Pages 267-268, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




T. B. HARRISS, who is numbered among the veterans of the Civil war, and is now one of the esteemed residents of Allen County, was born on the 12th of October, 1826, near Nashville, in Holmes County, Ohio. He is a son of Jonathan Harriss, who was born in Brooks County, Virginia, in 1801. His great grandfather, John Harriss Sr., was of English birth, and came to America during the war of the Revolution. He then joined the American army and valiantly aided in the struggle for independence. His wife was a native of Scotland. Their son, John Harriss Jr., was born in Maryland, and became a farmer by occupation. He aided his country in the war of 1812, mainly acting as scout and guide. He, too, married a Scotch lady, who became a resident of Maryland during her girlhood. They removed to Brooks County, Virginia, where the father of our subject was born, spending his boyhood days on a farm in the Old Dominion. The latter acquired an education such as the common schools of that day afforded and at an early period in the development of Ohio removed thereto where he worked at the carpenter's and shoemaker's trades for about thirty years. In early life he voted with the Whig party, but joined the Republican party upon its organization. He married Sarah Birden, who was born in Rhode Island, in 1805, a daughter of Thomas Birden, who was also a native of Rhode Island and was a sea captain. Jonathan Harriss passed away at his home in Ohio in 1877. In his family were the following named: T. B., of this review; Bradford and John W., who died during the Civil war; Allen, of Mansfield, Ohio; Henry, who is living in Nashville, Ohio; Mrs. Lucy A. Gill, who died leaving a family in Nashville, Ohio, (one of her sons being a banker in Millersburg, that State); and Mrs. Abby Remington, of Nashville, Ohio.

On a farm in Holmes County, Ohio, T. B. Harriss spent his boyhood and youth and conned his lessons in an old log school house, where the curriculum was limited aud[sic] the method of instruction was of primitive character. He entered upon his business career at the age of twenty-two upon a farm in his native county, and later he engaged in business as a railroad contractor. Next he purchased a sawmill, which he operated for five years, after which he sold that property and engaged in the stock business until after the inauguration of the Civil war.

When the country was calling for the support of her loyal citizens to aid in the preservation of the Union, he enlisted in Company H, Twenty-third Ohio Infantry, and with that command served during the years 1861-2. In the latter year he was wounded, and in consequence was discharged, but after his recovery, in the fall of 1863, he re-enlisted, joining the boys in blue of Company G, of the One Hundred Second Ohio Infantry, with


which he was connected until after the stars and stripe were planted in the capital of the Confederacy. His regiment took part in the engagement at Murfreesboro and was afterwards stationed at Nashville, Tennessee. He received an honorable discharge in Louisville, Kentucky, in November, 1865.

On the first of February, 1849 Mr. Harriss had been united in marriage to Sabrina Gray, who was born in Erie County, Pennsylvania, August 8, 1824, and is a sister of Hiram P. Gray, of Iola, Kansas. Her people were natives of Connecticut. To Mr. and Mrs. Harriss have been born ten children, but only three are now living: Jonathan E., an engineer on the Santa Fe railroad, now residing in Winfield, Kansas; Mrs. Laura Kirkland, of Wichita, Kansas, and Mrs. Lovie E. Hill, who is living in Iola.

Mr. Harriss cast his first presidential vote for William Henry Harrison, and was a supporter of the Whig party until he joined the ranks of the Republican party, of which he has since been an earnest advocate. Since 1857 he has been a member of the Masonic fraternity and in his life has exemplified its beneficent principles. He has passed the seventy-fourth milestone on life's journey, but still maintains an active interest in affairs of general importance, and is a valued citizen, of Allen County.

Previous | Home | Next