Jackson County

Biography - Francis Harris

FRANCIS HARRIS, who makes his home in Percy, is a stockholder in the Percy Co-operative Creamery Company and also operates a threshing machine and a clover hulling machine in this place. He has the honor of being a native of Randolph County, where his birth occurred September 6, 1845. His parents, John and Amanda (Threlkill) Harris, were natives of Kentucky and Illinois respectively. When a young man the father came with his family to Illinois, locating in Randolph County. He took up the occupation of farming, and followed it continually up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1867. His wife passed away in 1882. They were highly respected people and merited the esteem in which they were held.

Francis Harris obtained his primary education in the district schools near the old homestead, and at the age of sixteen years entered McKendree College, of Lebanon, Ill., where he attended about three terms. On the expiration of that period he returned to the farm and engaged in teaching in the district schools of Randolph County. He was thus emplo3ed for three terms in the public schools and for one terra in a private school. During the summer months he gave his attention to the work of the farm, and when he had reached the age of twenty-two years, he began farming for himself, assiduously devoting his energies to that pursuit for about twelve years. His next venture was in commercial lines. He embarked in merchandising in Steeleville, Ill., in 1880, and successfully carried on a store at that place for four years, when, in 1884, he began operating a threshing machine. He is still in that line of business in Percy, and finds it a profitable undertaking.

An important event in the life of Mr. Harris occurred on Christmas Day, 1867, when was celebrated his marriage with Miss Mary J. Minter, a daughter of Jacob and Anna E. (Rust) Minter, who were natives of Kentucky. The union of our subject and his wife has been blessed with ten children, seven of whom are yet living, as follows: Carrie E., wife of Arthur Goalby, a resident of Percy; Leon H., Leroy, Lulu M., Nellie, Birdie and Grover C. With the exception of the eldest, all are at home with their parents.

Socially, Mr. Harris is connected with the Masonic fraternity, belonging to Alma Lodge No. 497, A. F. & A. M., of Steeleville. In politics he is a Democrat, and takes an active interest in supporting his party and aiding in its growth. He has been honored with some offices, having served as School Director, Justice of the Peace and Village Treasurer. He has also been President of the Board of Village Trustees, and a prompt and faithful discharge of duty has made him recognized as a capable and efficient officer. He is well known in the community in which he makes his home, and is recognized as a public-spirited and progressive citizen. His entire life has been spent in Randolph County, and he is a worthy representative of one of its honored pioneer families.

Extracted from Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois, published in 1894, page 414.

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