You Live Where? The Faces Behind the Places

Residence Hall

Morton Dorm

Job Position

Founder and Board of Trustees


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Creation Date

Spring 2024


Rev. James F. Morton played a key role in the early years of Cedarville College. Born in Tennessee in 1828, Morton spent several years teaching before he entered Monmouth College in 1859, graduated in 1861, and then graduated from the Seminary in 1862. He then moved to Cedarville in 1863 to become the pastor of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, a position he would hold for forty years. In 1879, Rev. Morton introduced a resolution to the Reformed Pres-byterian Synod to form a committee to select a site for an academic institution and “to do all that is possible to secure the establishment of such an institution at an early day.” Because of a nation-wide economic recession in the last decades of the 1800’s, funding for the college was very difficult to secure, but Morton and others persisted. He thus became one of the five founders of Cedarville College who finally secured the charter for the college in 1887; Morton then served as the first secretary of the inaugural Board of Trustees when the college finally admitted students for the first time in 1894. Rev. Morton became one of the college’s first faculty members while also serving as vice-president from 1894 until his death in 1903. In 1895 his daughter, Lulu Morton, married Dr. W. Renwick McChesney, the second president of Cedarville. Morton Hall was named for Rev. Morton in 2023.

Source: Barbara Loach, Cedarville University: Defining Legacies