Woman of the Century/Eliza Happy Morton
MORTON, Miss Eliza Happy, author and educator, born in Westbrook, Me., 15th July, 1852. She is the only daughter of William and Hannah ELIZA HAPPY MORTON Eliza Morton. Her parents were teachers in their earlier years, and she inherited a taste in that direction. She was educated in Westbrook Seminary and began to teach at the age of sixteen. While teaching, she was impressed with the fact that many of the old methods of instruction were not productive of the best results, and she began at once to write articles for educational journals, advocating reforms, at the same time putting into practice the principles she advanced and securing remarkable results in her work. Her first article for the press was a prose sketch entitled "The Study of Geography.' She taught in various parts of her own State. In 1879 she was called to the entire charge of geographical science in Battle Creek College, Mich. The idea of preparing a series of geographies gradually assumed shape in her mind, while her name was constantly appearing in print in publications east and west. In 1880 she published a volume of verse entitled "Still Waters" (Portland, Me.), which was well received. Many of her best poetical productions have been written since that date As a writer of hymns noted for their religious fervor she is well known. They have been set to music by some of the best composers, and the evangelist, D. L. Moody, has used many of them in his revival work with telling effect. Among those published in sheet form, the most popular are "The Songs My Mother Sang" and "In the Cleft of the Rock." After three years of earnest work in Battle Creek College Miss Morton withdrew and began to gather material for her geographies. Hundreds of books were examined, leading schools were visited and prominent educators in America and Europe were interviewed as to the best methods of teaching the science. In 1883 her "Elementary Geography" was completed. It was published in Philadelphia as "Potters' New Elementary Geography, by Eliza H. Morton." It had a wide sale, and an immediate call was made for an advanced book, which was written under the pressure of poor health, but with the most painstaking care and research. The higher book was also successful. As a practical educational reformer Miss Morton has won public esteem. Her home is in North Deering, Me. She now has several important literary works under way.