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Rev. Charles Reed Morton


BIRTH 20 MAY 1865 • "Campostella", Charlotte County,


DEATH 11 APR 1903 • Casa Branca, Araguary, Brazil

Son of William Morton and Margaret E. Watkins

Married 1st:  05 Jun 1895 • Rockbridge County,

Virginia, USA

Mary Connell Thompson


BIRTH 5 SEP 1874 • Rockbridge County, Virginia, USA

DEATH 22 OCT 1898 • Fredericksburg, Virginia, USA

Died of Acute Myocarditis



Find A Grave:

From "The Central Presbyterian" Vol. 34, No. 37 dated March 8, 1899:

Action of the Southern Brazil Mission on January 20th, 1899:
Having learned with deep sorrow of the death of Mrs. Mary Thompson, wife of the Rev. Charles R. Morton, the Southern Brazil Mission adopts the following resolutions, and orders that a copy of them be spread upon the minute book and that copies be sent also to Mr. Morton, Missionary, and to the other church papers:

1. In the death of Mrs. Morton, who passed away in the freshness and bloom of young womanhood, after three years of earnest and efficient service in Brazil, a home has been robbed of a faithful wife and devoted mother, and our mission circle has lost one of its brightest and most attractive members, and the cause of Christian missions in Brazil one of its most devoted friends and zealous workers.

2. Bowing in meek submissiveness to the will of Him whose "ways are higher than our ways," and who has called his young handmaiden to the higher service of his heavenly kingdom, we extend to our sorrowing brother our deep sympathy, praying that he may be sustained and cheered by the Holy Comforter and his little one borne tenderly in the loving arms of the great Shepherd.

From "Christian Observer" March 15, 1899:
Mrs. Mary Morton's Work in Brazil.
By Rev. H.S. Allyn, M.D., Sao Joao Del Rei, Brazil, January 9, 1899

Messrs. Editors – the home church papers brought us the sad news that our fellow worker, Mrs. Mary Thompson Morton – wife of Rev. C.R. Morton – passed through the shadow into the heavenly light on October 22 [1898]. While this was not altogether unexpected to her friends here, the news came to us as a great shock, for we had hoped that the ocean trip and the home-going might at least postpone for a time the fatal termination of her terrible malady – consumption. But the Lord willed otherwise. …….

May the Lord remember the needs of her unfinished work (or rather, the unfinished work she gave her life for), and may he remember, and be very near and dear to her bereft companion as he returns to take up his life-work here single-handed, but especially may the Good Father Remember little Edna in her great loss of a mother's care and love, is the prayer of one of Mrs. Morton's fellow-workers.

Married 2nd:  1900

Lucy Magill Hall


BIRTH 6 NOV 1877 • Santa Barbara, São Paulo, Brazil

DEATH 3 SEP 1956 • Sanford, Lee, North Carolina, USA

Daughter of Charles Moses Hall and Mary Elizabeth Miller

(The following is loosely translated from Portuguese)

Charles Morton was born on May 20, 1865, in Compostella, Charlotte County, Virginia. He studied at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington and at the  Seminary  Theological Union,  annexed to the  Hampden- Sydney  College, in the same state, where it was formed in 1894, having been a colleague of the Rev. Carlyle R. Womeldorf. He was ordained by the Presbytery of  Roanoke in June  1894. He arrived in Brazil in August  1895, accompanied by his young wife of twenty-one, Mary Thompson Morton. They initially worked in Lavras. In December 1895, they went to Araguari, a field that had been herded by the Rev. Frank Cowan, who died in 1894. In that city, there was a school run by the widow missionary, Kate Bias Cowan, who later went to Santa Luzia de Goiás (now Luziânia).

Morton traveled extensively through the Minas Triangle, receiving many people for professions in various places. It revived the itinerant evangelistic tradition of the pioneer John Boyle and was the first to preach in Patos de Minas, Carmo do Paranaíba, Arapuá and Rio Paranaíba, besides  several  points  in  Goiás. In one of his preaching in the Córrego da Onça, near Bagagem (South Star), got to know a man called David de Melo, who had been reading the Bible and had been evangelized by a Rev. Boyle parishioner.  Morton went to the house of David, spent three days reading and explaining the Scriptures, and the communion of the host's church, his wife Maria Isabel, and the three daughters of the presence of neighbors invited to the occasion. David faced many difficulties in parental resistance, which helped to influence his married, Manoel de Melo, who had also been reading the Bible and came to convert, having set in a country estate near Mount Carmel. The couple was greeted by profession of faith by the Rev. Morton on July 15, 1898, and Manoel became a mainstay of the gospel in that region. Later, the other five Melo brothers also converted with their families, contributing to the emergence of Presbyterian churches in Douradoquara, Água Limpa, Monte Carmelo, Abbey of the Dourados, and Perdizes. Maria de Melo Chaves, the eldest woman of  Manoel de  Melo, tells this inspiring story in the book  Bandeirantes da  Fé, published in 1947. His brother Zaqueu de Melo, born in Monte Carmelo in 1914, was a Presbyterian pastor, state deputy, and professor for many years in the city of Londrina Paraná, where he founded Iin1945 the Philadelphia Institute, current University Center Philadelphia (UNIFIL), linked to the Presbyterian Church of Londrina.

With his health shaken, Morton's wife went to Fredericksburg, Virginia, in 1898, passing away a few days after arriving and leaving a little girl. After the wife's death, Morton spent a year in Richmond, doing postgraduate studies at the Seminary Union, and returned to Brazil. 

In 1900, he married Lucy Hall, daughter of a couple of American immigrants residing in Vila Americana. Lucy was born in Brazil and studied with the missionaries in Campinas and Lavras. Four of her sisters also married missionaries and a cousin, Katherine, was the wife of Rev. William Calvin Porter. The Morton couple had a daughter, Elizabeth Margaret Morton, and a son who was born on June 19, 1903, after the death of his father and received his name.

From Araguari, Morton moved to White House, State of São Paulo, in 1901.  He was affected by yellow fever and died in an isolation hospital on 5 April.  1903. He was the last of the missionaries who had been victimized by this disease, by George W. Thompson, John W. Dabney, Edward Lane, and Edgar M. Pinkerton. Morton was supported by the Presbyterian Church of Durham, North Carolina, as its pastor missionary. Lucy Morton worked for many years with the Mission West in Araguari, Barretos, and other places (1903-1908, 1924-1930. On September 25, 1907, the Revista of the  National  Missions reported that Lucy had donated to the  Church of  Araguari a   harmonium which she herself played in the services.

According to some authors, the death of the missionary was surrounded by a certain mystery When  Morton was affected by yellow fever, the police chief, the enemy of evangelicals,   determined his removal to the Holy House, where he died shortly thereafter. Rev. James R. Woodson reported that many years after Morton's death, the news broke that an old black man confessed to having given him a poison remedy.


▪ Lessa, Annaes , 485, 644s, 653, 660s.

▪ Ferreira, History of IPB , I: 506-508; II: 34, 366.

▪ Charlotte Kemper, "Rev. CR Morton, " The Missionary (June 1903), 256s.

▪ A General Catalog of Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, 1807-1924 .

▪ Keys, Bandeirantes da Fé, 27-31, 61-65, 69s, 187. See Hahn, Protestant Cult in the

Brazil , 254-258.

▪ Bear, Mission to Brazil , 27s.

▪ Silva e Silva, Presbyterian Church of Araguari , 52-55.

▪ Ferreira, Little History of the West Mission , 40s



Charles R. Morton and Mary C. Thompson would have one child:

1.  Edna Watkins Morton

BIRTH 28 October 1896 • Minas Gerais, Brazil

DEATH 25 May 1980 • Brownsburg, Rockbridge County, Virginia

Married:  10 October 1922 • Spotsylvania Co., Virginia

Madison McClung Sterrett Sr.

BIRTH 1 October 1899 • Rockbridge County, Virginia, USA

DEATH 19 March 1975 • Raphine, Rockbridge, Virginia, USA

Edna and Madison would have two children:

                  1.  Mary Thompson Sterrett

                  2.  Madison McClung Sterrett Jr

Lexington, VA News-Gazette dated March 26, 1975:

Madison McClung Sterrett, 75, prominent Rockbridge farmer and civic leader, died last Wednesday at his home near Brownsburg.

A descendant of Archibald Alexander, one of the early settlers of Rockbridge County, Mr. Sterrett was born in Rockbridge Oct. 1, 1899 and was the son of the late Madison McClung Sterrett and Laura Smith Sterrett.

At the time of his death he was the senior partner of the M.M. Sterrett and Son Dairy Farm, one of the largest dairy operations in the county.

In 1927 Mr. Sterrett purchased the farm near Brownsburg which had been part of the extensive acerage of his great-grandfather, Samuel Willson. Willson had made major additions to the house on the property, which according to family records was built in 1746 and which was known in earlier years as Mulberry Grove.
In the depression years of the 1930s, while the family continued to operate a farm, Mr. Sterrett was associated for a period with the Civilian Conservation Corps in beautification work along the Skyline Drive.

He converted his general farming operation into a dairy farm in 1947.
Mr. Sterrett's community service included a period of eight years, from 1952 to 1960, as trustee from Walkers Creek District on the Rockbridge County School Board.

He was a member of the Lexington advisory board of the First National Exchange Bank and of the predecessor board of the Peoples National Bank of Lexington from 1953 to 1973.

Mr. Sterrett had served as chairman of the board of deacons of New Providence Presbyterian Church, had been a past president of the Brownsburg Ruritan Club, and had been a member for 12 years of the board of Rockbridge Farmers Cooperative.

He was elected in 1946 a director from Walkers Creek on the board of the Rockbridge Mutual Fire Insurance Co. and served on the board until his retirement in March 1974. He had been a director of the Rockbridge Artifical Breeding Association and a member of the Rockbridge-Alleghany Dairy Herd Improvement Association.

He is survived by his wife, Edna Morton Sterrett; a son, Madison McClung Sterrett Jr. of Brownsburg; a daughter, Mrs. Bruce Alexander Lipscomb of Fairfield; two sisters, Mrs. John K. Davidson of Lexington and Mrs. Alden S. Anderson of Staunton; and four grandchildren.
The Rev. David Coblentz conducted a funeral service Friday at 11 a.m. in New Providence Presbyterian Church cemetery.

Charles R. Morton and Lucy Hall would have two children:


Elizabeth Hall Morton


BIRTH 26 JUL 1901 • Santa Barbara, São Paulo, Brazil

DEATH 1 OCT 1984 • High Point, Guilford, North Carolina, USA


Marion Julian Murray Sr.


BIRTH 29 JUL 1900 • Alamance County, North Carolina, USA

DEATH 9 APR 1984 • High Point, Guilford, North Carolina, USA

Son of Rev. Ephraim Clark Murray and Lilian Norwood Lebby



Marion Julian Murray Jr


BIRTH 26 OCT 1928 • Arlington,

North Carolina, USA

DEATH 15 OCT 1996 • Johnson City,

Washington, Tennessee, USA

Married:  22 Jun 1957 • Richmond,

Virginia, USA

Ann Elizabeth Bliss


BIRTH 18 APR 1936 • Richmond,

Virginia, USA

DEATH 9 APR 2006 • Richmond, Henrico, Virginia, USA

Daughter of Loren Tyler Bliss and Florence C Jackson


Charles Morton Murray


BIRTH 26 DEC 1932 • Avery, North Carolina, USA

DEATH Unknown

Married:  17 Aug 1955 • Nashville, Davidson, Tennessee, USA

Mary Anne Taylor


BIRTH 15 JUN 1933 • Augusta, Virginia, USA

Daughter of Kyle Houston Taylor and Bernice Haislip


murray charles wedding.jpg
murray mary taylor.jpg


Charles Reed Morton Jr


BIRTH 19 JUN 1903 • Sao Paulo, Brazil

DEATH 8 OCT 1912 • Spotsylvania County, Virginia, USA

Died young

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