John Hamilton Morgan, born in Greensburg, Indiana in 1842, moved to Illinois in 1855. In 1862, he enlisted in the Union Army where he obtained the rank of Color Sergeant and served until June, 1865. After the war, he attended Eastman Commercial College in Poughkeepsie, New York, and became interested in a career in education. On a business trip to Salt Lake City in 1867 he founded Morgan's Commercial College. In Salt Lake City he learned about and joined the LDS Church and began a notable career of church participation. He served, first, as part of the Sunday School Superintendency; then as a missionary and mission president; and finally, as a member of the First Council of Seventy. As part of his missionary endeavors in the Southern States Mission, he lead a large group of immigrating converts to San Luis Valley, Colorado, where they established a Mormon colony in 1878. Interspersed with his church activity, Morgan became involved with the territorial government in Utah and became particularly engaged with issues of education, the formation of the Republican Party in Utah, and the push for statehood. During his political career, Morgan was elected as Engrossing Clerk of the Utah Legislature in 1882 and as a member of the Utah Territorial Legislature in 1883 (where he was appointed chairman of the House Committee on Education). He served as a Regent of the University of Deseret in 1884. In 1883 he also organized the first Salt Lake County School Teachers Association. On August 14, 1894, Morgan died at the age of 52 in Preston, Idaho.
From the guide to the John Hamilton Morgan papers, 1845-1986, (J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah)