Dick T. Morgan was born Dec. 6, 1853, in Vigo County, Indiana. He received a B.S. in 1876 from Union Christian College (Meron, Indiana) and an LL.B. in 1880 from Central Law School (Indianapolis). From 1880 to 1881, he served in the Indiana state legislature.
In 1889 he moved to Guthrie, Oklahoma, where he practiced law, dealt in real estate, and became active in politics, the Republican Party and religious affairs. He ran for territorial delegate to Congress in 1900 and 1902, and in 1904 President Theodore Roosevelt appointed him Registrar of the U.S. Land Office at Woodward. In addition, he wrote several legal manuals, including Morgan’s Digest of Oklahoma Statutes and Supreme Court Decisions (1897), Land Credits (1915) and numerous other books on land law and the farm mortgage system.
Morgan represented Oklahoma’s 2nd District in the U.S. Congress from 1909 to 1915 and the 8th District from 1915 to 1920. During his congressional career, Morgan served on the following U.S. House committees: Expenditures in the Treasury Department, Public Lands, and Judiciary. Land law and farm mortgages held Morgan’s interest while in Congress, and he sponsored the Rural Credits Bill that was enacted in 1916.
The Morgan Collection illustrates a significant era in Oklahoma history from the Land Run of 1889 to the creation of the Oklahoma Constitution, and the legislation establishing Oklahoma as the 46th state to enter the union Nov. 16, 1907. Morgan was not only a pioneer but a facilitator of change – change of thought, change of rule, and change that would benefit his fellow Oklahomans. The collection spans Morgan’s career and all that represents the state of Oklahoma from 1889-1920.
Morgan’s great-grandsons, David Morgan and Kenyon Morgan, made a generous donation to the center in order to ensure that all of the materials represented in the Dick T. Morgan Collection are available through the center’s online collections, as well as through a virtual exhibit platform released in 2019. (https://dicktmorgan.omeka.net/)
Additionally, a pilot project featuring the Morgan Collection was developed and implemented in the fall of 2018. The project focuses on the nontraditional student and those who wish to assist the Carl Albert Center remotely. The program is designed to reach students and volunteers with limited access to the University of Oklahoma campus who desire to utilize their skillsets to promote and extend the Carl Albert Center holdings, and makes the collections accessible to the public. The Dick T. Morgan Collection represents the first collection in what the center hopes is a long-standing platform of discovery.
The Morgan Collection catalog is available at https://arc.ou.edu.