The subject of this sketch was born December 21, 1852, in Bedford County, Virginia, the oldest son of J. L. Harris, a well known citizen of that county. His mother was a Miss Elma Anthony, a Virginian. William attended public school until sixteen years of age, when he went to college at Jackson, Tenn. At the age of eighteen years he began the duties of a clerk in the State of Mississippi, and continued the same until twenty-two years of age, when he spent two years more bridge-building in different portions of the country. In 1880 he went west of the Mississippi and, traveled, following various avocations until 1889, when he settled in Wagoner, Creek Nation, and there went to work as a contractor, which occupation he is now following. In January 1890, Mr. Harris married Mrs. Amelia Percival, widow of the late William Percival, a Cherokee. Mrs. Harris is daughter of Daniel E. Ward, a white man from New York State, his mother being Elizabeth Hildebrand, descended from an illustrious Cherokee stock. She is great granddaughter of the celebrated Granny Ward, the most celebrated woman of her day among the Cherokees. Mrs. Harris is proprietress of the Valley House, the chief hotel in Wagoner, which is well kept and furnished with every accommodation. She is a lady of refinement and culture, and is remarkable for her kind and charitable disposition, while her husband, the subject of this sketch, is regarded as a most popular landlord, being attentive to his guests and altogether adapted to conduct a hotel successfully. Mr. Harris is a man of prepossessing appearance, about six feet high and weighing 160 pounds. He is a thorough sportsman, and delights in his gun, dog and fishing tackle.
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