J. Sterling Morton, Founder of Arbor Day
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Nebraska Territorial Secretary of State & Governor


J. Sterling Morton jumped into the political scene soon after their arrival in the Nebraska Territory.

J. Sterling Morton was appointed Nebraska's territorial Secretary of State from 1858-1861 and was also the acting territorial governor from 1858-1859.

Morton lived in Nebraska City and carefully watched the evolution of the Nebraska Territory through its ups and downs. Morton did not believe Nebraska was the “Great American Desert”, but quite the opposite. He believed in agriculture and the honorable work of farmers.


In addition to being a pioneer statesman in the Nebraska Territory, Morton was among those who were pioneering in agriculture. Source — NSHS.