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Biographical Sketch of Mary Allison Harrison

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In the summer of 1875, Will came West to live 5 miles north of Schaller, in Sac County, and “broke prairie.” Wm. E. Harrison was the son of John and Susan Harrison, born June 6, 1851, at Sigourney, Keokuk County, Iowa. He moved with his parents when a small boy to a farm located near Hopkinton, in Delaware County, Iowa. He returned to Delaware County to be married to Mary Ellen Allison, daughter of Samuel and Emmeline Allison, Dec. 21, 1875.

The spring of 1876, Will drove a team and wagon to his land north of Schaller, Iowa. Mary and her father, Samuel Allison, came to Fort Dodge by rail and on to Sac County by stage. Mary’s father helped build a frame house on the land. Avery Harrison, son of Mary Ellen Allison and Wm. Harrison, was born there Nov. 5, 1876.

On Easter Sunday in 1878, Will and Mary were visiting neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Breach, who lived across the section from them, when, without warning, a cyclone hit! It blew the house away, killing Mrs. Breach and injuring Mary badly. Will was found with a plank across his chest, but not severely injured. When they found Avery, the 17 month baby, he was paddling in the mud, enjoying himself. The Harrison home was also blown away. They stayed with neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Griffeth, until a new house was built for them.

In the spring of 1889, they moved to a farm near Galva. Will purchased land, 80 acres nearby. In 1917 they moved to Galva and resided there until their death. Will passed away March 5, 1931 and Mary on May 7, 1938.

Will and Mary raised six children: Avery Harrison*, Ada Robins, Alice Haworth*, Susan Penrod, William A. Harrison, and Laura Penrod*.


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