Illustrated Atlas Map of Menard County, Illinois 1874
Published by W.R. Brink & Co., of Illinois


John B. Harris
Page 35

The grandfather of John B. Harris, Isham Harris, was an emigrant from England, and on his arrival in this country settled in Virginia. He was yet single, but married in Virginia, and soon after removed to Jefferson County, East Tennessee. He took an active part in the Revolutionary struggle. He raised a family of seven children, of whom Samuel Harris, the father of John B. Harris, was the third.

Samuel Harris followed farming, his father's occupation, and it was on a farm in Blunt County that John B. Harris was born, January 3, 1798. His mother's maiden name was Margaret Rankin. He remained on his father's farm till 1817, when, November 27 of that year, he married Mary, the daughter of James and Margaret Officer.

He then purchased a hotel stand on the Cumberland mountain, half way between Knoxville and Nashville, and remained here more than seven years, when he sold out and moved to Overton County, Tennessee. He was here occupied in farming until 1829, when he removed to Illinois, locating near Jacksonville. His property on his arrival consisted of two head of cows, three head of horses, and twenty dollars in money. He rented land till he had accumulated enough money to buy a farm of his own, which required about six years. His success in life was then assured. He continued in Morgan County till 1845; and then disposed of his farm there and came to Menard County, where he bought the land which is his present home.

He has raised a family of seven children, who in the order of their birth are as follows: James O., Margaret C., Nancy Rankin, Salina E., Jane Gillespie, Sarah C., and Thomas H. Two of the Daughters are deceased, Jane, who died at the age of seven, and Nancy, who was the wife of James Post, of Morgan County.

In his early days Mr. Harris was a member of the Democratic party, but on the veto of the National Bank Bill he became a Whig, and, after acting with that party till its dissolution, he joined the Republican party on its organization, and has ever since been an active supporter of its principles. Though not a member of any particular denomination, and giving his adherence to no particular creed, he is nevertheless a strong believer in the fundamental doctrines of Christianity. He has been a liberal supporter of schools and churches, and all benevolent enterprises have always found him ready to give a helping hand. Arriving in Illinois at an early period of its history, he has watched its development and growth, in which, indeed, he has borne an honorable part. He has been a useful member of society. With nothing to rely upon but his own industry, he has secured a comfortable position in life, in which, esteemed by all who know him, he can enjoy the fruits of a well-spent and honored life.

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