Biography of Hon. John B. Harris
Jefferson County, NY Biographies





Hon. John Barnes Harris. - As mayor of Watertown John Barnes Harris is a representative and widely known citizen of northern New York. He was born at Adams Center, N. Y., July 5, 1877, the son of Robert Wallace and Alma (Barnes) Harris.

Robert Wallace Harris and his wife are natives of Point Peninsula, N. Y., and are now residents of Sacket Harbor, N. Y. His entire active career has been spent as a fanner, and for a number of years he was also successful as a breeder of fine race horses, being the owner of "Lucile," a fast trotting mare, who won a gold cup in Madison Square Garden, New York City, as the best gentleman's driving horse in the world. Mr. and Mrs. Harris are the parents of three children: John Barnes, the subject of this sketch; Mrs. Elva M. McWayne, lives at Sacket Harbor, N. Y.; and Mrs. Frances K. Clarke, lives at Yonkers, N. Y.

John Barnes Harris was a small child when his parents removed from Adams Center, N. Y., to Grand Rapids, Mich., where they remained for a period of seven years. He attended the public schools and was a teacher in the district school at Hounsfield, N. Y., from 1895 until 1896. He attended Cornell University from 1898 until 1901, and served as a private tutor from 1903 until 1907 inclusive. Mr. Harris was admitted to the New York bar in 1908, but has never engaged in the practice of law. He was interested in the real estate business at Lewistown, Mont., during 1910, and since 1915 has been the owner of a fine dairy farm near Watertown. Mr. Harris has served as personal advisor to Mrs. Emma Flower Taylor, the daughter of the late Roswell P. Flower, since 1911. He was elected to the office of mayor of Watertown in 1923 and has since held that office. He has also been Republican State Committeeman since 1927, and is president of the Conference of Mayors and Other Municipal Officials of the State of New York.

On Nov. 8, 1915, Mr. Harris was united in marriage with Miss Helen Folsom, at Syracuse, N. Y. She was born at Watertown, and is the daughter of Walter Seeber and Harriet (Cavanaugh) Folsom, natives of Jefferson County. Mr. Folsom lives in Watertown. His wife died in 1897. To Mr. and Mrs. Harris have been born four children: Betty Jane, John Barnes, Jr., Robert Leon, and David Byron. All are students in the Watertown schools.

Mr. Harris has always been a Republican. He and his family are members of the Trinity Episcopal Church, and he belongs to the Rotary Club, Black River Valley Club, and Hounsfield Star Grange.

From:

The North Country
A History, Embracing
Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Oswego, Lewis
and Franklin Counties, New York.
By: Harry F. Landon
Historical Publishing Company
Indianopolis, Indiana 1932


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