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Meyer Morton
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Morton from the 1912 Michiganensian
BornMyer Isakovitz
November 20, 1889
Chicago, Illinois
DiedFebruary 8, 1948
Chicago, Illinois
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materUniversity of Michigan

Meyer Morton, born Myer Isakovitz (November 20, 1889 – February 8, 1948) was an American football player and official and lawyer from Chicago, Illinois.

Early yearsEdit

Morton was born in November 1889 in Chicago. His birth name was Myer Isakovitz.[1] His parents, Martin "Max" Morton and Elizabeth "Bessie" (Schreier) Morton, were Russian Jews, his parents immigrating between 1879 and 1882. They became naturalized U.S. citizens in 1890.[2]

At the time of the 1900 United States Census, the family's last name was recorded as "Isacovitz."[3] At the time of the 1910 United States Census, the family had changed its name to Morton and was living in Troy, New York. the father was employed as a salesman at a dry goods store.[4]

University of MichiganEdit

Morton enrolled at the University of Michigan and received a law degree as part of the Class of 1912. While attending Michigan, he played on the freshman baseball and track teams. He was also a reserve player on the undefeated 1910 Michigan Wolverines football team as a sophomore and a member of the class football team as a junior.[5][6]

Legal and officiating careerEdit

After graduating from Michigan, Morton returned to Chicago and worked as a lawyer there from 1915 to 1948.[7] At the time of World War I, Morton was single, living in Chicago and working as a self-employed lawyer. He was serving as a private in the National Guard, Illinois - 1st Cavalry.[8]

Morton also worked on Saturdays as a game official for the Big Ten Conference for 23 years from the 1920s to the 1940s.[7] After serving as the head linesman a game between Notre Dame and Northwestern in October 1926, Morton was criticized by Knute Rockne who felt that Morton had over-penalized the Fighting Irish team. Rockne recalled it was "the only time in my life I ever got sore at an official" and felt it was unfair that Michigan coach Fielding H. Yost was picking game officials for Notre Dame. In his history of the Michigan - Notre Dame rivalry, John Kryk wrote:

"Meyer Morton, as Rockne well knew, was a Conference man. Worse, a Michigan man. Still worse, a Yost man. Indeed, Morton was a prominent member of the University of Michigan Club of Chicago, and his correspondence with Yost and others dot the Michigan files of the 1920s and 1930s."[9]

Later years and deathEdit

At the time of World War II, Morton was living in Chicago and working for the Chicago Flexible Shaft Co., a manufacturer of electrical appliances that later became known as Sunbeam Products.[10]

Morton died in 1948 in Chicago.

Meyer Morton AwardEdit

During his lifetime, Morton was one of the leading members of the "M" Club of Chicago.[9] In 1925, the club began a tradition of giving an award each year to the Michigan football player who showed "the greatest development and most promise as a result of the annual spring practice."[7] For many years, Morton traveled from Chicago to present the award in Ann Arbor. Beginning in 1948, after Morton's death, the annual award was renamed the Meyer Morton Award.[7]

The award has been presented to many of the legends in Michigan football history, including Gerald R. Ford (1932), Ron Kramer (1954), Jim Harbaugh (1984), and Desmond Howard (1991). A complete list of the past winners is set forth below.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Birth record for Myer Isakovitz, born November 20, 1889, Chicago, Illinois. Father Max Isakovitz, age 29. Mother Besy Shryer Isakovitz. Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois, Birth Certificates Index, 1871-1922 [database on-line].
  2. Census entry for Max Morton (age 60, born Russia, immigrated to US in 1879, employed as manager at a ladies' clothing store), Bessie Morton (age 50, born Russia, immigrated to US in 1880), Myer Morton (age 30, born Illinois, employed as an attorney in private practice), and Bella Morton (age 22, born Illinois). Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Year: 1920;Census Place: Chicago Ward 7, Cook (Chicago), Illinois; Roll: T625_315; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 396; Image: 393.
  3. Census entry for Max Isacovitz (head, born September 1860 in Russia, immigrated to US in 1882, employed as a receiving manager), Bessie Isacovitz (wife, born January 1866 in Russia, immigrated to US in 1882), Harry Isacovitz (son, born June 1887 in Illinois), Meyer Isacovitz (son, born November 1889 in Illinois), Isadore Isacovitz (son, born November 1893 in Illinois), Bella (daughter, born January 1897 in Illinois). Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Year: 1900; Census Place: Chicago Ward 27, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T623_278; Page: 15A; Enumeration District: 832.
  4. Census entry dated April 19, 1910, for Martin Morton (age 49, born in Russia), Bessie (age 42, born in Illinois [sic]), Myer (age 20, born in Illinois), Isadore (age 17, born in Illinois), Bella (age 13, born in Illinois). Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Year: 1910; Census Place: Troy Ward 8, Rensselaer, New York; Roll: T624_1070; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 0057; Image: 328; FHL Number: 1375083.
  5. Michiganensian, Vol 16. 1912. p. 137. http://books.google.com/books?id=RjCfAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false.
  6. "1910 Michigan football roster". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library. http://141.211.39.65/allroster/FMPro?-DB=allrost.fp5&-Format=fbresult.htm&-SortField=name&-SortOrder=Ascend&year=1910&-max=170&-Find.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 "The Meyer Morton Award". University of Michigan. http://www.mgoblue.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/050609aaj.html. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
  8. Draft registration card for Meyer Morton, born November 20, 1889. Ancestry.com. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Registration Location: Cook County, Illinois; Roll: 1503984; Draft Board: 81.
  9. 9.0 9.1 John Kryk (2004). Natural Enemies. Taylor Trade Publications. p. 103. ISBN 1-58979-090-1.
  10. Draft registration card for Meyer Morton, born November 20, 1889, 5 feet, 11 inches, 175 pounds. Ancestry.com. U.S. World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 [database on-line]. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; State Headquarters: Illinois; Microfilm Series: M2097; Microfilm Roll: 203.
  11. "2006 Football Team". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library. http://bentley.umich.edu/athdept/football/fbteam/2006fbt.htm. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
  12. "2007 Football Team". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library. http://bentley.umich.edu/athdept/football/fbteam/2007fbt.htm. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
  13. "2009 Football Team". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library. http://bentley.umich.edu/athdept/football/fbteam/2009fbt.htm. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
  14. "2010 Football Team". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library. http://bentley.umich.edu/athdept/football/fbteam/2010fbt.htm. Retrieved November 6, * 2011.
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