Thomas Morgan is the man with the white beard leaning against the rail on the left side of the ferry. One account says he
lived in a log cabin near the ferry so that he could be summoned when travelers needed to cross the Snake River. Another account
says one of his son's helped him run the ferry toward the end of his ownership.
The Snake River during most of the year was much too wide and unforgiving simply ford across in a wagon. Ferry boats were
employed, especially where the channel was narrower. Thomas Morgan's ferry was located at what is now the Byington Fishing
From the book Ririe Our Hometown: "In about 1898, Elof Nelson....built a ferry about three miles upstream from the town
of Ririe. The ferry consisted of two boats with timbers over the top joining both boats. Planks were laid over the timbers
to create a solid floor. A railing was placed around the outside of the whole ferry. The ferry was placed so that the river
current itself provided the momentum to move it across the river. In 1906, Elof Nelson sold this 'Upper Ferry' to Thomas Morgan.....He
ran it himself for several years."
Thomas Morgan's ferry carried teams of horses and wagons and hauled logs and timber from a sawmill in Kelly's Canyon. It appears,
from this picture, that there was also a stage coach route that used this ferry, perhaps running to Heise and Rexburg from
Many people also ferried for pleasure, as a swimming resort was now at Heise Hot Springs, about three miles downstream (West)
on the North side of the river. Thomas Morgan is the bearded gentleman sitting on the side of the ferry.