John Harrison, one of the early pioneers of Douglas Township, Ida County, Iowa, was born in County Monaghan, Ireland, in December, 1824, a son of James and Elizabeth (Clendening) Harrison, natives also of that county. He moved to Scotland with his parents when a lad and was raised and educated there. In 1845, John was united in marriage to Jeanette Stevenson at Argyleshire, Scotland, near Glasgow. Her father was Peter Stevenson.
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In 1855, he came to the United States, locating in New York, but afterwards he engaged in a sawmill for J. Irvin at Savanna, Carroll Co., Illinois. In 1864, Mr. Harrison enlisted in the Civil War, in Co. C, Eighth Illinois Cavalry. He was wounded in he cheek and honorably discharged at Benton Barracks, Missouri, after the close of the struggle.
In 1868, he took a pre-emption claim on Section 2, Douglas Township, Ida County, Ia., and at that time Douglas Township only had 6 votes.
He went to Sioux City, Iowa, with ox team to mill; often killed deer where Holstein, Iowa, Ida County, now stands. There was only one family between his home and Ida Grove.
Mr. Harrison’s house was the stopping place for travelers, and was also a stage station. The Sioux river flows through the farm, and Mr. Harrison is engaged in general farming and stock-raising. He has a registered shire horse.
Jeanette and John had 6 living children: Elizabeth, Thomas, Mary Jane, David, Addie Geddes (a successful teacher of Washta, Cherokee Co., Iowa), and Mathew M. (an artist and painter by profession). They lost one son, James, at Savanna, Illinois.
He was a member of the G.A.R., William Baker Post No. 298 of Correctionville, Ia.