Samuel Harris, the subject of this sketch, was born in Union Township, in the western part of Johnson County, Ind., July 30, 1844, and is the son of John and Jane (Province) Harris. The father was born in Kentucky, in 1818, and was the son of Jesse Harris. Jesse Harris was a native of Kentucky, and he was the son of Joshua Harris. Joshua and a brother, while quite young, were left orphans, and were drafted into the American Army during the Revolutionary War. At the battle of Bunker Hill, the two brothers were separated, and the other brother was never heard of after. Jesse Harris served in the War of 1812, and participated in the battle of New Orleans. He removed to Indiana in about 1824, and in 1827, came to Johnson County, and located in what is now Union Township. Joshua, the grandfather, came with the family, to Johnson County, where he died. John, the father, was a farmer, and was quite prominent, holding several public offices, serving for about twenty years as trustee of his township. He died in 1867, holding office at the time. The mother was born in Ireland, near Londonderry, in about 1816, and came to America when quite young, with her widowed mother. They located in Kentucky, and she then removed to Indiana, and the marriage of the parents occurred in Johnson County. She came here to make her home with an uncle, her mother having married a second time. She is now residing in Union Township, Johnson County. To the parents eight children were born, all of whom, save one, survive. Our subject was reared on the farm, and secured a common school education. He remained on the farm until about 1878, during which time he was engaged in buying stock on an extensive scale. In 1878 he located in the village of Union, in the township by that name, where he merchandised and traded in stock, for about three years. He was married December 19, 1867, to Cordelia S. Garshwiler, who was born in Morgan County, Ind., December 30, 1850. To this union two children have been born, one of whom survives. Our subject is quite an active Mason, being a member of Franklin Lodge, No. 107, F. & A. M., Franklin Chapter, No. 65, and Franklin Commandery, No. 23, and a member of the Indiana Consistory of Scottish Rite. In 1882 he was nominated by the democrats of Johnson County, for office of circuit clerk, and was elected by a majority of 475 votes, and removed to Franklin in 1883, taking his position November 1, 1883. He held the office of circuit clerk for four years. January 1, 1888, he engaged in the insurance, pension and loan business in Franklin, purchasing the business of Samuel A. Wilson. Upon his retirement from the office of circuit clerk in 1887, he was the recipient of a gold-headed cane at the hands of the court, bar and officials of Johnson County, as a token of the esteem and respect in which he was held by the members of the same as an efficient officer, good citizen and clever gentleman, and resolutions were adopted and spread on record as follows: Resolutions adopted September 24, 1887, by the court, bar and officers of the Johnson County circuit court, in relation to Samuel Harris, retiring clerk of the court: “It being at this time suggested by the members of the bar, that before the convening of the next session of this court, the term of office of Samuel Harris as clerk thereof, will have expired, the court, on motion of Jacob L. White, appointed Samuel P. Oyler, H. C. Barnett and W. J. Buckingham, to draft suitable resolutions expressing the esteem in which said retiring clerk is held by the court and the members of the bar of this county, and said committee reported the following resolutions: “The committee appointed to draft resolutions on behalf of the court and bar, relative to Samuel Harris, Esq., retiring clerk of this court, respectfully submit the following: First, That during the four years of Mr. Harris’ services as clerk of the court he has displayed in the performance of the duties of that office great industry, promptness and accuracy, and now at the close of his official term we hereby express our acknowledgment of the able and efficient manner in which he has discharged his official duties. Second, That we desire to place upon the records of the court our said acknowledgments and approval, and our sense of his courtesy shown us in the discharge of his duties. Third, That these resolutions be spread upon the records of this court, and a copy furnished Mr. Harris at the close of his official term. S. P. Oyler, H. C. Barnett, W. J. Buckingham, Committee. Which resolutions were received by the court and ordered spread upon the records thereof, which was accordingly done.”

Transcribed by Cheryl Zufall Parker

Banta, D. D. History of Johnson County, Indiana. Chicago, IL: Brant & Fuller, 1888, page 612.