When Ruth met John...

When Ruth met John...
When Ruth met John...

Did you know…

Ruth Morton was born Ruth Mount in Yorkshire, England and came to Vancouver via Iowa to meet John Morton, also from Yorkshire, whom she married in 1884. John Morton, who some consider to be Vancouver’s first white settler, was one of the Three Greenhorns (including his cousin, Sam Brighouse, and a friend, William Hailstone), so named because of their “foolhardy” pre-emption (purchase) of 550 acres of timbered land in 1862 in what is now Vancouver’s West End.

After a lifetime of struggle and hard work, John Morton eventually found wealth through lot sales of his increasingly valuable share of this land and spurred by his desire to assist in the growth of Baptist churches in Vancouver, gave generously toward their acquisition and building.  Before his death, he set aside funds for the building of a church in South Vancouver, to be named for his beloved wife, Ruth.  The future Ruth Morton Memorial Baptist Church congregation had been meeting in homes, a store, and then in a tent on the site where the church now stands.

John Morton, Vancouver pioneer, died at the age of 78 on April 18th, 1912. On June 29th, 1912, Ruth Morton laid the cornerstone of the new church which bears her name (completed in 1914) and where she attended until her death in December 1939 at the age of 91.

Compiled from church archives and research by B.A. Woods and J. Badke