Thomas Jefferson Harrison is justly accorded a place among the prominent and representative citizens of Pryor, for he belongs to that class of men whose enterprising spirit seeks to benefit others as well as himself. He also advances the general good and promotes public prosperity by his ably managed individual interests. He has excellent ability as an organizer, forms his plans readily and is determined in their execution. This enables him to conquer obstacles which deter many a man and has been one of the salient features of his success. Thomas Jefferson Harrison is a native son of Arkansas, his birth having occurred in Fayetteville, on the 7th of March, 1885. His father is W. W. Harrison, a native of Virginia, and his mother Emma Smith, who was born in North Carolina. His parents went to Arkansas at an early date. They removed to Kansas in 1890, and resided in that state for a short time. In 1891 they went to the Indian Territory.
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In the acquirement of an education Thomas Jefferson Harrison attended the subscription schools of Indian Territory and upon putting his textbooks aside made his initial step into the business world. He opened a news stand in a portion of the post office building, conducting it successfully from 1903 to 1908, when he sold out to go into the jewelry business. Six months later he disposed of that business and purchased the Mayes County Abstract Company, of which he was made secretary. He is now president of the concern and his executive ability, unbending integrity and appreciation of the responsibilities that rest upon him have been salient features in the continued success of the business.
Mr. Harrison has not only advanced his individual interests but has been a dominant factor in the development and improvement of the general welfare. He helped to organize the Mayes County Poultry Association and the Mayes County Free Fair Association and served as the first secretary, holding that position for a period of three years. He was president of the Oklahoma Title Men’s Association in 1919, is president of the East & West Trails Association and a life member of the Oklahoma Historical Society.
Mr. Harrison married Miss Beatrice Fallowell, a Pryor girl and a daughter of Mrs. Mary Fallowell. Their home is a happy one. Mr. Harrison gives his political allegiance to the Democratic Party, in the interests of which he has taken a prominent and active part. At the age of twenty-one years he was elected a member of the city council and he was city treasurer from 1911 to 1921. In that year he was made mayor of Pryor for a two-year term.
Fraternally he is a member of the Knights of Pythias, in which order he has held membership for sixteen years. He has filled all of the chairs in the organization and is now past chancellor commander and deputy grand chancellor commander. He takes an active interest in promoting Pryor’s welfare. During the World war he was chairman of many committees, and of the Liberty Loan drives and was a member of the county Council of Defense. He spends a great deal of his spare time in the study of civic affairs. The library of his home is second to no home library in the state. Such, in brief, is the life history of Thomas Jefferson Harrison. In whatever relation of life we find him in political circles, in business or in social relations-he is always the same honorable and honored gentleman, whose worth well merits the high regard which is uniformly given him.