Last week Window on the Plains Museum and Moore County lost an “old-timer” and an important part of the museum. His 86-year-old brain was still sharp and could relate stories of the past with great accuracy. Harold Dean Morton served on many county committees and was a member of the museum board of directors since 1991, serving as president during the time land was purchased for the new building.
He was an avid supporter of everything the museum would do and often would stop by “just to see what was going on”. The newest barn holds a collection of John Deere tractors donated by Harold Dean. He also donated a 1927 Ford Roadster Runabout.
Often questions would come up in our research, that Harold Dean immediately knew the answer to.
He served his community and agriculture, serving 48 years on the Moore County Soil and Water Conservation District, Moore County Historical Commission, Moore County Lifestock Association Board, Moore County Farm Bureau Board, Dumas Co-op Board, Rita Blanca Electric Coop Board, Panhandle Regional Planning Commission and the Moore County Fair Board.
He, his brother, Jim Ed, and sister, Genevieve, grew up on the family farm in eastern Moore County. They were the children of William Jones Morton Jr. and Willie Edwards Morton. The family was recognized in 2017 to have continuously owned and operated an agriculture operation for more than 100 years
W. J. Morton Jr. tells the story of the Morton family in a book he wrote in 1966 called Snowstorms, Dust Storms and Horses’ Tails.
The book relates the everyday events of a farm family and many ways the Morton family left their mark on Moore County and the Panhandle area — from heading a committee to build a hospital, to work on controlling wind erosion, to obtaining gas for irrigation to establishing a school in the eastern part of the county.
Moore County enjoys the results of the hard work put in by the Morton family.
We will miss Harold Dean, but will remember how much he enjoyed giving his time and talents to the museum.