The Morris Rifle Club was officially created in December 1925 as a civilian organization operating with the support from the war department to encourage marksmanship with the use of military rifles and pistols. The first meeting in the history of the club was held at Dr. B.F. Eberer's office on a Friday evening. The clubs first officers were elected as the following.
Dr. B.F. Eberer - President
L.R. Woolridge - Vice President
Axel Sidenblad - Secretary
Dr. H.O. Watzke - Treasurer
At the time of its conception the Morris Rifle Club had 38 members.
In 1929 the club purchased 40 acres of land just a few miles southeast of Morris which is now the outdoor range on Hwy 9. It was a very active club from the start with many of the members competing nationally at big bore matches.
In the early 1930's times were tough and the range was almost sold off to one of the members to start a chicken ranch, but the club prevailed. Even in the throws of the great depression we banded together and scraped up the money to pay the taxes.
For many years we received ammo from the military at no cost to educate the members on the use of military arms. Unfortunately due to changes in government policy over the years this ceased quite some time ago. The club is still affiliated with the CMP (Civilian Marksmanship Program) though, which does allow us to purchase select firearms and ammo at a discounted rate. CMP qualification shoots with M1-Garand rifles are still held to this day and I strongly urge our current members to attend these shoots if possible. The history of being able to handle these weapons, " the rifle that won WW II " is something every firearms enthusiast should experience.
The early years saw many big bore matches as we had a bunker with (3) 6x6 target carriers with 6 frames each so we could be shooting almost continuously. Men behind the bunkers could be scoring while shooting continued like you may have seen in the service.
in the 1960's the Lakes Region Galley league was created. Teams from the surrounding areas would gather to shoot .22 rifles indoors competitively during the winter months. Over the years there have been teams shooting out of Alexandria, Barrett, Elbow Lake, Fergus Falls, Glenwood, Graceville, Lowry, Morris, and Wendell. The teams would travel to a different teams home range every week to compete and share a meal afterwards. Sadly due to decline in interest and the difficult proposition of finding a place to shoot, the 2009/10 season only had three teams remaining, including Morris, Glenwood, and Fergus Falls.
The membership of the club has varied through the years, from 25 to over 200 members. At the time of this writing there are approximately 250 members and dues are $20 per year. Your dues grant you full access to the range (with minor exceptions) and serves as your invitation to attend the scheduled shoots.
We ask that all members using the range please clean up when you are done and properly dispose of any targets and brass you may have consumed.
Darek Romberger , MRC Secretary , 4/25/2015
Much of the previous information was gathered from notes taken by Raymond Stork who joined the club in 1948 and served as an officer for over 50 years. Thanks Ray