Justin Smith Morrill 1810-1898
Born in Strafford Village, Justin S. Morrill was the son of a blacksmith. He entered politics in 1854 serving in the United States Congress for a total of nearly 44 years. As a member of the House of Representatives and later the Senate. Justin Morrill was the chief sponsor of the 1862 and 1890 Land-Grant Acts, the most important pieces of legislation for American higher education in the 19th century. The Acts resulted in more than 100 Land Grant colleges and universities in the United States with many millions of graduates worldwide.
Justin Smith Morrill is buried in the Morrill Mausoleum, located in the town cemetery beyond the 1799 Town House. Also buried there are his wife Ruth, their two sons, Justin and James, and his sister-in-law Louise Swan.
Vermont's First National Historic Landmark
This site includes the Justin Smith Morrill Homestead and seven agricultural buildings all set in a designed Picturesque landscape. Morrill planned the 17-room house, a prime example of Gothic Revival architecture. The Homestead was completed in the spring of 1851. The four original outbuildings were the ice house, carriage barn, horse barn, and a summer gazebo. Many of the original plantings made by Morrill in 1952-1953 survive, including species from Europe and Asia. In 1859 Morrill had the house painted the present shade of pink as an attempt to imitate the appearance of cut sandstone.
The Morrill Homestead is a Vermont Historic Site administered by the Vermont Division for historic preservation.