The Morrison to which Teller traveled could no longer be said to be part of the frontier West. That region now lay across the Missouri River. Illinois had been a state for well over a generation when he arrived. In fact, Teller had come by train, that new wonder Americans had taken such a liking to in the 1850s.
Located a dozen miles from the Mississippi River, Morrison sat amid some of Illinois's most fertile prairie farmland. It appeared as lush or even richer than any land Henry had seen in New York. The town was situated on the edge of wooded, rolling hills on the north side of the railroad tracks with flat prairie land stretching toward the horizon on the south. Whiteside County was located in the northwest corner of the state and had been one of the last counties to be settled. Nevertheless, it held out great promise for the new, untested lawyer.
Morrison was much less polished than the communities Henry had been accustomed to in New York, but the town showed definite signs of coming maturity. Its newspaper, the Whiteside Sentinel, promised in its first issue (July 23, 1857) to be a “faithful exponent of the interests of the town and county in which it is located.” With the enthusiasm of editorial birth, the editor praised the fertility of the soil, the healthiness of the climate, and, last but by no means least, the county's great agricultural and manufacturing resources, all told “unsurpassed by any territory of like extent in the Union.” Not bad for a town that was only two years old! The