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Biography of A. O. Harrison
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A. O. Harrison, a member of an old and honored family that has figured prominently on the pages of American history, is a leading representative of the Bartlesville bar and is now capably filling the office of city attorney. A native of Missouri, he was born in Callaway County, September 25, 1871, his parents being Jilson Payne and Catherine (Bernard) Harrison, the former a native of Kentucky, while the latter was born in Virginia. In the paternal line the ancestry is traced back to General William Henry Harrison, known as “Tippecanoe,” who won fame in the Indian wars of 1812. The paternal grandfather of the subject of this review, Micajah Volney Harrison, represented his district in the Missouri state legislature in the late ’40s and was prominent in public life. He died in 1853 and the state subsequently erected a monument to his memory. His brother, Albert Gallatin Harrison, went from Kentucky to Missouri about 1830 and he also took a leading part in public affairs, being elected congressman from Missouri at a time when that state comprised but two districts. Both Harrisonville and Harrison County were named in his honor and he died in 1836, while serving his second term in congress. The maternal grandfather, Thomas Bernard, traveled in a prairie schooner from Virginia to Missouri in 1836 and in that state he engaged in farming, up to the time of his death. In 1847 M. V. Harrison, the paternal grandfather, took up his residence on adjoining land, subsequently purchasing Mr. Bernard’s farm, which is still in possession of the family. The mother of the subject of this review was but five years of age at the time of the removal of the family to Missouri and she was reared on the family home-stead, there residing for a period of seventy-five years. She was a woman whose many fine attributes of character had endeared her to a large circle of friends and at her death, in June, 1920, the family received floral tributes from many sections of the country, an exceptionally beautiful offering being sent by the Masonic order of Bartlesville. The father was taken by his parents to Missouri when but a year old and on attaining man’s estate he engaged in agricultural pursuits, becoming the owner of a well improved farm situated nine miles northeast of Fulton, Missouri, which is still owned by the family. His demise occurred in 1915. To Mr. and Mrs. Harrison were born ten children, of whom five survive, four being residents of Missouri. In the acquirement of an education A. O. Harrison attended the public schools of Callaway county, Missouri, after which he became a student at Westminster College of Fulton, that state, from which he was graduated in 1896 with the A. B. degree, while three years later that institution conferred upon him the degree of Master of Arts in recognition of his literary work. At Fulton he was admitted to the bar, following which he was an instructor at Centenary College at Palmyra, Missouri, with which he was connected for a year, and then he attended the law department of the University of Minnesota. He next went to Kansas City, becoming a member of the law firm of Chaney & Harrison, and for twelve years successfully followed his profession in that city, during which period he served for three months as special prosecutor under Judge William H. Wallace. In 1913 he came to Bartlesville and has since been identified with the bar of northeastern Oklahoma. His fellow citizens, recognizing his worth and ability, called him to public office and in 1917 and 1918 he served as county attorney of Washington county, while in October, 1920, he was elected city attorney. He is an able lawyer with a comprehensive understanding of the principles of jurisprudence and his legal learning enables him correctly to apply his knowledge to the points at issue. He is discharging the duties of his office in a most efficient and satisfactory manner and his course has received high endorsement from the public and also from his professional colleagues.
On April 24,1902, Mr. Harrison was united in marriage to Miss Anne Sue Batterton, a native of Audrain county, Missouri, and they have become the parents of four daughters, Frances E., Evangeline, Anna Maxine and Ruth B. Mr. Harrison is an earnest member of the Presbyterian. Church and is now serving as one of its officers, while his fraternal connections are with the Masons and the Modern Woodmen of America. His ability has developed with the passing years and he has gained an enviable reputation in a profession which calls for a keen intellect and demands close application, good judgment and a constantly widening comprehension of the relations and responsibilities which go to make up civilized society.
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