A HISTORY OF THE LOWELL O'NEAL MORGAN FAMILY
By W. T.Block
Lowell O'Neal Morgan was born in Little Rock, Pulaski County, Arkansas, on April 15, 1907, and he died in Nederland on July 6, 1971. He came to Nederland at a very early date, some time prior to World War I, with his parents, Alvin Marshel Morgan (b. November 9, 1878-d. October 6, 1949) and Kate Elizabeth Morgan (b. March 3, 1879-d. March 5, 1954). Alvin Morgan was a machinist by trade, who first settled in Port Arthur in 1912, and the Nederland city directory listed him as residing in Nederland in 1918.
Lowell Morgan attended the Nederland grade and high schools, graduating in the class of 1926, Lowell, nicknamed "Burr," was a member of Nederland's first football squad of 1925, a new sport in Nederland introduced to the local campus by a new principal from Port Neches, later superintendent, named C. O. Wilson. While still in grade school, he met Hazel May, who was to become his future wife.
Hazel Essie May was born in Brookhaven, Lincoln County, Mississippi, on November 28, 1905, the only daughter of Edward Essadore May, (b. June 3, 1866-d. March 20, 1939) and Emma Elzadie Red (b. February 28, 1874-d. May 30, 1966). Hazel's paternal grandparents were John Madison May (b. May 16, 1839-d. April 29, 1915), a former Confederate soldier of Pike County, Mississippi, and Elmyra Jane Smith (b. December 31, 1843-d. February 10, 1925) of Lawrence County, Mississippi. John M. May served with distinction in Co. C, 33rd Mississippi Infantry, fighting in the Battles of Corinth, Tupelo, Deer Creek, Champion Hill, Port Hudson, Vicksburg, Jackson, Resaca (Ga.), Peachtree Creek, and New Hope Church. Hazel's maternal grandparents were Thomas Jefferson Red, Sr. and Sarah Elizabeth Laird, also of Mississippi.
The May family moved to Nederland from Port Arthur in 1919, and Hazel May graduated from high school in Nederland in 1924. Lowell Morgan and Hazel May were married on March 23, 1931.
They then founded the Nederland Cleaners, a steam cleaning and pressing shop, on Main (Boston) Street in a wooden building behind Nederland Pharmacy. That building was later demolished to make room for the brick Bridgeman Building at 1124-1128 Boston. The couple then built their first home at 123 Fifteenth Street, which has since been torn down. Lowell Morgan later moved the Nederland Cleaners to Nederland Avenue, when he bought the Eustace D. Moye home at Nederland and South Fifteenth Streets. He then built a quonset (semi-circular) building there to house his cleaning business in.
Hazel Morgan spent her time both working beside her husband in his business and as home maker. At one time she was custodian of the Nederland Library for a year and a half while the new Henson Library was being built.
Lowell and Hazel Morgan became the parents of four children, namely; Lowell O'Neal Morgan Jr., known only as Neal, born March 27, 1934; Linda Elizabeth Morgan, born February 18, 1936; Edward Alvin Morgan, born August 31, 1939; and Robert Allen Morgan, born August 14, 1946.
Neal Morgan married Adah Marilyn Moyers on September 15, 1956. They are the parents of two children, as follows: Lance Edward Morgan, born September 10, 1957, who earned a B. S. degree in Government from Lamar University; and Allison Elaine Morgan, born August 4, 1963, who earned a B. S. degree in Elementary Education from Lamar University. Neal Morgan is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, where he finished with a B. S. degree in History and Physical Education. He also holds a Master's degree in Education. He served as a longtime coach and principal at various secondary schools, including Nederland, Orange, Big Spring, and Warren, Texas. He also taught and coached at Trinity University in San Antonio, Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, and North Texas State University at Denton, Texas. He is also a writer and the author of Karankawa County, published in 1990 by Texas A and M Press. He is retired, and he and his wife reside in Beauxart Gardens.
Linda Morgan married Archie Wallace on November 23, 1961. They are the parents of two children, namely: James David Wallace, born September 2, 1962, who holds a B. S. degree in Government from Lamar University; and Robert William Wallace, born August 20, 1965, who spent eight years in the United States Army and is now attending Stephen F. Austin University. Linda and her husband reside in Port Arthur.
Edward Alvin Morgan married Rena Laura Neel on February 6, 1962, and they are the parents of three children, as follows: Laure Ann (Ladner), born May 8, 1963, who earned a B. B. A. degree from Texas A and M University; Sean O'Neal Morgan, born November 10, 1972; and Michelle, born August 12, 1970. They have one grand child, Macy Morgan Ladner. Edward and his wife reside in Bronson, Texas.
Edward A. Morgan graduated from Lamar University with a B. S. degree in History after retiring from the United States Marine Corps. His coaching/teaching career included years at several secondary Texas schools, namely, Houston Smiley, Rio Hondo, Edinburg, West Sabine, and Newton. Edward Morgan only recently retired from coaching and teaching in May, 1991.
Robert Allen Morgan married Mary Daigle (now divorced), and they had no children. Robert Allen (Bobby) Morgan is a salesman/rancher in Southeast Texas and resides in Beaumont.
Lowell "Burr" Morgan, Sr., was a veteran of World War II, having served in the United States Army. He was also an active member of the American Legion. He served two terms on the Nederland School Board, and he worked diligently to help solve the school board issues and problems. He was also very active in Democratic Party affairs, particularly on the precinct and county levels, and he was proud to style himself as a "Harry Truman Democrat."
Hazel Morgan died on July 14, 1954, and she was buried in Oak Bluff Cemetery in Port Neches. Lowell Morgan, Sr. died on June 6, 1971, and was buried beside his wife. They are fondly recalled and are sorely missed by their children, grandchildren, and a host of relatives and friends, whose lives they touched.