Long- 130º 18' 20” W

Watrous Saskatchewan named after this man


  • Last modified: 2017/11/12 09:48
  • by dlgent