Jacob Haight Morrison, IV

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Jacob Haight Morrison, IV​

(Historical preservationist of the New Orleans French Quarter)

Born March 12, 1905​
New Roads

Pointe Coupée Parish
Louisiana, USA

Died December 4, 1974 (aged) 69)​
New Orleans, Louisiana

Resting place
Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 in New Orleans​

Political Party Democrat
Spouse Mary Meek Morrison (married 1938-1974, his death)​

No children
Jacob, II, and Eloise Yancy Morrison​
Chep Morrison

Religion Roman Catholic

Alma mater:
Louisiana State University
Tulane University Law School​

Jacob Haight Morrison, IV (March 12, 1905 – December 4, 1974), was an attorney, journalist, author, and historical preservationist from New Orleans, Louisiana. He helped preserve the Vieux Carré or French Quarter, which has been designated as a National Historic District, and published a pioneer textbook on historic preservation law.​[1][2]


Morrison was born in New Roads in Pointe Coupée Parish (pronounced COO PEA), to the former Eloise Yancy (1876–1905) of Jonesville in Catahoula Parish, who died the same year that Jacob was forn. Jacob's father, Jacob Haight Morrison, III (1875–1929), was the district attorney of Pointe Coupée Parish. After Eloise's death, he married Anita Olivier, a New Orleans socialite; they had a son, Chep Morrison. Anita became a stepmother to Chep's older half-brother, Jacob.[1] "Chep" became an attorney and politician and was elected as the mayor of New Orleans,, a post which he filled from 1946 to 1961. He ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1956, 1960, and 1963, having lost to Earl Kemp Long, Jimmie Davis, and John J. McKeithen, respectively.​

Morrison earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and his law degree from Tulane University in New Orleans.​ On July 4, 1938, he married Mary Meek (February 2, 1911 - February 26, 1999) of McComb, Mississippi. The couple had no children.​[1]


Before entering his law practice, Jacob Morrison reported on LSU sports for The New Orleans Times-Picayune and was the sports editor of the former Baton Rouge State Times. His two law partners were his half-brother "Chep" Morrison and Thomas Hale Boggs, Sr., a future U.S. Representative for Louisiana's 2nd congressional district, based in New Orleans.​[1]

In the late 1930s, Morrison was elected to the Louisiana State Board of Education, since reorganized and renamed the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. He served in the United States Army from 1943 to 1945 during World War II and resumed his law practice after the war.​[1]

Morrison's work on behalf of the French Quarter came through his presidency of the Vieux Carre Property Owners and Association, Inc., and his leadership in the Friends of the Cabildo. He supported historical preservation by seeking incentives for owners to maintain properties. In 1957, he published his pioneer law textbook on preservation, Historic Preservation Law. He was a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.​[1]

Morrison was a member of the local, state, and national bar associations; Phi Delta Phi national legal fraternity, Sigma Delta Chi, since renamed the Society of Professional Journalists, and the Roman Catholic Church.​[1] ​ Jacob and Mary Morrison are interred at Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 in New Orleans.​[1]

Legacy and honors

  • The French Quarter has received protection as a National Historic Landmark District, as have other significant areas of New Orleans. ​
  • In 1974, two months before his death, Jacob and Mary Morrison received the Louise DuPont Crownshield Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, for outstanding work.​


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Morrison, Jacob Haight, IV. A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography: Louisiana Historical Association. Retrieved on June 1, 2020.
  2. A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography bases its article on Morrison on: Judy Riffel, ed., A History of Pointe Coupée Parish and Its Families (1983) and The New Orleans Times-Picayune obituary, December 5, 1974.

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