Morrison Sisters

  • Article

    Maude and Sarah were two unmarried sisters from Kansas City, Missouri, who came to Star Lake each summer. The earliest that I can establish that they were in Star Lake is an entry in the diary of Mrs. Robert M. Forbes, my grandmother, in 1926. [The first entry under the Miscellany tab above contains all of the related diary entries.]

    The 1940 census shows them living together in a fine apartment building at 107 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, Missouri, having lived there since at least 1935. Maude is shown as age 55 and Sarah 49. Both were born in Missouri, neither worked for wages, and both had other income. And that is more personal information than they would have shared were they still living!

    At Star Lake they lived in a "brown house" just at the right angle curve in Highway K in Star Lake. It was next door to the "white house" owned by the Crocker Family, Dr. and Mrs. Crocker. Both houses were on property that had originally been part of the Oliver Lodge property and had been sold to them by Mr. John Oliver--date uncertain, but available in the Vilas County land records. The "brown house" was a lovely home with an artist's studio on the second floor as one of them liked to paint.

    I am uncertain as to how they came to Star Lake, nor where they stayed before they bought property from Mr. Oliver. However, it is reasonable to assume that they stayed at Oliver Lodge and that that is how they got to know Mr. Oliver and buy land from him.

    When the Crockers died their "white house" came on the market. However, the two two houses were very close and shared an entranceway off of Highway K. The Morrisons did not want a stranger living that close, so they bought the Crocker home. After that they would open one or the other cottage each summer, saying things like, "Oh, we decided that we'd use the white house this summer." In later years they

    I remember them well from my time in Star Lake from the mid-forties through the early sixties. They were very "proper ladies," always well dressed. I remember visiting them in the white house, and one day being shown around the brown house, including the (then unused) artist studio upstairs. After the war I never remember their inviting any of my family or friends for a meal, but light refreshments were always served at a visit.

    Maude died in 1968, and Sarah died in 1980. My memory is that Sarah did not come to Star Lake in summers after her sister's death. They are buried in Independence, Missouri. Following their death their home (the brown house) was sold to Pat Wilsie, then to Bob and Judy Gunther, and finally to Bill Hintz.

    Charles P. Forbes
    July 30, 2020
  • Bibliography

    Major References

    Minor References

  • Links
  • Images
  • Miscellany

    All mentions of the Maude and Sarah Morrison or Dr. and Mrs. Crocker in the Diary of Mary Lewis Forbes (Mrs. Robert M. Forbes):

    August 9, 1926: Charles and Loretta [Forbes] arrived about 11 AM and went to Eagle River to Dr. and Mrs. Crocker.

    August 27, 1926: The Morrisons [Maude and Sarah] gave a lovely party tonight.

    July 31, 1938: Harriet [Aldous] and Dr. Crocker went to Partridge today fishing.

    August 26, 1929: Went to a picnic at White Sands. The Morrisons and Crockers. Dr. Crocker and Harriet fished. Got a fine muskie.

    September 1, 1929: Wilsons and Shepherds at Morrisons.

    August 23, 1930: Dr. and Mrs. Crocker, Harriet and Joe, and I left early for trip to Duluth. Fine food and a good time all around.

    September 9, 1930: Dr. Crocker took us to ride this PM around the lake and we say twelve deer. Wonderful sight.

    August 21, 1931. Dr. Crocker very sick. I [Mary Forbes] stayed there last night.

    September 11, 1931: They [Harriet and Mrs. Aldous] saw Dr. Crocker at the hospital in Chicago.

    September 14, 1931: Mrs. Crocker came back to Star Lake to close her cottage.

    July 7, 1932: Went for a ride with Dr. and Mrs. Crocker.

    July 4, 1933: Drove to Eagle River with Dr. Crocker and Mrs. Aldous.

    July 11, 1933: Mrs. Pilsbury [sic] came this AM. Took her and the Morrisons to ride.

    September 14, 1935: Took Aunt Sue, Sarah and Maude Morrison, Mrs. Oliver, Joe and Harriet to Stickleys. Lovely organ music. Foliage is getter very beautiful.

    September 17, 1935: Had a picnic on the shore of Lake Superior. Mrs. Crocker dropped her grand cake in the sand.

    July 21, 1937: Mrs. Crocker, Mrs. Aldous, Sadie [Graham, a Forbes relative] and I, with Robert Warner driving, went on a all day jaunt to Michigan.

    July 22, 1937: Mrs. Crocker has a lovely new Buick automobile, and the Blairs a grand station wagon.

    August 17, 1937: Picnic at Lake Superior, Webbs, Deans, Mrs. English [Mrs. Crocker’s sister], Francis [English], Mollie Crocker [unrelated to Dr. and Mrs. Crocker? She came to North Star Lodge for a number of years following WWII] and Sadie.

    August 20, 1938: Mrs. Crocker had to go to Chicago as her sister, Mrs. English, is sick.

    [The diary ends with the summer of 1941. There are no further entries for Morrison or Crocker.]