Stratford Lee Morton Dies; Insurance Agent
February 19, 1970
Stratford Lee Morton, an insurance executive and civic leader here for many years, died of cancer about 4 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 18, 1970, at his home, 6 Brentmoor Park, Clayton.
He was 82. He had undergone surgery in August, 1968, and last December.
Private funeral services will be held at Lupton Chapel. A memorial service is being planned for next month at Graham Memorial Chapel, Washington University.
He is survived by his wife, Elise Bachmann Morton; a daughter, Mrs. Katharine Morton Dick of Lake Lure, N.C.; three sisters, Mrs. Arthur Anderson of Kirkwood, Mrs. Raymond J. Wiese of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and Mrs. Elizabeth Morton Stehlin of Ft. Lauderdale, and a brother, Robert Lee Morton Jr., of St. Louis.
A son, Stratford Lee Morton Jr., was killed in a bomber crash in 1941 while serving as a lieutenant in the Army Air Corps.
Mr. Morton began his insurance career in 1908 when he answered a Globe-Democrat want ad seeking “energetic and ambitious solicitors” for Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company.
He became general agent for eastern Missouri and southern Illinois in 1912.
He retired in 1952, but continued to sell insurance and maintained an office until his death at 314 North Broadway.
He was a delegate-at-large to the state Constitutional Convention in 1942, where he was an advocate of a one-house legislature.
From 1946 to1948 and from 1952 until his death, he was president of the St. Louis Academy of Science and was instrumental in the establishment of the Museum of Science and Natural History at Oak Knoll Park in Clayton.
Mr. Morton assembled extensive collections of rare books, maps, manuscripts and documents, old prints, household articles and antique furnishings. He was particularly interested in items pertaining to St. Louis and the West.
Robert Lee Morton Jr. said Wednesday his brother’s property near Gray Summit in Franklin County probably would be given, with furnishings and relics, to the State of Missouri.
Also, in accordance with Mr. Morton’s wishes, his rare book collection will be given to the Washington University library, and many of his other collections will go to the Museum of Science and Natural History.