Elizabeth Morse Genius was the first child and only daughter of Charles Hosmer Morse. Charles Hosmer Morse was a prominent industrialist in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and a founder of the Fairbanks Morse Company. Elizabeth inherited a profound family tradition of industry and philanthropy. Though she spent time in Florida, Elizabeth Morse’s life was rooted in Chicago, where she was born in 1872. Her family home was filled with custom-made arts and crafts furniture, Tiffany glass, and paintings by artists ranging from Albert Bierstadt to American impressionists such as Edward Duffner, Guy Wiggins, and John Carlson.
After graduating from school, where she studied music and painting, Elizabeth spent a year in Europe. She followed this with studies at Wellesley College, from which she received a degree in art.
Elizabeth married Dr. Richard Genius in 1905. She gave birth to two children, Richard and Jeannette. The children spent summers on a Vermont farm where they enjoyed the simple pleasures of the countryside. The family “wintered” in Florida, but Chicago was considered their home.
The Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation was established in 1959 by Jeannette Genius McKean in memory of her mother, Elizabeth Morse Genius.
The Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation supports the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art in Winter Park Florida.
Other major recipients of support include Rollins College and other educational institutions, as well as not-for-profit organizations contributing to the quality of life in Central Florida.