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Robert Paris Harrison, city manager of Muskogee, was born June 6, 1867, at Oakwood, Illinois, and is a son of W. C. and Nancy (Graybill) Harrison, who were farming people of that state.
He acquired his education in the public schools of his native town and in the district schools near Ladoga, Indiana, and starting out in life on his own account, he became identified, with newspaper interests as a reporter on the Lebanon (Ind.) Pioneer. He was afterward associated with the Michigan City (Ind.) Dispatch and in time became city editor of the Chicago Daily Globe. At a later period he published for seven years the Evening Commercial at Danville, Illinois.
Mr. Harrison dates his residence in Muskogee, then a city of the Creek Nation in the Indian Territory, from July 1, 1902, at which time he was made clerk of the United States district court. His service in that position was thoroughly satisfactory, as indicated by the fact of his reappointment by three different federal judges. While thus engaged, he took up the study of law and was admitted to the bar in 1903. He continued to act as United States district court clerk until 1920, when he resigned to become city manager of Muskogee, the duties of the position now claiming his entire attention.
He is a director of the Commercial National Bank and has been deeply interested in many projects of public importance, serving at one time as president of the park board which constructed Honor Heights Memorial Park.
At Potomac, Illinois, on the 23d of June, 1897, Mr. Harrison was married to Miss Myrtle C. Buckingham and they have become parents of a son, Gordon B., who was born at Muskogee, August 24; 1905. Mr. and Mrs. Harrison are members of the Episcopal church and he is identified also with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and with the Masonic fraternity. He likewise has membership in the Rotary Club and the Lions Club.
During the period of the World war he was chairman of the local exemption board and was president also of the Red Cross. He has likewise served as a member of the, fair board. His interests, however, outside of his business and official duties are in landscape gardening and painting and along both lines he has developed his ability to a high point of efficiency. He exhibited at the Southern Arts Exhibit, held in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1921, and received first prize for landscape at the Oklahoma Free Mate Fair Exhibit in 1920. His skill is far beyond that of the amateur and if he devoted his entire time to the art he would undoubtedly attain a notable position in connection therewith.