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RG5074.AM:  Morris Family

Research:  ca. 1995-1997

Seward County, Nebraska:  Inventors

Size:  0.25 cu.ft.; 1 box


Born in Ohio on April 25, 1832, John H. Morris.  He served with the 106th Illinois Infantry during the Civil War.  He married Henrietta Scott in 1867.  Around 1873 or so they moved to Seward County, Nebraska, where several of Morris’ brothers were living.  John and his brother William ran a mercantile business before coming to Nebraska.  In 1876 John Morris patented his design for a multi-catch mouse trap called “The Delusion.”  He and his brother William went on to patent several other kinds of traps, locks and other devices, but The Delusion was by far the most commercially successful.  By 1900 John and Henrietta were living in Omaha and John’s occupation was listed as a lock manufacturer.  John H. Morris died in Omaha on July 30, 1908.  He us buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Omaha.


This collection consists of one box of research materials collected and used by David Drummond for his 1997 Nebraska History article, “The Delusion of John Morris: A Better Mouse Trap and its Makers.”  The collection documents Seward, Nebraska native John Morris’ patenting the first design for a multi-catch mouse trap (The Delusion) that enjoyed great commercial success.  Also included are general research materials on the Morris family, as well as patent information for other inventions by John Morris and his brothers, William, Thomas and Henry.


Box 1


  1. Nebraska History article, “The Delusion of John Morris: A Better Mouse Trap and its Makers,” by David Drummond

  2. Patent documents

  3. General background information

  4. Photos and illustrations of traps

  5. Illustrations used in Nebraska History article


Subject headings:

Inventors — Nebraska

Mice — control

Morris family

Morris, Henry

Morris, John H., 1832-1908

Morris, Thomas D.

Morris, William, 1834-1880

Mousetraps — patents

Seward County (Nebraska) — History


TMM      02-12-2019