Biography of Ernest J. Harris
Poweshiek County, IA Biographies





ERNEST JAMES HARRIS.
The records of the successful men of Poweshiek county are doubly interesting from the fact that so many of them won their way from humble positions and today are in the enjoyment of an abundance acquired through their own intelligently applied industry. Ernest James Harris is among those who surmounted great obstacles, and although he started as a boy of seventeen practically empty handed, he is now the owner of a beautiful farm of which he has just reason to be proud. He is a native of Dorsetshire, England, and was born January 6, 1871, a son of James and Elizabeth (Slade) Harris. The parents were both born in the same county as the son; the father November 22, 1835, and the mother December 7, 1838. They were married in England and Mr. Harris spent his entire life in that country, being identified with farming interests. The mother came to America in 1890 and is now living with her sons in Poweshiek county. There were five children in their family: Elizabeth, who is deceased; Thomas A., who engages in farming in Chester township; Frederick, of Brule county, South Dakota; Ernest James, of this review; and Edgar J., of Chester township.

Ernest James Harris received his preliminary education in the public schools of England. In 1887, seeking to take advantage of opportunities presented in the new world, he came to Iowa and began working on the farm of his uncle, George Harris, in Washington township, Poweshiek county. After a short time he went to Grinnell and entered the employment of James Bailey. with whom he continued for two years, and then working under A. G. Williams, of Chester township, for one year. At the end of this time he rented forty acres of land in Chester township which he cultivated for two years, and, having acquired sufficient capital, purchased one hundred and twenty acres in Washington township, upon which he established his home. He makes a specialty of raising hogs and Shorthorn cattle. He has provided the farm with a good residence, barn and outbuildings, and also with all modern accessories and conveniences, and its neat appearance indicates the great interest which he takes in his work.

On the 16th of May, 1894, Mr. Harris was united in marriage to Miss Lula Lillian Patrick, a daughter of Andrew and Gertrude (Spire) Patrick, and eight children have blessed this union, namely: James A., who was born July 27, 1895 and died January 29, 1907; Winifred I., born August 15, 1897; Arthur E., born August 15, 1900; Elsie May, born September 23, 1902; Bessie Luella, born May 15, 1904; Dorothy Irene, born November 6, 1905; Alfred, born April 13, 1907, and died April 21, 1907; and Roy Roscoe, born April 3, 1909. Mrs. Harris was born April 14, 1874, at Jasper county, Iowa. Her mother was a native of New York and was married to Mr. Patrick in New York state. They came to Iowa and lived for several years in Chester township, Poweshiek county, after which they established their home in Jasper county. The father died in August, 1881, and the mother passed away March 2, 1909. He was an earnest adherent of the republican party, and both he and his wife were members of the Methodist church and also of the Grange.

Mr. Harris has been from boyhood a member of the Episcopal church, while his wife is connected with the Methodist church. In politics he supports the republican party and has served to the general satisfaction of the community as a member of the school board. He is an active and helpful citizen, intelligent and progressive in whatsoever he undertakes, and always governed by a worthy ambition to promote to the extent of his ability the best interests of those with whom he is associated. By undaunted resolution and zeal he has won deserved recognition as one of the substantial citizens of Poweshiek county.

From:
History of Poweshiek County, Iowa
A Record of settlement, organization
progress and achievement
By: Prof. L. F. Parker
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1911


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