About Our Founder
Born on September 5, 1918 to Ethel and Howard Clark, Margaret “Peg” Clark Morgan grew up in Kent, Ohio, where she lived with her parents, her younger sister Eleanor, and grandmother Lucy Brown Clark.
History — Connection to John Brown
Peg is the great-great granddaughter of Owen Brown, the father of abolitionist John Brown. As a young girl, Peg heard stories from her grandmother Lucy about watching Jeremiah Brown (Lucy’s father) loading guns in casket wagons in their Hudson backyard to go secretly to Harpers Ferry to his brother, the abolitionist John Brown.
Peg’s father, Howard Clark, was a respected mason who built their home in Kent and many of the Kent State University buildings. He meticulously kept the records from the John Brown era and passed them on to his daughter. Today that collection of John Brown history finds a home in the Hudson Library and Historical Society.
In 2009, for John Brown’s 150th anniversary, Peg at 91 years old, began personally sharing the book “John Brown, His fight for freedom” with school children in Akron and Hudson classrooms. In December 2010, at age 92, she was voted Hudson Citizen of the Year for her contribution of the John Brown archives to the library.
Hobbies — Baseball and Fashion
In addition to passing along his collections of John Brown history, her father Howard also shared his love of baseball with Peg, especially the Cleveland Indians, while listening to games broadcast over the radio together.
Peg’s mother taught her how to sew, and Peg handcrafted her own fashionable clothes all through high school. She graduated from Theodore Roosevelt High School in 1935 as valedictorian and “most versatile” student. Her family was not able to afford college, but she was awarded a one-year scholarship at Kent State University where she studied fashion and business. Living at home Peg worked and earned enough money to transfer to and graduate from Miami (of Ohio) University.
Love and Career — Goodrich and the “Hamburg Sizzler”
With her business degree in hand, Peg became executive secretary for George Vaught, vice president of Goodrich in Akron in 1939. Soon after, she met and began dating Burton “Burt” D. Morgan, an engineer in the synthetic rubber department. A review of love letters between them during their Goodrich employment and courtship from 1940-41, reveals she was quietly working on Burt’s personal research and typing up letters and reports to assist him in several entrepreneurial ventures. In 1941 they were married, and for the next 52 years, Peg’s first priority was to support him becoming successful in all of his business activities.
During 1952 while living in Troy, New York, Burt invented a metal disc originally meant to keep small children from accidentally opening the back door of a car. Repurposed as a tool to cook hamburgers in the oven, Peg was persuaded by Burt to sell the “Hamburg Sizzler” as a trade-off for a trip to New York City. Much to his surprise, Peg sold the invention to Macy’s Department store and returned from her trip with a purchase order for 10,000 Hamburg Sizzlers!
Family — Growing Roots in Hudson
In 1959, the Morgan’s and their three children moved to Hudson where Peg’s great-great-grandparents settled in 1805, just six years after David Hudson established the town. Burt began a start-up dubbed Morgan Adhesives in Stow, Ohio in 1960, and together, they raised their family and developed deep ties to the Hudson community.
In 1967, Peg’s husband established the Burton D. Morgan Foundation investing in and elevating the study of entrepreneurship. Peg was especially pleased when the Foundation gave the City of Hudson a grant for a community bandstand. Once completed she never missed a Sunday night concert during the annual Hudson Summer Music Festivals and was seen tapping her feet to the music with her closest friends.
For most of her married life, Peg was the quiet but steady woman behind Burt supporting him as he built his multimillion-dollar company and foundation.
Legacy — A Foundation is Born
On April 6, 2001, the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation, named in Peg’s honor, was founded. Though she admitted to feeling somewhat overwhelmed, she was grateful to have her own foundation to support her interests fully.
She created and empowered the foundation that bears her name to carry her philanthropic vision, hope, and dreams.
— William Currin, former Hudson Mayor
And through us she leaves her legacy.
Peg passed away peacefully with her family on Sept. 22, 2013.