William Dowler Morris

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William Dowler Morris
Mayor of Ottawa
In office
Preceded by Thomas Payment
Succeeded by James Davidson
Personal details
Born August 22, 1857
County Leitrim, Ireland
Died April 13, 1931

William Dowler Morris (August 22, 1857 – April 13, 1931) was mayor of Ottawa, Canada in 1901. [1]

He was born in County Leitrim, Ireland in 1857 and came to Canada in 1877. He became involved in the oil, coal and real estate businesses; he also owned a brickyard. Morris was first elected to city council in 1892. He was forced to resign as mayor after being convicted of drinking after hours at the Russell House, an Ottawa hotel, an offence under the liquor license act. Under Ontario law at the time, the law provided that a violator of provincial law was disqualified from voting or holding public office for a period of two years, and Mayor Morris pled guilty on November 16, 1901. [2]

During his term as mayor, he was instrumental in persuading philanthropist Andrew Carnegie to donate funds for the main branch of the Ottawa Public Library; the city made a commitment to allocate funds for the ongoing upkeep of the library. However, the mayor of the time, James A. Ellis, chose not to invite Morris to the 1906 opening. Morris also served as a transport officer in World War I at the age of 60.

He died in Bermuda in 1931.


  1. ^ Dave Mullington "Chain of Office: Biographic Sketches of Ottawa's Mayors (1847-1948)" (Renfrew, Ontario: General Store Publishing House, 2005)
  2. ^ "Mayor Fined Quits Office", Chicago Sunday Tribune, November 17, 1901, p1
  • Chain of Office: Biographical Sketches of the Early Mayors of Ottawa (1847-1948), Dave Mullington (ISBN 1-897113-17-X)
Preceded by
Thomas Payment
Mayor of Ottawa
Succeeded by
James Davidson