Our roots run deep in our community.
Joseph Morton started practicing law in St. Joseph in 1894.
Back then, the Chicago Times described St. Joe as, “…a modern wonder–a city of 60,000 inhabitants, eleven railroads, 70 passenger trains each day, 170 factories, thirteen miles of the best paved streets, [and] the largest stockyards west of Chicago”. Joseph’s son, William M. Morton, Sr., worked at the firm his whole career, except for two years spent in the Army during the First World War; grandson David joined the firm after rising to the rank of Captain in the U.S. Navy during WWII. Jim Counts became the first non-Morton family member to become associated with the Morton firm in 1968. In 1970, the Morton family firm merged with the well-known Reed family firm. The new firm was called Morton, Reed & Counts. Ronald S. Reed, Jr., was another second-generation lawyer whose career was delayed by, this time, the Korean War. In civilian life, he was politically active; he was the youngest member of the Missouri delegation which helped nominate John Kennedy for President. As a state representative, Ron was instrumental in passing the legislation establishing Missouri Western State College, now University. Our firm has served its clients in Real Estate, Estate Planning, Education Law, Civil Litigation, Banking, Construction, and Business & Transactions, for decades. While most of our work has, as its objective, keeping our clients out of court, when necessary, we are both prepared and have the experience to defend our clients’ interests in court. There are no longer 70 passenger trains, nor are there any ‘Mortons’ or ‘Reeds’ on our staff today. However, their legacy still guides our firm’s values and commitment to our clients.