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

J. Sterling Morton
J. Sterling Morton, July 24, 1871.
Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society, RG1013-1-11

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

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

In addition to being a pioneer statesman in the Nebraska Territory, Morton also pioneered in agriculture.

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

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