Ira J. Harris. - An experienced man in his particular line of business, Ira J. Harris, of Oswego, is widely
known as president and general manager of W. L. Wallace & Company, Inc. He was born at Fort Johnson, Montgomery
County, N. Y., June 6, 1876, the son of James F. and Eliza (Hempton) Harris.
James F. Harris, born at Cherry Valley, N. Y., died in 1905. He was reared on a farm and for many years managed
and operated a grist mill at Fort Johnson, N. Y. He retired at the age of 65 years and died in 1905. His wife died
in 1911. Mr. Harris served as postmaster of Fort Johnson for four years, and was independent in politics. He held
membership in the Methodist Church. Mr. and Mrs. Harris were the parents of the following children: 1. Elizabeth,
lives at Oswego. 2. Gussie, married C. B. Benton, lives at Perth, N. Y. 3. Delia D., the widow of Zina Case, lives
at Tribe Hill, N. Y. 4. Mary, who died in 1878. 5. Lena, who died in 1878. 6. Nellie, the widow of Frank Woods,
lives at Oswego. 7. Ira J., the subject of this sketch. 8. Grace, married Julius Turner, lives at Oswego.
Ira J. Harris was reared and educated at Fort Johnson and at the age of 15 years was employed as a clerk in the
grocery store of J. E. Marshall, with whom he remained for nine years. He came to Oswego in 1900 as junior member
of the firm of W. L. Wallace & Company, and when the business was incorporated in 1918 Mr. Harris was elected
president and general manager. They are dealers in flour, feeds, grains, and poultry supplies, and have been leading
retail dealers in this section since 1900. The business was originally established in 1856, by H. W. Wallace and
In 1904 Mr. Harris married Miss Bertha Kosbab, the daughter of Ferdinand and Caroline Kosbab, natives of Germany,
both now deceased. Mrs. Harris was also born in Germany. To Mr. and Mrs. Harris have been born six children: 1.
Raymond J., born Dec. 18, 1904, radio engineer with the Frank Richardson Company. He married Miss Arlene Richards,
of Oswego, and they have a son, Edward J., born in 1929. 2. Bertha Ruth, born Nov. 17, 1906, married Wilbur H.
Knapp, lives at Jersey City, N. J. They have two sons, David J., born in 1928; and Walter, born in 1930. 3. Gertrude
Elizabeth, born April 29, 1909, now a student nurse at Yonkers General Hospital. 4. Edith Louise, born May 30,
1915. 5. Ira J., Jr., born Dec. 29, 1916. 6. Edna Irene, born Dec. 30, 1922.
Politically Mr. Harris is a Republican. He is an active member of St. Matthews English Lutheran Church, of which
he is treasurer.
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
Oswego County, NY
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