Viewing page 10 of 15

During this work Morriss became interested in flying, which resulted in his joining the Curzon Aviation Company at St. Louis, Missouri. J.W. Curzon had imported one of the first Farman planes to the United States, advertised a flying school and planned exhibition engagements, This all proved to be a hoax so Morriss joined the Benoist Aeroplane Company at St. Louis as a sales engineer. Later he became a stockholder in the Benoist company and was elected vice-president.
During January and February, 1912, he learned to fly at the Benoist School from instructor Tony Jannus. While at Benoist Morriss also became interested in the St. Louis aviation publication [[underlined]] Aero [[/underlined]] which had a growing business there. As a result he invested in the concern and later moved to Chicago as a part of its management when it became [[underlined]] Aero and Hydro [[/underlined]], but evidently still retained his interest in Benoist.
In the spring of 1915 Benoist moved his business from St. Louis to Chicago and again Morriss became active in the firm. At that time he also ordered a Benoist flying boat for his own use which was delivered to him in June, and he proposed to start a passenger-carrying business as a side venture.
During the fall of 1915 Morriss engaged Early Bird Anthony Stadlman and well-known Chicago aero modeler Joe Lucas to make several modifications to his flying boat, them in the spring of 1916 the craft was shipped to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where Morriss operated a passenger-carrying business for the summer at a nearby resort on Reeds Lake. There Harry Powers was pilot, with Stadlman and Lucas as assistants. Later that fall Morriss had a smashup while flying his boat at Reeds Lake.
In 1917 he formed the Morriss School of Aviation in Chicago, then later that year entered the Naval Service as Executive Aviation Officer at the Great Lakes Naval Station at Chicago.
In 1919 Morriss was employed by the Oliver Typewriter Company, then later he entered the radio broadcasting business in Chicago. After a time in this field he went into hotel management at the Drake and Blackstone Hotels in Chicago.
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact