Morris celebrates centennial

Friday, July 23rd 2004, 10:52 am
By: News On 6

Morris, Oklahoma has a lot to celebrate. The last one hundred years have brought prosperity and hard times.

Bud Reynolds has watched Morris grow up. "I've spent uh 72 years here in Morris." "We lost a lot of old-timers in the last year. The ones that could talk about beyond the '30s."
Reynolds runs the hardware store at the 4-way stop the same operation has been around almost since Morris' beginnings. One of the few businesses that rebuilt after a tornado ripped through Morris in April of 1984.

350 of 500 homes were destroyed 10 people were killed. "You couldn't even come to town for a day or two because there was just highline poles and bricks laying all over."
Tom Daniels says he couldn't believe the devastation left behind by the tornado. He believes Morris might not have come back if not for Bud Reynolds. "If he hadn't rebuilt his building here, it probably never would've come back." "He was kind of a spark plug I thought." "I didn't have any choice. I was going to stay and so I knew that I'd build. But a lot of the business people left." "When the dust settled, most of Morris was gone." "We've been 20 years this year since the tornado, so we were 80 years old when it hit, and the town's been complimented as one of the cleanest towns in Oklahoma, so that's what a tornado does for you."

But the defining moment in Morris' 100-year history only makes its future brighter.