Morrow Mountain is named for James McKnight Morrow. His gift of land helped create Morrow Mountain State Park in 1939. Before it was Morrow Mountain it was known as Naked Mountain.
Where the Uwharrie River joins the Yadkin River the two form the Pee Dee River. John Kirk and his descendants owned a ferry that crossed along this dividing line of Yadkin and Pee Dee. The ferry landed on the west side of the river at what is now the Morrow Mountain State Park boat access. Along with the ferry the Kirk's owned an inn. The Kirk Inn sat on a hill that is now crossed by the park's Three Rivers Trail. From that hill one can look across the Yadkin-Pee Dee and up the Uwharrie.
In 1883 David Tillman Lowder bought the Kirk Inn and ferry. On February 19th, 1884 the Great Southeastern Tornado Outbreak also known as the Enigma Outbreak swept across the southeastern United States. That night the Kirk Inn was destroyed.* David Tillman Lowder's wife Ellen Austin Lowder died a few days later as a result of her injuries. Two daughters, Becky and Josephine, were badly injured. Becky had a broken jawbone and Josephine had a broken hip. The trees on top of Morrow Mountain were blown down leaving it naked.
There is an account in the Carolina Watchman February 28th, 1884. In the second column there is a mention of the "plaintiff cries" coming from the Kirk property that was across the river in Stanly County.
Here is another newspaper report, this one from the Charlotte-Democrat February 29th, 1884. It can be found at Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
Local author Fred T. Morgan wrote this article for the Stanly News and Press in the 1950s.
* Information about these injuries is taken from page 62 of Our Children's Heritage by Alberta Boggan.