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Dr. Morrison's Illustrious Career

Submitted by Jari Lynn Oncken - July 9, 2016

On August 22, 1950, an open house was held in honor of Winfield Morrison's 45 years of medical practice in Minonk. This event was held at Robert (Bob) and Eileen Morrison's home on E. 6th Street. Winfield's sons, Bob and Winfield, Jr., hosted this celebration. It was also Dr. Morrison's 70th birthday but his sons wanted to impress on everyone that it was not a birthday party. In addition to the number who attended he also received 500 cards.

The refreshments, including ice cream, cake and punch and a wafer, were served to 700 guests from town and the surrounding area. The family was overwhelmed with the number of people who came to honor him. They thought maybe half that amount would attend. Each of the guests and the babies who Dr. Morrison had delivered wore a card with a large safety pin on which was printed "I'm one of Dr. Morrison's babies." The oldest "baby" present was Mrs. George L. Toler and the youngest was the eight-day-old Linda Elaine Rients, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Rients. During his long career Dr. Morrison delivered over 1,500 babies.

Dr. Winfield Scott Morrison, the son of Charles and Rachel Morrison, was born in Minonk on August 22, 1880. The family attended the Minonk Baptist Church. In 1898 Winfield graduated from Minonk High School and taught three years in country schools in the area. He then attended the Hahnemann Medical College from 1901 to 1905 and served his internship at John W. Streeter Hospital in Chicago. In 1906, he bought Dr. J. F. Timm's practice that was located on E. 6th Street in Minonk. In 1913 he moved his office over the Minonk Post Office on W. 5th Street. Then, after the Minonk New-Dispatch building, also on W. 5th, was completed in 1922, he relocated to the second floor of that building where he stayed until his retirement.

In 1908, Winfield and Edith Buffet of Dixon were married. Their son Winfield was a noted high school athlete, especially in pole vaulting. He was a member of the Orrin Tucker Orchestra before entering in the television and radio business in Chicago. Son Bob owned and operated Morrison's Chocolate Shop, a restaurant and fountain business, on 506 Chestnut Street in Minonk. After selling out he bought his Tri-County Insurance Agency here in Minonk.

Dr. Morrison was active in civic, social, and medical affairs. He was elected Woodford County Coroner on the Republican ticket in 1908 and was secretary of the Minonk Grade School Board for 12 years. For 15 years, he was secretary of the Woodford County Medical Association. He was also a board member and then director of the Woodford County TB Sanitarium in Minonk for many years. For 43 years he was a member of the Rob Morris Masonic Lodge in Minonk, serving as Grand Master three times. He was also a member of the Bloomington Consistory and the Peoria Shrine.

Throughout the years, every member of the Morrison family including Barbara Morrison Meyer, Kim Meyer Sullivan's mother, was active in the Minonk Baptist Church. Dr. Morrison helped plan the 100th anniversary celebration of the church in 1958. Now Kim, who can trace her family back four generations in the church, is the only one still attending. That is a lot of years of faithful service!