Joseph “Dode” Morris

VFW Post 1760 |
Obituary Joseph Smith Morris
Newspaper editorial for Dode Morris passing, courtesy of the Mesa Historical Museum (click to read entire article)

Joseph Smith Morris was born on January 3rd, 1891 in Mesa, Arizona to the parents of Hiram B. Morris Jr. and Eliza S. Morris. He was one of the older of 8 children to his parents and grew up where he was born in Mesa. As mentioned before in the previous article, Joseph Morris was known around the Mesa area as “Dode” (pronounced ‘doh-dih’). Prior to his enlistment Dode was a known athlete and baseball player having played in the Junior league in Arizona, Texas, California as well as for his home teams. In 1915 Dode’s father had passed away.

Maxine Dode
Portrait photo of Joseph “Dode” Morris with his daughter Maxine.

On June 5th, 1917 Dode registered for the draft. And on September 19th of the same year Dode was inducted into the United States Army, and left with the Maricopa county contingent for Camp Funston on the same day. Dode selected the field artillery and became a member of Battery C, 340th field artillery and began training at once. On January 5th, 1918 Dode was granted a brief furlough to spend time with family and friends before shipping out. And on January 12th, Dode shipped out from New York for “somewhere in France”. It was known that his brother Lawrence was also in the military service around this time as well.

Dode was killed in action October 21, 1918, 3 weeks before Armistice Day (known as Veterans Day today) leaving behind his mother and his three-year-old daughter, Maxine.

More continued detailed research on the life of Dode is needed and on hiatus for the time being. When we have more to offer in writing here we’ll be sure to post it online (last updated, June 2014).

Contributing references:
– Alice Jung, Manager at Mesa Historical Museum
– Nicole, Librarian at the Mesa Public Library
– Nadia EZZ-Eddine, Saint-Mihiel American Cemetery
– Lisa A. Anderson, Alice C. Jung, Jared A. Smith, Thomas H. Wilson (2008). Images of America: Mesa (pp. 62). Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing