“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Newark in New Castle County, Delaware — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

The Judge Morris Estate

The Former Home of a Delaware Attorney and Judge

The Judge Morris Estate Marker image. Click for full size.
By Nate Davidson, April 3, 2010
1. The Judge Morris Estate Marker
Inscription.  Built in the 1790s, this 2½ story gray fieldstone house is the former home of Judge Hugh M. Morris. Morris was a Delaware native, respected attorney and distinguished federal judge. He purchased the house and a large parcel of land here in 1933.

Besides serving as a federal judge, Morris built one of the most important law practices in the state and kept closely involved with the University of Delaware. Yet, he still found time to run his farm, buy more land, and turn the farmhouse into a comfortable home for his family. Morris remodeled the house inside and out, but kept most of its original features.

Morris left instructions in his will, giving the house and land to the University of Delaware upon his death. Morris graduated from the university and years later served as president of its board of trustees. Delaware's Division of Parks and Recreation bought the property in 1998 and made it a part of White Clay Creek State Park.

[photo captions]

Judge Morris in his study
Photo: University of Delaware

This is how the house looked when Judge Morris purchased it in the 1930s.

About the House and Judge Morris image. Click for full size.
By Nate Davidson, April 3, 2010
2. About the House and Judge Morris
The house was built before 1798 by John Barclay. The original structure was a five-bay, 2.5 story stone house and ell. The 1.5 story wing was added in the 1820s and contained a kitchen with slave quarters above. After 1934, Judge Morris modified the interior and added a modern kitchen wing on the north side of the main building. Judge Morris was born in Greenwood, Sussex County, Delaware in 1878. Graduated from the University of Delaware in 1898. Taught school in Sussex County until 1900. Studied law under Senator Willard Saulsbury, and later went to into practice with him. Married Emma Carter Smith in 1908. They had one daughter, Mary Smith Morris, born 1912. Appointed Judge of the U.S. District Court by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919. Retired from the federal bench in 1930 to set up Morris, Nichols, Arsht, and Tunnell, one of Delaware's most important law firms. Served on the University of Delaware's board of trustees beginning in 1929. President of the board of trustees, 1939-1959. This time of growth and change saw the universit open its doors to students of all races for the first time. The university dedicated its library to Judge Morris in 1963. Morris died in 1966.
University of Delaware

Mrs. Morris arranging flowers on the terrace behind the house.
Photo: University of Delaware
Erected by Delaware State Parks.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Charity & Public WorkEducationEnvironmentGovernment & Politics. In addition, it is included in the Delaware State Parks 🏞️ series list.
Location. Marker has been reported permanently removed. It was located near 39° 42.217′ N, 75° 42.5′ W. Marker was near Newark, Delaware, in New Castle County. Marker could be reached from Polly Drummond Hill Road 0.2 miles north of Kirkwood Highway. Marker located within the Judge Morris Estate, which is part of White Clay Creek State Park. Park entrance fees may apply for entrance. Touch for map. Marker was in this post office area: Newark DE 19711, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this location, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Judge Morris Estate (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named The Judge Morris Estate (approx. 0.2 miles away); Original Site of the White Clay Creek Presbyterian Church (approx. 0.6 miles away); Meeteer House (approx. 0.8 miles away); Robert Kirkwood, Jr.
Judge Morris House image. Click for full size.
By Nate Davidson, April 3, 2010
3. Judge Morris House
(approx. 1.6 miles away); Ebenezer United Methodist Church (approx. 2.1 miles away); St. John the Baptist Church (approx. 2.4 miles away); Hiram Lodge No. 25 (approx. 2˝ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Newark.
Additional keywords. Delaware State Parks, Newark, White Clay Creek
Credits. This page was last revised on December 14, 2020. It was originally submitted on January 6, 2011, by Carl Gordon Moore Jr. of North East, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,269 times since then and 4 times this year. Last updated on December 6, 2020, by Carl Gordon Moore Jr. of North East, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 6, 2011, by Nate Davidson of Salisbury, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 6, 2021