Velma L. Ross Damoth Photographic collection,   1889, 1927, and undated
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History

Biography:

George W. and Edward W. Morley came to East Saginaw, Michigan, from Painesville, Ohio. They entered the hardware business, specializing in lumber tools, with Anton Schmitz. Schmitz sold his company to the Morley brothers upon his death. In 1882, the Morley Brothers opened a new retail and wholesale store believed to be one of the largest structures ever built in the United States. It consisted of four stories of iron, brick, and plate glass totaling over 100,000 square feet. The business sold hardware supplies, farm implements, lumbering tools, and household goods. It became the second largest hardware, wholesale and retail concern in the nation.

In 1933, Morley supplied $500,000 to the city of Saginaw to meet its payroll during the Great Depression. This generous act of Morley saved the city from bankruptcy. The hardware and retail warehouse caught fire in 1949, which cost half a million dollars in damages and was one of the most destructive fires in Saginaw history. However, Morley rebuilt and continued to expand from Saginaw to Detroit and Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Royal Oak branch was built in 1955 to replace former offices and warehouse buildings of Morley Brothers. The building covered 132,000 square feet and stock included floor coverings, housewares, hardware, and sporting goods. Opened in 1933, the Grand Rapids branch contained two buildings for the storage of home goods and RCA victor and Whirlpool appliances. (This information is from: Morley, R.C, E.B Morley, Burrows Morley. ‘Morley Brothers: from the sawdust Saginaw to the soaring age.’ (Firm, Saginaw, Mich.) and Morley. Our History. http://www.morleynet.com/morley-companies-history.html)

Paul F. H. Morley was Edward's son. For information on him and his family see The Log of the lodge, 1909, 2006 catalog record.

Reuben H. Morley, Paul's brother, was presumed murdered in China in 1905 at the age of 29 by a Frenchman traveling under an alias. The family enlisted help from its political and press connections, and Paul traveled to France to meet with French police. Reuben's body was never found.

The company continues to exist today, although it specializes now in travel and training.