Among the beautiful homes of Bunker Hill township is that of George F. W. Harris, one of the well known and prominent residents of this locality, who is now living retired, having reached the eighty-fifth milestone on life's journey. He was born in County Cork, Ireland, in 1826, and in his native country was reared to manhood and there acquired his education. When old enough to enter the business world on his own account he took up farming as a life work, and was thus engaged in his native country until twenty-four years of age. Intelligence then came to him of the superior advantages offered to an ambitious and industrious youth in the new world, and, determining to seek his fortune on this side of the Atlantic, he left Ireland in 1850 and came to the United States.
In the following year he located in LaSalle county, Illinois, where he resided upon a farm for two years, and in 1853 he arrived in Macoupin county, which has since remained the field of his activity. He yet continues his residence upon the farm upon which he first located after coming to this county and which, in its present excellent state of cultivation, bears no resemblance whatever to its former condition. When it came into his possession it was an unbroken tract of prairie land, covered by native grasses and unknown to harrow or plow, and something of the industry, energy and perseverance which characterized his efforts during the intervening years, is manifest in the fact that today it is one of the most highly improved and valuable properties in Bunker Hill township or this part of the county. In its midst he has erected a beautiful dwelling, fashioned after the style of old English homesteads. As the years have come and gone prosperity in substantial measure has come to him, and he is now able to live retired from active life, leaving the cares and responsibilities of his estate to younger hands.
Ere leaving his native country Mr. Harris was united in marriage to Miss Maria Jamison Barry, who was also born and reared in County Cork, and with her husband came to America in 1850. Unto them were born eight children, but of this number only four survive, namely: George F. W., Jr. assisting his father in the operation of the home farm, superintending the actual work of the place; Abel, also at home; Maria Joyce and Sallie J., the deceased wife of William Tuttle, of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Since its organization Mr. Harris has been a stalwart supporter of the republican party, although he has never sought nor desired public office. His career has ever been actuated by high principles and today, at the venerable age of eighty-five years, he can look back upon a life of honorable activity which he has lived to good purpose.