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Salem Pioneer Cemetery ~ Willis Bent Morse ~ part of the Marion County Pioneer Cemeteries of Oregon
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Willis Bent Morse
BORN: 21 March 1866 DIED: 20 Jul 1944 BURIED: 24 Jul 1944
BIRTH PLACE:  McMinnville, Yamhill Co., Oregon
DEATH PLACE: Salem, Marion Co., Oregon
1900 OR CENSUS - Willis D. [sic] Morse, occupation physician, b. Mar 1869 in Oregon, and his wife of 1 year Ethel D. [Cusick] Morse, age 24, b. Aug 1876 in Oregon, are enumerated in the home of her parents William A. Cusick, age 55, occupation physician, b. Mar 1845 in Illinois, and Marian [sic], age 44, b. Aug 1855 in Illinois. Also enumerated with Mary Kamph, identified as servant, b. Sep 1873 in Ohio.
1910 OR CENSUS  - Willis B. Morse, age 44, widow, occupation physician, [state of birth not given], is enumerated as son-in-law in the home of William Cusick, age 65, occupation physician, b. Illinois, and Marcia Cusick, age 49 [state of birth not given]. Also enumerated is Victoria Hart, age 38, identified as servant, b. Oregon;.
Dr. W. B. Morse, member of the state board of health, has resumed his practice here after a vacation covering several weeks. He spent most of his vacation touring California and Arizona. Dr. Morse reported the weather delightful, with the exception of in northern Arizona where the nights were cold and it was necessary to drain the radiator of his automobile. This was the first extended vacation enjoyed by Dr. Morse in more than 28 years. "From now on I expect to take a real vacation annually", said the doctor. Dr. Morse called at the executive department today. 
Oregon Statesman 13 Apr 1929 5:5 

Surgeon, b. McMinnville, Oregon, March 21 1866; education in the public schools, St. Helen's and Portland; Wasco Academy, the Dalles; Willamette University, MD 1891; md. Ethel Cusick of Salem, Jan 19, 1899; practice of medicine 1891 to date; member of Oregon State Board of Health twenty years; appointed 1906; chmn Medical Advisory Board, World War; past president, Oregon State Board of Health; Oregon State and Marion County Medical Assn; member American Medical Assn, Portland Academy of Medicine, American College of surgeons, Salem Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club; Mason; Elk; Republican; Protestant; address, Salem, Oregon. 
CAPITOL'S WHO'S WHO FOR OREGON, 1942 - 1944, pg 304.
OSBH DC (Marion County 1944) #649 - Willis B. Morse, male, widowed (Ethel Moore), occupation physician & surgeon, b. 21 Mar 1866 in McMinnville, Oregon, d. 20 Jul 1944 in Salem, Oregon (Salem General Hospital) at the age of 78 y's 3 m's 29 d's, usual residence 219 W. Lincoln St., name of father William Morse (b. Boston, Massachusetts), maiden name of mother Nancy E. McBride, interment 24 Jul, undertaker L. E. Barrick, informant Mrs. P. C. Patterson.
Dr. William B. Morse, 78, for more than 50 years a practicing surgeon in Salem, died at 4:30 Thursday afternoon. He had been active in his profession until 10 weeks ago when he was hospitalized with an arthritic condition of the back. Last Sunday after several weeks at home again, he suffered a stroke of paralysis and was taken to Salem General hospital where he gradually grew weaker. 
Dr. Morse left no near relatives. Mrs. P. C. Patterson, 1615 Court street, is a first cousin and there are other cousins in California and Wisconsin. In 1899 he married Ethel Cusick, who died in 1906. His mother, with whom he then made his home, died more than 20 years ago. (More about the life of Dr. Morse on page 2). 
Dr. Willis B. Morse, who died Thursday in Salem, had a record of the longest continuous medical practice in the capital city. In his own profession his skill as a surgeon was widely recognized and did not lag up to the time of his retirement a few weeks ago. When younger men with considerable training and skill in his office appeared able to handle the surgery portion of the practice satisfactorily, he once announced that he was laying down the scissors and scalpel but as, one by one, most of them left to enter the armed services, he once again became active as a surgeon. A day or two before the illness which caused him to leave his office this spring “for a rest” on the advice of a younger associate, he was said to have performed an unusually difficult operation with a sureness and accuracy admired by younger surgeons of the area. The high professional standard, the ability and recognition as physician and surgeon which attached to his name came despite the fact that he inherited from a seafaring pioneer father a love of adventure which found outlet in a mining expedition to Alaska in 1899, and in such other activities as mountain trips. He knew and loved the high Cascades and trails which he there blazed in his youth are used today. 
Born in McMinnville, March 21, 1866, he was the son of William Bent Morse and Nancy E. McBride Morse. His mother, a native of Missouri, was a sister of the late Judge Thomas A. McBride of the Oregon supreme court, and was herself a pioneer teacher in Oregon, instructor at McMinnville college and prominently identified with leading educators of the state. The doctor’s father, born in Boston, was of the same family as Samuel B. Morse, the inventor of telegraphy. At 21 he was master of a ship, sailed to the most important ports in the world. In 1849 he returned to the west coast, which he had visited on a trip by sailing vessel, and in 1850 settled in McMinnville, where he was married and established his home. He engaged in various pursuits and was first warden of the state penitentiary in 1866. Later he was associated with the railway mail service to the time of his death in 1883. Willis B. Morse attended public schools at St. Helens, the high school at Portland and Wasco academy at The Dalles and then Willamette university, from which he received his doctor’s degree in medicine in April, 1891. 
In 1899 he married Ethel Cusick, daughter of the pioneer William Cusick family of Salem, who died in 1906. His mother, Nancy Dolman, who had remarried after his father’s death, made her home with him until her death in the early 1920’s. For 20 years he was a member of the state board of health and once served as its president. During World War I he was chairman of the medical advisory board of the state. He was a member of the county and state medical societies, serving the latter as president in 1927. He was also a member of the American Medical association and was elected to the American College of Surgeons. Like his father, he was active in Freemasonry. He was a member of Pacific lodge No. 50, AF & AM; Multnomah chapter, No. 1 RAM; DeMolay commandery No. 5 KT; Al Kader temple, AAONMA of Portland. He also was a member of the Salem Elks lodge and Salem Rotary club. Funeral services are in the charge of Clough-Barrick company, from which announcements will be made later. 
Oregon Statesman 21 Jul 1944 1:5 and 2:5,6 

Dr. W. B. Morse Dr. W. B. Morse was one of a notable school of physicians and surgeons who reared a truly scientific medicine on the practice of the pioneer doctors who served Oregon. The old Willamette university school of medicine, of which he was a graduate, supplied a training which inspired its graduates not only to serve as doctors, but to grow in thwir profession. Thus it was that Dr. Morse, who graduated from medical school in 1891, was right up to the time of his final brief illness, one of the ablest physicians and most skilled surgeons in the city. 
He was a recognized leader in matters relating to the medical profession and to public health, prominently identified with state and national medical bodies. Dr. Morse was loved as a man as well as respected as a doctor. He was sociable, enjoying a wide circle of friends. His interests were varied; the outdoors claimed him for what time he could spare from a busy practice. He was exceedingly generous for all worthy causes, and the amount of work which he did for charity is beyond accounting. With no immediate family since the death of close relatives many years ago, he made the community his family, and the whole community mourns his passing. 
Oregon Statesman 22 Jul 1944 4:2 

Dr. Willis B. Morse, late resident of 219 West Lincoln street, at a local hospital July 20, Age 78 years. Survived by several cousins, including Mrs. P. C. Patterson, of Salem, Miss Anna McBride of San Francisco, John Woods of Seaview, Wash., and George McBride of Portland. Services will be held from the Clough-Barrick company chapel Monday, July 24, at 2 p.m., Rev. George H. Swift officiating. 
Oregon Statesman 22 Jul 1944 5:1
Willis B. Morse 
1866 - 1944
OSBH DC (Marion County 1944) #649 
S&H pg 70
Saucy Survey & Photographs 
1900 OR CENSUS  (Marion Co., Salem, ED 130, sheet 4A) 
1910 OR CENSUS (Marion Co., Salem, ED 222, sheet 2B) 
CAPITOL'S WHO'S WHO FOR OREGON, 1942 - 1944, pg 304 
OS 21 Jul 1944 1:5 and 2:5,6 
OS 22 Jul 1944 4:2 
OS 22 Jul 1944 5:1

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