This is a memorial to an
outstanding geologist of the Wichita area. In mid-life, because of
strong religious convictions, he changed direction and followed a course
that was to eventually lead to the ordained ministry.
Jim was born in Bryan, Oklahoma
just 15 miles north of the Texas border into a family with deep Texas "roots"
going back to a grandfather who had homesteaded in Texas. Jim moved
with his family to Oil Hill after his father left farming in Oklahoma to
find employment in the oil fields. The family arrived just in time
for the "boom" and their first housing was in a converted railroad car.
The family included two sisters:
Imogene, a nurse in El Dorado, is deceased, and Joyce Klingensmith who
resides in Duncan, Oklahoma.
Jim graduated from El Dorado High
School in 1941. he then attended Butler County Community College
for one and a half years until he volunteered for the army and was accepted.
Because of his sufficiently high scores when he completed basic training
at Camp Rogers, he was sent back to college at Stanford University and
later Santa Clara University.
He elected to return to regular
army duty and was soon shipped to the European theater. Jim saw considerable
action as his armored unit chased the Germans across Western Europe.
He later returned to California and was discharged in 1945.
While on furlough, Jim met Pauline
Mattix and they were married in Nowata, Oklahoma prior to his departure
for overseas duty. Pauline and Jim had three children: Fred now living
in Seattle, Matt who resides in Overbrook, and Stephanie Patty of El Dorado.
After his discharge, Jim returned
to Kansas and because he played football at El Dorado High School and Butler
County Community College he was recruited by Ralph Graham to play at the
University of Wichita. Jim soon determined that it was going to take
too much time from his studies. It was at this time that he enrolled
During his senior year at the university
Jim worked for Sohio Petroleum and following his graduation in 1949 he
found employment with Cities Service Oil at Great Bend. After approximately
on year with Cities Jim returned to Wichita with Petroleum Inc. Subsequently
Jim entered the consulting field and many of his prospects were jointly
developed with his longtime friend and colleague, Bob Watchous. Later
Jim was a partner in a core-drilling operation with Jim Doneldson with
the company titled "Cowboy and Indian."
As stated in an article by Ray King
"Morris, an geologist, asked Christ into his life in 1952 and promptly
began studying the scriptures. He read through the entire New Testament
once each month in his first year as a Christian."
In 1956, Jim first became involved
with the Navigators, an association he was to continue for the rest of
his active life. Jim has worked with a number of individuals in the
Wichita are to help them grow in their Christian life.
Thus a man who pursued a career
as a geologist and was a successful "oil finder" transitioned into an active
ministry particularly in association with the Wichita Bible Church.
As stated earlier, Jim put his "heart and soul" into whatever he did.
Whether it be geology or religion he has added to our knowledge of both.
The world has been a better place as a result of Jim Morris's life with
A memorial has been established
with the Wichita Bible Church and the Navigators.