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Jay County Indiana Biographies


BENJAMIN HARRIS, a prominent citizen of Jay County, engaged in farming and stock dealing on section 15, Penn Township, was born in Columbiana County, Ohio, February 7, 1835, a son of Benjamin and Asenath (Whitaker) Harris, natives of North Carolina and Ohio respectively, and of English descent. In 1842 the parents immigrated with their family to Indiana, and settled in Wells County where the father entered a tract of land. There our subject was reared on a frontier farm, amid the scenes incident to pioneer life, remaining with his parents until reaching his majority. In 1859 he went to Pike's Peak, Colorado, crossing the plains with ox teams, and taking fifty-two days to make the trip. He was engaged in mining there for two summers, and in 1861 returned to Indiana and followed farming in Blackford County until he enlisted in the war of the Rebellion in the winter of 1863. He was assigned to Company I, One Hundred and Thirtieth Indiana Infantry, and served in the Western army on detached duty. He was honorably discharged in the winter of 1865, when he came to Jay County, and settled on his present farm on section 15, Penn Township where he has fifty-five acres of choice land. He also has eight acres across the road from his farm, besides twenty-four acres on section 9, of the same township. Mr. Harris was married January 31, 1864, to Miss Sarah I. McDorman, who was born in Penn Township, Jay County, and to them have been born four children -Nellie, wife of Bryon Bunker; Clarence C., of Topeka, Kansas; Albert W. and Arthur A. Mr. Harris devoted his entire attention to farming until 1875 when, in connection with that pursuit he began dealing in stock, and is now one of the largest stock dealers in the county. He is one of the self-made men of the county, having begun life without capital, and by his own industry and good management, became the owner of his fine property, and surrounded himself and family with all the necessary comforts of life. In politics Mr. Harris is a Democrat. For twelve years he has filled the office of constable in a creditable manner. He is a member of the Odd Fellows order, belonging to Relief Lodge, No. 145, of Pennville, and is also a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, a comrade of J.B. Cartwright Post, No. 358.

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