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Biographical Sketch of Erastus Harris

Erastus Harris, from Medway, Mass., located in the southeastern part of Nelson, (now in Harrisville), at an early date. He was a carpenter, owned a large farm, and died in 1798, aged eighty-four years. His son, Bethuel, born in 1769, came on about 16 years later, and located at the village. His house was located just on the line between the two towns, though he voted in Nelson. He married Deborah Twitchell, reared ten children, and died in July, 1851. The part he took in the manufactures of the town. has already been spoken of. He was a major of militia, and held many of the town offices. Five of his ten children are now living, viz.: Lavell, born August 25, 1802, in Milford, N. H.; Charles C. P., born here August 20, 1807, has been a woolen manufacturer, postmaster since 1852, represented the town in 1867-’68, and has also held most of the other town offices; Mrs. Mary Hutchinson, of this town; Mrs. Sally Hayward, of Peterboro, N. H.; and Mrs. Lois Prouty, of...

Biographical Sketch of Broughton D. Harris

Broughton D., son of Wilder Harris, born August 16, 1822, married Sarah Buel Hollister, March 24, 1851. He graduated from Dartmouth college in 1845, studied law in the office of Hon. Asa- Keyes, of Brattleboro, and then engaged in the newspaper business, being editor of the Vermont Phoenix for a while, and, for several years, of the Semi-Weekly Eagle. In the spring Of 1851 he went to Utah as the first secretary of that territory, Brigham Young being at that time governor of the same. After he left Utah he was appointed secretary and acting governor of New Mexico, but this appointment he declined. In 1847, ’48 and’49, he was register of probate for Windham county, Vt., and a member of the Vermont senate in 1860 and 1861, being also chairman of the senate committee on military affairs. He was a member of the “Peace Congress,” which assembled at Washington in 1860 and ’61. For a number of years he has been extensively engaged in the construction of railways. Mr. B. D. Harris was one of the incorporators of the Brattleboro Savings bank, has been a trustee from the beginning, and for several years has been, and now is, its president. He was delegate at large from Vermont to the Republican National Convention in 1884. Mr. Harris is of positive, energetic, and self-reliant type, quick to see and prompt to do, punctual in the discharge of all his obligations, straightforward and fairminded, and inspires implicit confidence in those with whom he comes in contact. Liberal and public spirited, he is always ready to promote social order and morality. Concise...

Biographical Sketch of Abner Harris

Abner Harris, son of Abner, came to this town from Woodstock, Conn., soon after 1777, and purchased 150 acres of land, the same being a part of the farm which has long been known as the Harris farm. His children were Abner, John, Perley, Elizabeth, Experience, Esther, Tamar, Deborah, Sarah, Lydia, Mary, Thomas, Zerviah and Dolly. Wilder, son of John and grandson of Abner, was born May 11, 1797, married three times, first, Harriet, daughter of John Davis, in 1817,who died November 2o, 1851; second, Mrs. Nancy J. Wood, of Saxton’s River, Vt., July 5, 1854, who died in December, 1869; and third, Mrs. Mary J. Clark, of Springfield, Vt., July 21, 1871. In his earlier years he was a carpenter, and worked at his trade pretty extensively. Mr. Harris was also interested for sometime in the manufacture of lumber and shingles, in two mills erected for that purpose, on Lily Pond brook, near where it empties into the Catsbane. He removed to Brattleboro in 1865, where he now resides. His children are George Francis, Broughton Davis, Gordis Day, and Urban...

Biography of Dr. Charles Harris

Dr. Charles Harris was born in the eastern part of Mecklenburg county, (now Cabarrus), on the 23rd of November, 1762. He was distinguished as a patriot, a soldier and a physician. While pursuing his studies in Charlotte, the invasion of the town by the British army, under Lord Cornwallis, caused him to exchange the gown for the sword. Accordingly, when a call was made for troops to resist and hold in check the invaders of his country, he joined the corps of cavalry under Col. William R. Davie, and was with that brave and chivalric officer in much of his daring career. After the war was ended he resumed his studies at Clio Academy, in Iredell county, (then a part of Rowan) under the control of the Rev. James Hall. Soon after this classical preparation he commenced the study of medicine under Dr. Isaac Alexander, at Camden, S.C. and graduated at Philadelphia. On his return home, he settled in Salisbury, and practiced there for some length of time with encouraging success. He then removed to Favoni, his family seat in Cabarrus county, where he ended his days. Devoted to his profession he soon became unrivaled as a physician and surgeon. In a short time his reputation was widely extended over the surrounding country, and his skill and success justified this celebrity. He kept up for many years, a medical school, and instructed “ninety-three” young men in the healing art. In his day and generation, good physicians and surgeons (especially the latter) were remarkably scarce–something like angels’ visits, “few and far between.” He was frequently called upon to perform surgical...

Biography of Benjamin Franklin Harris

Benjamin Franklin Harris. Love of land, of peace and industry, cardinal virtues in the lives of men and nations, were ever present influences in the long life of the late B. F. Harris of Champaign County. To say that he left “a good name” as a legacy to his family, is to state only part of the truth. It was a strong name, one that is vital today, and the memory of it has an inspiration to all those who have the resolution and the will to labor in order to secure worthy places in their respective spheres. Without disparaging the remarkable material achievements associated with the name in Champaign County, there is need to emphasize the wonderful virility of the family stock and its permanence. America, and this is particularly true of the Middle West, can show comparatively few families who can take root and grow and flourish generation after generation in one spot. In fact mobility in population has been exalted in some quarters almost to a virtue. Of the Harris family five generations have lived in Champaign County, beginning with the father of B. F. Harris, Sr., and coming down to his great-grandchildren. More important still, each generation has amplified and expanded the interests of the preceding. The word virility is as applicable to the family today as it was when Champaign County was on the frontier. In 1916 there was held a simple ceremony at the University of Illinois, which attracted wide newspaper publicity even at a time when politics and a world war were the absorbing topics of conversation.. This was the hanging of...

Biography of Henry Hickman Harris

Henry Hickman Harris, who followed in his father’s footsteps as a farmer and cattle feeder, and who, accepting the character and principles which his father had introduced into the First National Bank of Champaign at its founding, took it upon himself to apply these principles and broaden them for forty years, was born on the Sangamon Paver farm in Champaign County, where his father first settled. He was born on April 27, 1844, and lived seventy useful years, passing away July 15, 1914. Henry H. Harris was a stalwart citizen and under his skillful hands the fortune of his father had greatly increased and he had managed his varied interests and affairs, including the First National Bank in which he succeeded his father as president, in such a way as to justify his stewardship, and all that came to him in the way of fortune and influence. His good judgment and wise administration carried the bank successfully through several financial panics. He was one of the organizing members of the Illinois Bankers Association and served as its president in 1908-09. He was for many years a member of the city council of Champaign and to his aggressiveness and good judgment the city is indebted for many of its best improvements. He served for a number of years as president of the Champaign County Fair Association and established that organization on a sound financial basis, having taken it in a bankrupt condition. While he was a man of decided opinions and a patriot, he was of a rather retiring disposition, never accepting any political office and refused some possible opportunities...

Biographical Sketch of Newton M. Harris

Newton M. Harris, vice-president of the First National Bank of Champaign, was born in that city July 27, 1872, a son of the late Henry H. Harris and a grandson of B. F. Harris, Sr. He was liberally educated, being a graduate of Yale University with the class of 1895, and for fully a quarter of a century has been actively identified with the interests of the Harris family as farmers, stock raisers and bankers. During his father’s life he shared the responsibilities of vice-president with his brother of the First National Bank, and still fills that post. Newton M. Harris married Mary Bruce Burnham, of the well known Burnham family of Champaign County elsewhere referred to. Mr. and Mrs. Harris are members of the Methodist and Presbyterian churches, respectively. Their three children are Bruce, Barbara B. and Mary Julia. Mr. Harris is a member of the Sons of American Revolution and is a thirty-second degree Mason and a...

Biography of Benjamin Franklin Harris

Benjamin Franklin Harris, grandson of the late B. F. Harris and son of Henry Hickman Harris, was born on the old Harris farm in Champaign County, where his father was also a native, on September 30, 1868. He had of course liberal advantages during his youth and every incentive to make the best of his personal talents. Besides the common and high schools he attended the University of Illinois 1887 to 1889, and in 1892 was graduated from the law department of Columbia University. The law was only part of his preparation for life, not a profession. He returned home to assist in the management of farm lands and business enterprises, and he has continued the work of his father and grandfather as livestock farmers and bankers. From 1892 to 1899 he owned and developed and consolidated all electric street railway, lighting, power and gas plants in the twin cities. He succeeded his father as president of the First National Bank of Champaign, and in 1911-12 he served as president of the Illinois Bankers Association and has identified himself actively with many of its most important committees. He has also served as chairman of the Agricultural Commission of the American Bankers Association, and president of the Conference Committee on agricultural development and education of all state bankers associations. It was he who inaugurated the banker-farmer movement in 1908, and as the organizer of the Agricultural Commission of the American Bankers Association he held the post of chairman for five years. Mr. Harris also organized and edited the Banker-Farmer Magazine, which has a nationwide circulation. In addition to his part...

Biography of Dell E. Harris

Dell E. Harris. In the University district of Champaign there is no merchant better known to the student population and citizens generally than Dell E. Harris, who for over twenty-five years has been in active business as a confectioner. Mr. Harris has succeeded because he has concentrated his energies largely along one line, has studied and worked to develop a product of superfine quality, and has made that product of such a standard of perfection that it now signifies quality and is distributed over a market by no means confined to Champaign or even to the state of Illinois. Mr. Harris was born at Normal, Illinois, June 16, 1870, a son of Zera W. and Julia A. (Dyke) Harris, both of whom are still living. His father was a Union soldier during the Civil War, serving thirty-seven months in Company C., Fifth Illinois Cavalry. There were six children: Frank D., who is engaged in the real estate business at Champaign; Ray R., a physician practicing at Dubuque, Iowa; Ralph M., associated with his brother in the confectionery business at Champaign; Dell E.; Effie Estelle, wife of Professor E. J. Lake, an instructor in the University of Illinois; and Ruth, wife of William Dailey, of Mason City, Iowa. Dell E. Harris spent his early youth principally at Decatur, where he completed the grade school work. He was about sixteen years of age when he engaged in the confectionary business for himself in that city. It was a moderate start, but he did not handle his establishment in a routine and negligent fashion, and in a short time his success was...

Biographical Sketch of Curtis L. Harris

Curtis L. Harris has been a practicing attorney at El Dorado for the past thirty years and during that time had been identified with the business and political movements which have made Butler County prominent. Mr. Harris was reared near Alliance, Ohio. at which place he attended school and was graduated in 1883 from Mount Union Gollege. He began the study of law in the office of Hon. David Fording at Alliance, and was admitted to practice in Butler County, Kansas, in 1887, after completing the then usual course in the law office of Judge C. A. Leland, with whom he afterward formed the partnership which continued for eighteen years. In 1910 Mr. Harris was elected, on the republican ticket, to the State Senate from the Twenty-fifth District. Since the termination of his term of office he had given his entire attention to the practice of law. During his residence in El Dorado he had taken an active part in public affairs, serving as chairman of the County Republican Committee and as member of the City Council and School and Library boards. In 1885 Mr. Harris was married to Miss Mary L. Miller, of North Benton. Ohio. They have one daughter, now Mrs. Frank W. Robison, of Towanda, Kansas. Mr. Harris’ success had been that which comes from adhering to ideals, close attention to business and hard...
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