ZACHARIAH HARRIS. On the 7th of July, 1830, the home of Pendleton and Jane (Mallard) Harris was gladdened by the advent of the subject of this sketch. Pendleton Harris, who was at that time living on a farm eight miles northwest of Greenville, Bond County, Ill., was a native of Tennessee, and a son of Zachariah Harris. The latter was born in North Carolina, and was there reared and married. He removed from his native State to Tennessee, and was a pioneer of that commonwealth, locating on Duck River. He took up a tract of timber land, whereon he dwelt until 1828, when he became a pioneer of this State, journeying overland with his family and taking his household goods with him to his future home on the frontier. He located in Fayette County, where he bought land and improved a farm, upon which he lived until his eyes closed in death.
The father of our subject was a young man at the time of the removal of the family to Illinois. He had been reared to agricultural pursuits, and at the time of his marriage settled on a tract of wild land in Bond County that he had bought. He and his bride commenced housekeeping in a log house in which their son of whom we write was born. After improving quite a tract of land in that vicinity Mr. Harris sold it and came to this county in 1840, and located near Bunker Hill, where he engaged in farming. After a residence there of ten years he removed to Cahokia Township, and buying a tract of wild prairie, built a dwelling and other necessary buildings, and actively worked at improving his land. He is still a resident of the same township, and though he has attained the venerable age of eighty-three years, is still in the enjoyment of good health. Jane Mallard, his wife, was born in Kentucky, where her father, who was a pioneer of that State, spent his last years. The name of his wife before marriage was Savage, and she was a Virginian by birth. She was left a widow with four daughters to care for, and removed with them to Bond County, Ill., of which she was a pioneer. She bought a home there and occupied it until her demise at the age of eighty-five. The mother of our subject was a young woman when she came to this State with her mother. She early learned to spin and weave, and in the first years of her married life made all the cloth in use in the family. She is still living at the advanced age of eighty-two years.
Zachariah Harris was one of six children, he being the eldest, and when a young boy he assisted his mother in her household duties, and also learned to spin and weave. He gained his education in the pioneer schools, and as soon as old enough was set to work on the farm. When he was twenty-two years old he left the parental home to establish one of his own with the capable assistance of Miss Nancy Duncan, his bride, their marriage taking place in 1853. She is a native of Indiana, and a daughter of Nathan and Elizabeth Duncan.
At the time of his marriage Mr. Harris bought forty acres of wild prairie in Cahokia township, and after erecting a comfortable frame house, proceeded to develop his land into a farm, which under his skillful manipulation became one of the best cultivated and improved pieces of property in the neighborhood. In the fall of 1877 he was elected County Treasurer, and removed to Carlinville to enter upon the duties of his office, and has resided here continuously since. In 1883 he formed a partnership with J. B. Liston to engage in the manufacture of brick and tile, and has since been identified with this interest. They have three commodious kilns, two of them with a capacity of 45,600 brick and the third of 22,000.
Aside from his prominence as a business man in this county Mr. Harris has long been a conspicuous figure in its public life, as his undoubted ability and the genuine worth of his character have pointed him out as a suitable man for civic office. For five years he held the responsible office of Treasurer of Macoupin County. For fourteen years he was Justice of the Peace, and he also served as Constable in Cahokia township. He was Mayor of Carlinville for one term, and managed the affairs of the city in a manner most satisfactory to all parties. Fraternally, Mr. Harris is a member of Mt. Nebo Lodge, No. 76, A.F. & A.M. Politically, he is a devoted adherent of the Democratic party, and has been ever since he cast his first Presidential vote for Franklin Pierce.