LESTER C. MORGAN, President of the Morgan Lumber Company, resident of Muskegon, was born June 13, 1822, in Leroy, Genesee Co., N.Y. His parents, William and Sophia (Coe) Morgan, were born, lived and died in the State of New York.
Mr. Morgan was possessed of an active temperament and made the best use of the advantages offered in the common schools of the generation in which he was born, and at 17 years of age he commenced teaching. At the age of 20 years he began the manufacture of linseed oil in his native county, and the prosecution of that business occupied his attention 14 years, when he sold out and came to Wisconsin. After a residence there of 18 months, he proceeded to Chicago, where he engaged in the wood and coal trade, and also interested himself to a considerable extent in speculating, operating in the fruit trade nearly five years.
In 1866 he located in Muskegon Co. Mich., and bought 250 acres of land near Muskegon. He put the place under good improvements, among which was the planting of an apple and peach orchard, both of which were hopelessly injured by the excessive cold of the winter of 1869. In 1868 he engaged in the business with which he is now connected and which he has since prosecuted in all its important branches. The mill belonging to the concern is located in White Cloud, and has a productive capacity of 20,000 feet of lumber daily. The company is a stock concern, and is doing a fair business. An earlier business connection of Mr. Morgan was with S. N. Wilcox, of Chicago (now deceased), whose relations to the lumber trade of Northern Michigan are well known. The partnership was for the purpose of instituting the trade in lumber at this point, and they credited the first mill for the production of lumber in this section. Mr. Morgan built the pioneer house at White Cloud, and accomplished the first logging in this vicinity. He has been and is now extensively connected with the landed interests of the County of Newaygo. the company own 3,000 acres of land, lying chiefly in Wilcox Township. The private estate of Mr. Morgan includes 200 acres of land in Muskegon County, where he at one time owned a half-mile tract in its primitive condition. He is a Republican of declared position, and was Supervisor of Lakeside, Muskegon County. He is not prominent in the work of temperence reform, but has never in his life drank a glass of liquor. In the fall of 1883 he had his first encounter with sickness, being past 60 years of age, when he was for the first time in his life under the necesity of calling a physician for personal attendance.
He was married Sept. 4, 1845, in Genesee Co., N.Y., to Mary J., daughter of James and Mary Long. They were all natives of the State of New York. Six children ahave been born to Mr. and Mrs. Morgan, four of whom survive. They are, James L., Sarah A., Helen M., and William F.; Sophie and Kate died in infancy.
James L. Morgan, eldest son of L.C. Morgan, and treasurer of the Michigan Lumber Company, was born in Leroy, Genesee Co., N.Y., July 31, 1848. He was during his early life, under the sole guidance of his father, and since attaining to a suitable age has been connected with him in business. Since 1883 he has been officiating in his present capacity. He inherits the political tendencies of his father, and held the postion of Postmaster two years, under President Grant. He has held the position of Notary Public two years, and, on the incorporation of the village of White Cloud, was elected Trustee, and discharged the duties of the situation two years. He has served one year as agent of the American Express Company, and was elected Township Treasurer but never qualified.