Miss Annie Morton

"On July 5, 1893 in Beaufort, North Carolina, in a house on Front Street, a school teacher was born. She was given the name Ann Leone. Her parents were David William and Minnie Stanton Morton. She had two older brothers, William Simmons Morton and James Austin Morton. The name Ann Leone gave way to Annie Lee, but the teacher was known as Miss Annie.
Since there was no public school in Beaufort at that time, Annie was taught by her mother, who had been a schoolteacher. Later she attended Beaufort school, and on May 9, 1911, she was one of four in the first class to graduate after Beaufort High School became public. (The other three members of the class were Lessie Arrington, Gladys Chadwick and Sally Duncan.) Annie Morton graduated from North Carolina College for Women in Greensboro, North Carolina and she also took courses in education at Columbia University in New York.

Her first teaching was at Newport, NC. Then she came back to Beaufort where she taught second grade until 1925. That year the principal of Beaufort High School, C.W.E. Pittman, took a position in Marion, NC. Miss Morton decided to teach in Marion also. A short time after her move to Marion she was asked by Mr. Wright, president of East Carolina Teachers College in Greenville, NC, to be Dean of Women at that institution. She accepted and remained in that office twenty-five years. Following her retirement from ECTC in 1950, she returned to Beaufort and continued to teach, this time fourth grade, for another ten years.
After her retirement, Miss Morton continued to live in her house on Orange Street, where she kept up a voluminous correspondence with friends and maintained an active interest in the schools. She remembered all of her pupils and was always interested in what they were doing with their lives. She was an active member of The Friends of the Library. She had been instrumental in helping to establish the very first public library in the town of Beaufort.
Although Miss Morton spent many years of her career in an institution of higher learning, her first love was young children and second grade. She didn’t give her students long homework assignments. Her belief was that short assignments, representative of the work the class was doing, would be sufficient to indicate if the student had grasped the method.
Annie L. Morton died February 3, 1976, a few hours after suffering a stroke, at the age of 82. She was buried in the Morton family plot in Ocean View Cemetery in Beaufort.
"I have written about my second grade teacher. She was my cousin, her mother being my father’s sister. She would talk to me about our grandmother Stanton, whom I never knew. One of her happy memories was that of receiving a treat of brown sugar each time she visited our grandmother’s house (the little house in which I grew up). The brown sugar was kept on hand in a special container, always in the same place. Those were the days before candy became a household staple." - Minnie Stanton Simpson
Miss Annie Morton's pet was a Boston Terrier named Beans. Miss Elizabeth Merwin, who designed the Beaufort plaque, lived around the corner on Ann Street. She created this coat of arms for Miss Annie. Miss Merwin's home was then known as the Jennie Bell House- now the Guy Buckman House. Photo shows Beans at 9 weeks.
A special site has been created for Miss Annie Morton