Frances Case Morse: Susan B. Anthony’s Neighbor in Life and in Death

gradient-div

Section A Vignette # 10

With all the interest in last year’s 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment (women’s vote), Susan B. Anthony and her interment at Mount Hope Cemetery continue to deserve considerable attention. In connection to SBA, I want to mention a woman who was a neighbor of SBA in the Madison and West Main Street neighborhood––a woman who knew SBA and also hosted the famous suffragist at her home. The additional bonus: this woman is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery and her gravesite is in full view of Susan B. Anthony’s grave across the road and less than 100 yards away. No trees interrupt that view. 

Frances Case Morse: Susan B. Anthony’s Neighbor in Life and in Death

Frances Case (Mrs. William B.) Morse (1841-1933) was a native of Sodus, New York. Frances Case married prominent lumber dealer William B. Morse (1824-1904) about 1870 and proceeded to have a large family: seven sons and one daughter. From the 1870s to 1910s, the Morse family lived in a large, brick house (no longer extant) on West Main Street at the northeast corner of Jefferson Avenue. Their home was not far from the large, West Main Street campus of their very successful lumber company, William B. Morse Lumber Company, established in the 1860s and still in business today at their original address, 340 West Main Street, and still owned by the Morse family. 

The Morse’s West Main Street home was also just around the corner from Susan B. Anthony’s home on Madison Street. Bill Morse, current president of the William B. Morse Lumber Company, has told in interviews of the family’s connection with Susan B. Anthony, who visited the Morse’s West Main Street home on numerous occasions.

Frances Case Morse:  Susan B. Anthony’s Neighbor in Life and in Death

Frances Morse often voiced the opinion that she had managed to produce more votes with the help of her 7 sons, than SBA had yet managed to secure for her cause, through public support for the 19th Amendment, which had not yet been passed. Frances Case Morse is interred in the William B. Morse family plot with her husband and most of their sons, five of whom never married. The family plot is in the southern portion of Section A, and faces the west side of Linden Avenue. 

Cynthia Howk