The name Morris appears in a couple of neighborhoods in the Bronx. In the second part of our series exploring the history behind neighborhood names in the city's northern-most borough, we find out just who these Morrises were. NY1's Erin Clarke filed this report.
Years after Jonas Bronck left the place that would be named after him, a family originally from Momouth County, England bought his land.
"Richard and Lewis Morris came from the island of Barbados. They were sugar planters," says Angel Hernandez of the Bronx County Historical Society.
"They owned the Southwest quarter of today's Bronx. They gave it the name the Manor of Morrisania," says Bronx borough historian Lloyd Ultan.
Lewis had a son named Lewis. He would become New York colony's first native born judge and go on to be the first royal governor of the colony of New Jersey.
Then came another generation of Morrises.
"Another Lewis Morris, who did nothing in his life but sign the Declaration of independence, and his half brother, Gouverneur Morris...He was one of the principal framers of the constitution of the United States," Ultan says.
Gouverneur's son, Gouverneur II, was responsible for creating what is still the only deep water port in the Bronx.
"He took this little island off of their estate called Stony Point and attached it to the mainland and called it Port Morris and it became this industrial village," Hernandez says.
The family that settled in what would later become known as the south Bronx weren't the only Morrises to have neighborhoods named after them, though. A couple of hundred years later, another Morris would come to what is present day Morris Park.
"John A. Morris, who was an entreprenuer of sorts. When the Jerome Park Reservoir and the Jerome Park Racetrack closed down, he was encouraged to build another track," says Tom Vasti, vice president of East Bronx History Forum.
In a huge tract of land bounded by present day Bronxdale Avenue, Pelham Parkway, Williamsbridge Road and the railroad tracks at Sackett Avenue, John Morris from Louisiana built what was to become the country's premiere race track.
"The Belmont stakes was run at Morris Park from 1890 until 1904," Vasti says.
But the Morris Park Race Track's heyday was short lived, and now, like much of the old Bronx, the only remnants are pictures and the occasional horse shoe folks who live round these parts find buried in their backyards.