Thomas Harrison Family
By Vivian Harrison Wier
Thomas Harrison, born in 1822 at Syracuse, New York, was an adventurous young man. In 1839, at the age of seventeen, he sailed to Indianola, Calhoun County, Texas. On September 27, 1848, Thomas married Margaret Smith, who was born on May 4, 1833 in Frankfurt, Germany and arrived at Indianola with her family, the Henry Smiths, as a young woman.
Captain Harrison became a ship's pilot and sailed along the Gulf Coast, and he and Margaret lived at Decrow's Point on Matagorda Island [Peninsula]. They were the parents of seven sons and one daughter, all born at Decrow's Point. Thomas, Jr., was born on July 21, 1849 and died in June of 1915 in Victoria.
Adoline Margaret was born on March 1, 1853, and married first Martin Reynolds on July 4, 1876 and second, Joseph G. Forrestier on January 4, 1883. She died on November 10, 1900 on Matagorda Island.
Francis was born on May 2, 1855, and married Christine Katherine Schmidt, who was born on August 16, 1880 and died on June 22, 1922. He died on June 22, 1922 in Cuero.
Joseph H. was born on September 25, 1857 and died on September 7, 1917 and was buried in Beeville, Texas. On July 26, 1889, the first engine of the Gulf, Western Texas and Pacific Railroad reached Beeville with conductor Joe Harrison in charge. William was born on January 26, 1857 and died on May 12, 1872 in Indianola.
Robert was born on January 20, 1859 and died September 30, 1927 in Orella, Nebraska and was buried in Chadron, Dawes County, Nebraska. He married Sarah Elizabeth McIntyre.
Henry was born on January 16, 1861 and died in California.
Benjamin was born on January 2, 1863 and married first Mary Ann McIntyre in 1885 and married second Marie Peterson on June 12, 1917. He died on November 27, 1935 in Oelrichs, Fall River County, South Dakota and was buried at Chadron, Nebraska. Benjamin was inducted into the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oelrichs, South Dakota.
During the Civil War, Union troops landed at Decrow's Point. Francis Harrison was driving cows home when he was approached by a group of Yankees. They killed the cattle, dug the family's potatoes, took everything edible from the garden and house and left the family destitute. The family members were taken as prisoners to New Orleans, Louisiana. On the way to New Orleans, the ship lost her bearings. The Captain of the ship, St. Maries, could not steer a correct course because the compass deviated too far. Captain Harrison told the captain of the St. Maries that he was also a ship's pilot and navigator who knew these waters and would put them back on course if they would not harm his family. The captain of the ship agreed and let Thomas Harrison try his skill. The first thing Captain Harrison did was to ask that all guns and bayonets be moved to the other end of the ship. The ship was easily returned to its course as soon as the weapons were moved. The compass had been affected by the presence of the metal in the weapons.
Margaret Smith Harrison died on October 24, 1866, the victim of a cholera epidemic. She was buried in the Indianola Cemetery. Adoline, thirteen years old and the only girl in the family, tried hard to take her mother's place in the home. She saw that Henry, Francis, William and Ben went to school by skiff from Decrow's Point to Indianola. Their teacher was Eudora Moore.
In 1868, Captain Harrison married a woman named Jennie. By that time, several of the boys had left home and were working at different jobs. Captain Harrison and Jennie had three children: Ione Louise (January 26, 1869-September 16, 1875); Waldo Willard (February 24, 1870-September 16, 1875); and Paul Ralph (June 15, 1872-September 16, 1875). Jennie died on October 8, 1873, leaving Thomas with three small children.
On September 16, 1875, a hurricane hit the Indianola area, destroying almost everything in its path and drowning many persons. Among those drowned were Captain Thomas Harrison and his three small children.
Adoline was married on June 29, 1876 to Martin Reynolds. They had two sons, Edward Martin (November 27, 1877-September 19, 1942) and James Frank (September 2, 1879-January 16, 1958). She was pregnant with her third child when her husband and a friend left to purchase a new boat. Martin was carrying gold to pay for the boat. They never returned. It is not known whether they ran into a storm or were robbed and murdered at sea. Adoline gave birth to her third son, Martin, on December 30, 1882. Adoline Harrison Reynolds married second Joseph Forrestier, a lighthouse keeper on Matagorda Island. They had three daughters: Adoline Margaret (1885); Christine Mable (December 18, 1887); and Mary Josephine (October 7, 1889). Adoline died on November 10, 1900.
Historic Matagorda County, Volume 1, pages 216-217
of eight children,
born to Thomas Harrison
and Margaret Smith Harrison on May 2,
Decrows Point, Matagorda
County, Texas. His
born in Syracuse, New
in 1822, and his mother,
Francis"Frank" Harrison married Christine Katherine Schmidt on August 15, 1880, in the home of her parents, the Fredrick Schmidts of Cuero. Christine's mother, Katherine Fuchs Schmidt, was a young girl when she made the three months trip from Rouhenthal, Germany. Her father and brother died during the crossing and were buried at sea. Katherine and her mother landed in Powderhorn, later known as Indianola, in 1855. In 1860 Katherine Fuchs married Fredrick William Schmidt at Indianola, and they made their home there until the 1875 storm. They moved to Cuero, Texas, soon after the storm. Katherine and Fredrick were the parents of nine children. Christine Katherine (January 27, 1861 - March 28,1946); William (September 25, 1863); Louisa (September 26, 1866 - September II, 1943); Emma (January 21 , 1869 - January 7, 1957); Eleanor (January 12, 1872); George (February 22, 1875 - January 21, 1930); Bertha (February 15, 1877 - July 30, 1962); August (April 23, 1879 - March 16, 1959); and Frank (May 10, 1884 - May 14, 1940).
Frank Harrison and Christine Harrison ran a meat market, but by 1894 there were five meat markets in Cuero and he realized he should move to a location where meat markets were not so numerous. Frank Harrison and his son, Francis "Frank" Thomas, came to Bay City in 1901, and roomed with the J. T. Bond family until a home could be bought. Christine Harrison and children moved from Ganado to their new home at the corner of Fourth and Peach Streets in Bay City. Frank Harrison and Sons Meat Market was established and was operated by the family until Frank Harrison's death. Mr. Harrison and son, Archie, stayed in the market while Frank Thomas went out to purchase livestock for the market. Frank Thomas was only fourteen, but he was capable, since he had begun buying livestock at the age of twelve. From time to time, most of the Harrison boys worked in the market. Fredrick "Fred" worked for a short time during 1920, Robert and Archie also worked there. When Benjamin was old enough, he too learned the trade and made this his occupation. Earl moved to Beaumont to work and lived there until he retired.
Frank and Christine had eleven children: Fredrick William (August 17, 1881 - January, 17, 1975) married Nancy Truitt (August 17, 1904 -); lone Louise (July 1, 1883 - December 6, 1964) married William G Stubbeman, Archie Royal (February 5, 1885 - August 9, 1963) married first Margaret Elizabeth Walker on January 25 , 1907, and married second Ellie Suggs on November 28, 1943; Francis Thomas (March 8, 1887 - May 29, 1961) married Margaret Snadden Smith on September 24, 1913; Eleanor Katherine (December 26, 1888 - January 14, 1979) married Edgar Arthur Louderback on August 10, 1913; Robert Leslie (January 26, 1890 - October 4, 1952) married Nina Clair Phillips on November 24, 1915; Bernice Estell (November 13, 1892 - November 15, 1980) married George William Reed on June 28,1916; Katie Lee Margaret (November 9, 1894 - June 30,1919) married Ernest Duke MacManus on June 30, 1919; Adelyne Ruth (December 4, 1896- September 24, 1979) married Willis Waren Stacy on December 16, 1918; Benjamin Ralph (April 29, 1900 - December 5, 1953) married first Gertrude Isabel Eidlebach on July 26, 1919, and married second Flora Gladys Head on March 22, 1926; Earl Arlington (March 18, 1903 - 0ctober 7, 1973) married Mae Law on September 21, 1922.
In 1920, Frank Harrison's health began tofail. His sons continued to run the market for the family In early 1922, lone Stubbeman, the Harrison's oldest daughter, insisted that her parents move to Cuero so she could care for them, and they made their home with lone and Will G Stubbeman until June 23, 1922, when Frank died.
Christine Katherine Harrison returned to BayCity to her home, family, and church. Other than her family, the First Presbyterian Church was the most important thing in her life. Ben, next to the youngest child, was the first infant to be baptized in the First Presbyterian Church in Bay City. At that time the Presbyterian Church was situated where the City Hall of Bay City now stands.
Benjamin"Ben" Harrison's first wife, Gertrude Eidlebach, died in 1924 leaving him with two small daughters. He moved in with his mother so that she could care for Laura Lee and Gertrude Elaine until he could make a home for them. On March 22, 1926, Ben married Flora Head, and they lived with Christine Harrison until they could purchase a home. When Ben and Flora moved to their home, his mother moved with them, and lived with them for most of her remaining life. However, when her health failed, lone and Will Stubbeman insisted that they care for her, so she lived her last few months with them in Cuero. Christine Katherine Harrison died on March 28, 1946, and was buried beside her husband Frank in Cuero.
County, Volume II, pages 209 - 210, 1984
Young Francis "Frank" Thomas Harrison was born in Cuero, DeWitt County, Texas, on March 8, 1887, to the elder Francis "Frank" Harrison and Christine Katherine Schmidt. He was the fourth of eleven children. In 1901 Frank and his family moved to Bay City where they opened Frank Harrison and Sons Meat Market. The elder Harrison and his son Archie stayed in the market, while young Frank bought the animals to be butchered. Young Frank began buying cattle at the age of twelve, traveling on horseback. Many times he would spend the night with families living in the Wadsworth area. Young Frank bought the cattle, drove them near Bay City to what was later McDonald Meadows addition, and there they were slaughtered and taken to the market. He not only purchased cattle for the market, but also bought and sold cattle on his own. He was not known as a cowboy, but rather as a cattleman. After he saw a cow the first time, he could correctly describe the animal, tell the rightful owner- and prove it by the brand.
On September 24, 1913, young Frank Harrison and Margaret " Maggie" Snadden Smith were united in marriage in the First Methodist Church in Bay City, with the Reverend E. L. Selfridge of the First Presbyterian Church officiating. They built a home on a portion of land given them by Margaret's parents, John Robert Smith and Eliza Jane Cook. Margaret Snadden Smith was born on January 9, 1893, on the Wadsworth Ranch, Matagorda County, Texas, the oldest of six children, and weighed only three and one-half pounds at birth.
The following September Frank and Maggie's son, Percy, was born in their home. Frank and Maggie rented their home and moved to Sargent, where Frank worked for the Sargents. On weekends they ran the store for the Sargents. Maggie and her baby son would ride in a buggy from Sargent to Hawkinsville, where they boarded a train for an all-day ride to Bay City She would spend a few days with her family and then return to Hawkinsville and Sargent.
Later Frank and Maggie moved back to Bay City, bought acreage down the road from their home and had the house moved on their new property where they settled permanently. Frank and Maggie reared their seven children in this home. Their children were: Percy Alvin, Nellie Frances, Christine Margaret, twins, Vivian Marie and Vernon Lee, Frank Thomas, and Travis James. All of the children attended Bay City schools.
Frank was not only a cattleman, but farmed rice with his four sons. When Frank stopped farming rice, he and Maggie continued to go the the farm each day to prepare the noon meal for their sons and anyone else who might stop in. They never knew how many they would have for lunch, but there was always enough food. They continued this practice until Frank's health failed . He died on May 29, 1961 , and was buried in Cedarvale Cemetery, Bay City. After a short time at home, Maggie realized her happiness was at the farm with her sons, and she continued going to the farm, taking someone to help her, to prepare the noon meal for her sons. Summer vacations were always a happy time for her granddaughters because they could go to the farm and help Granny cook, a practice which developed some excellent cooks among Maggie's granddaughters.
Percy Alvin (September 3, 1914 - February 21,1982) married Frances Marie Hatchett on May 16,1940, and they had five children and eleven grandchildren: Nellie Frances (May 29, 1916) married Joe C. Griffith on August 23, 1936; Christine Margaret (April 22, 1918) married Cyrus Cook on March 13, 1941, Vivian Marie (August 30, 1919) married first Arbon Rhondolph Cady on November 7, 1940, and second John Kincaid Wier on April 13, 1968; Vernon Lee (August 30, 1919 - April 20, 1980) married Mabel Colley Chapman on January 6, 1945; Frank Thomas (February 3, 1922) married Carmel Mary Sliva on June 8, 1947; Travis James (July 10, 1929) married Peggy Ann Nygard on June 2, 1957.
Frank and Maggie had twenty-five grandchildren and thirty great-grandchildren. Frank and Maggie and six of their children were members of the First Presbyterian Church, Bay City, where Maggie was a lifetime member of the Women of the Church. Frank, Jr. was a member of Holy Cross Catholic Church, Bay City.
In later years, Maggie resided in Matagorda House until her death on November 7, 1984.
Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, pages 210 - 211, 1984 Photo courtesy of Faye Cunningham
Funeral services for F. T. Harrison, 73-year-old native of Cuero, will be conducted at 2 p. m. Wednesday at Taylor Brothers Funeral Home in Bay City.
Rev. Dyal, pastor, First Presbyterian Church, will officiate. Burial will be in Roselawn [Cedarvale] Cemetery in Bay City.
Mr. Harrison died suddenly of a heart attack at his home in Bay City Monday. He had been in ill health for several months following surgery in a Houston hospital.
Mr. Harrison was born in Cuero, son of the late Mr. and Mrs. F. T. Harrison. He spent the greater part of his boyhood in this city. He moved to Ganado and then to Bay City.
The deceased was a retired rice farmer.
Survivors are the wife; three daughters, Mrs. A. R. Cady and Mrs. Joe Griffith, both of Bay City, and Mrs. Cyrus Cook of Port Lavaca; four sons, Percy, Vernon, Frank, Jr. and Travis, all of Bay City; five sisters, Mrs. W. G. Stubbeman of Cuero, Mrs. A. E. Louderback of Palacios, Mrs. George Reed of Miami, Fla., Mrs. E. D. MacManus of Miami, Fla., and Mrs. A. R. Stacey of Houston; three brothers, Fred W. Harrison of San Antonio, A. R. Harrison of Freeport, and Earl A. Harrison of Beaumont; and a number of grandchildren.
Mr. Harrison was well-known in Cuero and had many friends here.
Cuero Record, May 30, 1961
Funeral services for Margaret S. "Maggie" Harrison, 91, of Bay City will be held at 2 p. m. Saturday at First Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Frank Seaman officiating. Burial will be in Cedarvale Cemetery.
Mrs. Harrison was born Jan. 9, 1893, to John and Eliza Jane Smith at the Wadsworth Ranch, southeast of Bay City, and died at 7 a. m. Nov. 7, 1984, at the Matagorda House.
Francis Thomas "Frank" Harrison Sr. and Margaret Smith were married in First United Methodist Church, Bay City, on Sept. 24, 1913, by the Rev. L. E. Selfridge. She was a lifelong resident of Matagorda County.
She is survived by three daughters and two-sons-in-law, Nellie and Joe C. Griffith, Christine Cook and Vivian and John K. Wier, all of Bay City; two sons and daughters-in-law, Frank Jr. and Carmel Harrison and Travis J. and Peggy Harrison, all of Bay City; two daughters-in-law, Marie (Percy) Harrison and Mabel (Vernon) Harrison, both of Bay City; a sister, Alfreda Isenhour of Houston; a brother, James A. Smith of Bay City; 25 grandchildren; and 30 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband who died May 29, 1961; two sons, Percy Alvin Harrison and Vernon Lee "Red' Harrison, Sr.; and two brothers, William B. Smith and Brooksy Smith.
Pallbearers will be her grandsons, Charles W. Harrison, Joe .F. Grffith, Vernon L. Harison, C. L. Cook, Jr., Frank T. Harrison III, and Stephen P. Harrison. Honorary pallbearers include David T. Harrison, Larry W. Harrison, John D. Harrison, Donald Ray Cook, Hurschel W. Harrison and George R. Harrison.
Arrangements were with Taylor Brothers Funeral Home, Bay City.
Daily Tribune, November 8, 1984
By Marie Harrison
On May 16, 1940, Percy Alvin Harrison and Frances Marie Hatchett were married in Bay City, Texas, by the Reverend Ernest Deutsch, minister for the First Presbyterian Church. Frances Marie Hatchett Harrison, the youngest of the children of Brent and Edna Hatchett, was born April 14, 1916, in Bay City Percy was a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church, and Marie, at age twenty, transferred her membership there from the Methodist Church.
From 1940 to 1945, Percy worked at Skelly Oil Company, Hamman Oil Company, and Abercrombie (Phillips Petroleum Company). In 1945 he began rice farming and cattle raising with his father and brothers. After their father died, the four brothers, Percy, Frank, Vernon, and Travis incorporated as "Harrison Brothers, Inc." They were chosen outstanding rice farmers by the Chamber of Commerce in 1961. Percy farmed until his death at age sixty-seven.
Five children were born to Percy and Marie, all of whom attended Bay City schools. Charles Wesley Harrison, was graduated from Bay City High School in 1959, from Lamar University with a B.S. degree in 1963, and from the University of Missouri with an M.S. in Chemical Engineering in 1965. He worked for Texaco as a professional engineer Charles lived in the Alief area of Houston with his wife, Virginia Irene Sayre Harrison, whom he married on April 9, 1966. They had two children, Brian and Robin.
Rachel Annette was graduated from Bay City High School in 1961, attended one year at Sam Houston University, and was graduated from The University of Texas School of Nursing with a B.S. degree in 1965. She married Robert Lee Herreth on May 27, 1967, and lived in Pasadena, Texas. They had three children: Shannon, Scott, and Amy.
Sally Kathleen was graduated from Bay City High School in 1963, Sam Houston University with a B.S. degree in 1967, and a M.S. degree in Education in 1970. She married Clyde Raymond Jarnagin on June 16, 1973, and lived in Friendswood, Texas. They had two children, Carson and Kristen.
Corrine Adele was graduated from Bay City High School in 1966, attended Sam Houston University one year, and was graduated from The University of Texas School of Dental Hygiene in 1970. She married Donal Russell Wright on June 7, 1970, and lived in Lake Jackson, Texas. They had two sons, Ramsey and Randel.
Wendy Frances graduated from Bay City High School in 1971. She attended Blinn Junior College, Texas A & M University, University of Arizona, and was graduated from The University of Houston Clear Lake in 1979 with a B. S. degree in Education. She married Robert Niel Penland on April 10, 1971, and lived in Friendswood, Texas, where she taught in the middle school. They had two children, Wendy and Heath.
County, Volume II, pages 214 - 215, 1984
Funeral services were held for Percy Alvin Harrison, 67, of Bay City, 11 a. m. (Tuesday) at the First Presbyterian Church.
Officiating at the services were the Reverends Frank Seaman and Diana Black.
Harrison died February 21, 1982 in Bay City.
Survivors include wife, Mrs. Marie Hatchett Harrison of Bay City; mother, Mrs. Margaret Harrison of Bay City; daughters, Mrs. Rachel Herreth of Pasadena, Mrs. Kathy Jarnagin of Friendswood, Mrs. Corrine Wright of Lake Jackson, Mrs. Frances Penland of Bay City; son, Charles Harrison of Houston; sisters, Mrs. Nellie Griffith, Mrs. Christine Cook and Mrs. Vivian Wier of Bay City; brothers, Frank Jr. and Travis Harrison of Bay City; 11 grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Vernon "Red" Harrison.
Harrison was a lifelong resident of Bay City and was active in the community and First Presbyterian Church.
Burial followed services at Cedarvale Cemetery
Pallbearers included John C. Dickerson, Jr., George Yeager, E. M. Huitt, Hart Soli, Bill Boeker, John O'Neil, Woodrow Noster and Dr. Robert Kelly.
Memorials may be made to the First Presbyterian Church.
Arrangements with Taylor Brothers Funeral Home.
Daily Tribune, February 23, 1982
Funeral services for Marie Harrison, 69, of Bay City will be held at 2 p. m. Tuesday at First Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Frank Seaman officiating. Burial will be in Cedarvale Cemetery.
Mrs. Harrison, a lifelong resident of Bay City, died from a pulmonary embolism June 16, 1985, in Bulgaria while traveling abroad. She was born April 14, 1916, to Albert Brent and Edna Mae Hatchett. She was preceded in death by her husband, Percy A. Harrison.
She was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church and various social and service organizations.
Survivors include her five children and their spouses, Charles and Virginia Harrison of Houston; Rachel and Bobby Herreth of Pasadena; Kathy and Clyde Jarnagin and Frances and Bob Penland of Friendswood and Corrine and Donal Wright of Lake Jackson. She also leaves 11 grandchildren, Brian and Robin Harrison, Shannon, Scott and Amy Herreth, Carson and Kristen Jarnagin, Ramsey and Randel Wright and Wendy and Heath Penland.
Pallbearers include Virgil Fetters, Bob Kelly, Hart Soli, E. M. Huitt, Jack Huebner and B. F. Shoultz.
Memorials may be made to the First Presbyterian Church and the American Cancer Society.
Services are under the direction of Baylor Brothers Funeral Home.
Daily Tribune, June 1985
Joe Cephus Griffith and Nellie Frances
Joe Cephus Griffith and Nellie FrancesHarrison were married in the home of her parents on August 23, 1936, with Reverend George F Mason officiating.
Joe was born on July 22,1908, in Pooleville, Murray County, Oklahoma. He was one of ten children born to Elmer Preston Griffith and Maude Susan Wynn. Joe attended school in Chickasha, Newport, and Graham, Oklahoma. He worked for Noble Drilling Company and Edwards Drilling Company His work took them to several town in Texas and Louisiana. Nellie was born on May 29, 1916, to Francis Thomas Harrison and Margaret Snadden Smith. She was the second of seven children (see Francis Thomas Harrison Family).
Joe and Nellie settled in Bay City in 1944, where Joe farmed rice until he retired. They had three children. Joe Frank was adopted by Joe and Nellie. He attended the Bay City schools, Wharton County Junior College, the University of Texas, and Lamar University He was a veteran of the Vietnam War and a rice farmer He married Kathleen Louise Siefert on October 11, 1969, and had three children. Lance Wade, Kirk Wayne and Megan Leigh. They were members of the Holy Cross Catholic Church, Bay City.
Janell Kay Griffith was also adopted. She attended the Bay City schools, Wharton County Junior College, Blinn Junior College, and the Victoria Beauty School. She married Paul John Kasper on October 26, 1968, and had one son Jason Bradley, born on August 24, 1973. They lived in Ganado, and were members of Assumption Catholic Church.
Rebecca "Becky" Sue, born on June 30, 1953, was diagnosed as a Down Syndrome. That inspired the parents to work for all handicapped children and changed their interest in life. Becky, a resident of Cullen Resident Hall, Houston, was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, Bay City.
Joe and Nellie were members of the First Presbyterian Church, Bay City, where they reared their children. They were both charter members of the Matagorda County Council for Retarded Children, known as Matagorda County Association for Retarded Citizens, and were the founders of the first school for trainable retarded citizens in Matagorda County, the Center for the Retarded, (later known as the Edith Armstrong Center). Joe worked closely with the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of America. He was a member of the Matagorda County Farmers Cooperative and the Matagorda County Farm Bureau.
Nellie was a member of Eastern Star Chapter #380, taught the adult class of retarded persons for a number of years; founded the first Day Camp for the retarded citizens, held at Camp Pierce; was one of the organizers of Camp Flipper, heldin Palacios; served on numerous committees of the Texas Association for Retarded Citizens; was very active in her church; worked with the Girl Scouts of America, Parent Teachers Association, and the United Fund, and was selected Outstanding
Woman of the Year in 1965 by the Bay City Chamber of Commerce.
Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, pages 184-185, 1984
Nellie Frances Harrison Griffith, 91, native of Bay City, passed away June 11, 2007. She was born May 29, 1916 in Bay City, Texas to the late Francis “Frank” Thomas and Margaret “Maggie” Smith Harrison. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Bay City. She started in the Kindergarten Department and joined the church on September 29, 1929. She was very active in church work and Women of the Church. She was head of the Kindergarten Department for seven years, taught in the Junior Department several years, and substituted in the Plus Ultra Sunday School Class, of which she was a member. She was honored as Woman of the Year in 1988 by the Women of the Church; headed up departments in the Bible School; and was an ordained Elder of the church.
She was a charter member of the Matagorda County Council for Retarded Citizens, founder of the school for the trainable retarded, with the adult and preschool classes. Nellie made the survey of the counties mentally challenged and set up a clinic at the Presbyterian Church on four Saturdays for testing the clients. She raised money for this by using friends to promote the sale of Pillsbury Cake mixes. By this time, Bay City had one of the first black Special Education Classes in Texas, as we were not integrated at the time. She hired a teacher with money raised by her husband’s barbecuing calves donated by him, her brothers, and friends for several years, until the United Way was organized. She was on this Board and headed up the Women’s Division. She served as President of the Retarded Council for nine years and held every office. She taught the older class of mentally retarded for five years. She served on several committees on the Texas Association of Retarded Citizens in Austin including; the nominating committee, the Awards Committee, and served on the Regional Advisory Board. She was asked to take a State Office but had to decline. She organized a Day Camp at Camp Pierce including other mentally retarded from neighboring counties, which led to the organization of Camp Flipper for the mentally retarded held at the Baptist Encampment in Palacios. She was responsible for obtaining the first speech therapist in the Bay City Schools. She found out it was compulsory that therapist was needed by making a survey. Speech Therapists were hard to find, but she located one who could come three days a week. She taught a Sunday School Class (non-denominational) for older boys who were mentally retarded. She was active in P.T.A. and band mothers when her children were in school. She was a Girl Scout Leader and worked with the Rainbow Girls, and was named Women of the Week twice in the local paper. The Chamber of Commerce awarded her the “Outstanding Citizen of Bay City “ in 1965. She was also a member of the Chamber of Commerce, Eastern Star Chapter #380, Texas Retired Teachers Association, A. A. R. P., Matagorda County Museum Association, Volunteer of Bay Villa Nursing Home, and of the Center of the Retarded at Cullen Residence Hall in Houston. She graduated from Bay City High School in 1936. She taught Math and Biology in Hahnsville Louisiana High School during the war. She substituted in Bay City Junior High and Tennie Holmes Schools.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 50 years Joe C. Griffith in 1986, her parents, brothers Percy & wife Marie, Vernon “Red” and Frank Harrison and sisters Vivian Cady Weir and Christine Cook. She is survived by her daughters Kay and husband Paul Kaspar of Ganado, TX, Rebecca “Becky” Griffith, and son Joe Frank Griffith of Bay City; four grandchildren Jason Kaspar, Lance & wife Kim Griffith, Dirk Griffith and Megan Griffith; two great grandchildren Chase and Anna Griffith; brother Travis Harrison; sisters-in-law Mabel Harrison and Carmel Harrison and a number of nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM Thursday, June 14, 2007 at the funeral home. Funeral service will be 2:00 PM Friday, June 15, 2007 at the First Presbyterian Church with Rev. John-Nelson Pope officiating. Interment will follow at Roselawn Memorial Park. Pallbearers will be Jason Kaspar, Lance Griffith, Dirk Griffith, Megan Griffith, Stephen Harrison, Tom Harrison and C. L. Cook. Honorary pallbearers include Charles Harrison, David Harrison, George Harrison, Larry Harrison, Herschel Harrison, Vernon Harrison, John Harrison and Donald Cook.
The family requests that memorials be made to the first Presbyterian Church, American Cancer Society, Matagorda County ARC, PO Box 1305, Bay City, TX 77404-1305, Houston Hospice, 1102 N. Mechanic, El Campo, TX 77437 or the charity of your choice. Arrangements with Taylor Bros. Funeral Home in Bay City. 979-245-4613.
Bay City Tribune, June 13, 2007
Funeral services for Joe C. Griffith, 78, of Bay City will be held at 3 p. m. Sunday at First Presbyterian Church with Dr. Linwood Chesire officiating. Burial will be in Roselawn Memorial Park, Van Vleck.
Mr. Griffith was born July 22, 1908, in Pooleville, Okla., and died Aug. 29, 1986, at his home.
He was a charter member of the Matagorda County Association for the Retarded Citizens. Serving as the chairman of the fund-raising barbecues, he helped make the first school for the mentally retarded in Matagorda County possible. Other civic activities included helping with Girl Scouts as camp chairman and assisting in various activities with the Boy Scouts.
Mr. Griffith was a prominent rice farmer in this area for over 33 years. While engaged in farming, he was active in many agricultural-related positions. He served on the boards of the Matagorda County Farmers Co-op and Production Credit Association. He was a member of the Matagorda County Farm Bureau.
He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church.
Survivors include his wife, Nellie Harrison Griffith of Bay City; a son and daughter-in-law, Joe Frank and Kathy Griffith of Bay City; a daughter and son-in-law, Kay and Paul Kaspar of Ganado; a daughter, Becky Griffith of Houston; three sisters, Gladys Jordan of Norman, Okla., Dorothy Watkins of Ardmore, Okla., and Mary Laroux of Kilgore, Texas; a brother, Fred Griffith of Houma, La.; and four grandchildren, Jason Kaspar and Lance, Dick and Megan Griffith.
Pallbearers include his nephews, Charles Vernon, David, Larry, John, Tommy, Hurschel, George and Stephen Harrison, C. L. and Donald Cook, Freddie Griffith, Roger and John Watkins and John Laroux.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Foundation for the Retarded, P. O. Box 13403, Houston, Texas, 77219; Building Fund, First Presbyterian Church; American Cancer Society or a charity of your choice.
Arrangements are with Taylor Brothers Funeral Home.
Daily Tribune, August 30, 1986
BAY CITY - Rebecca
"Becky" Sue Griffith, 58, of Bay City, Texas passed away in
Richmond, Texas on Thursday, May 31, 2012. She was born June 30,
1953, at Matagorda General Hospital in Bay City, to the late Joe C.
and Nellie Harrison Griffith.
Published in Victoria Advocate on June 3, 2012 Photo courtesy of Faye Cunningham
Christine Margaret Harrison was born in Bay City on April 22, 1918, to Francis Thomas Harrison and Margaret Snadden Smith Harrison. She attended publicschools in Bay City, Victoria Junior College, and received her degree in education from Sam Houston State College.
On March 13, 1948, Christine was married to Cyrus Lafayette"Cy" Cook of Mabank, Texas. Cy was born on April 10, 1919, to William Sam Cook and Rose Ann Harrell Cook. He attended school in Mabank, Arlington State A & M College, and received his bachelor of science degree in agriculture from Sam Houston State College. His post-graduate work was done with Colorado A & M College and Texas A & M College.
The couple made their first home in Bay City where Christine began her teaching career at the two-room Lukefahr School in Matagorda County, followed by four years at the Van Vleck school. Cy was employed by Skelly Oil Company from 1941 to 1943.
Cy was inducted into the army on February 3, 1943, and served as technical sergeant with the 318 Infantry Regiment, 80th Division, in the European Theatre. During the "Battle of the Bulge" he was commissioned a lieutenant. Because of his combat wounds, Cy received a Purple Heart citation and a disability discharge on April 16, 1946.
After the war Cyrus was employed by the Extension Service through Texas A & M College. He served as assistant county agent in Victoria County for nine months; county agent of Wilson County until the summer of 1951, and as county agent of Calhoun County until his medical retirement. Cy had developed a small herd of cattle during his years as county agent
and continued with that interest until his death on November 26, 1975.
In the fall of 1951 Christine resumed classroom teaching in the Calhoun Independent School District until she retired in 1979 with over thirty years of service. Following her retirement, she returned to Bay City to make her home. She continued her interest in classroom teaching by substituting in the local elementary schools. She was an active member of the First
Presbyterian Church and the Order of the Eastern Star. Some of the high points in her life were her travels, which took her to Europe, Asia, the Near East, the Far East, the Holy Land, Mexico, and most of the states, including Alaska and Hawaii.
Cyrus and Christinewere blessed with three children. Cyrus Lafayette "C. L." Cook, Jr. of Bay City was born on June I, 1946, in Bay City, married Melissa Hill of Dallas and had two sons. Donald Ray Cook of Port Lavaca was born in Floresville, Texas, married Carol Marie Ley of Victoria, and they had a son and a daughter. Margaret Ann Cook of San Marcos, Texas, was born in Floresville, Texas, married Louis Chester West of Dallas and to this union was born two sons.
Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, pages 101-102, 1984
Harrison Cook, 87, of Bay City died November 2, 2005 at the
Matagorda House. She was born April 22, 1918 in Bay City to the
late Francis “Frank” and Margaret Smith Harrison. Mrs. Cook was
a member of the First Presbyterian Church, a resident of Bay
City since 1979 and a former longtime resident of Port Lavaca.
She was a retired school teacher for Calhoun Co ISD with 32
years of service, retiring in 1977. She also was a member of,
and past Worthy Matron in the Eastern Star, former member and
Past President of Class Room Teachers Association in Port
include: daughter: Margaret West of Lake Jackson, TX; 2 sons and
a daughter-in-law: C. L. & Melissa Cook, Jr. of Bay City and
Donald Cook of Port Lavaca; sister: Nellie Griffith of Bay City;
brother: Travis Harrison of Bay City; 7 grandchildren: Harrison
Cook of El Campo, David Cook of Natchitoches, LA, Donnie Cook of
Austin, Christy Edwards of Victoria, Christopher Cook of Port
Lavaca, Matt West of Bay City and Mark West of San Antonio, TX;
6 great grandchildren: sisters-in-laws: Carmel Harrison of Bay
City, Mabel Harrison of Houston, Melba Birkner of Vanderpool,
and Dorothy Cook of Garland; brother-in-law: Thomas Cook of
Dallas. She was preceded in death by her husband Cyrus L. Cook,
Sr.; sister: Vivian Weir; and brothers: Frank, Jr., Vernon
“Red”, and Percy Harrison.
Funeral Service will be 2:00 PM Saturday, November 5, 2005 at the Frist Presbyterian Church with Rev. John-Nelson Pope officiating. Interment will follow at Roselawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Van Vleck, TX. Pallbearers will be Harrison, David, Donnie, Christopher, and Blake Cook, Matt & Mark West, and Travis Edwards. The family will receive friends at Taylor Bros. Funeral Home Friday evening from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. Memorials may be made to the Bay City Public Library or the Matagorda Co. Museum.
with Taylor Bros. Funeral Home, Bay City (979)245-4613.
C. L. Cook, 65, of Bay City went to be with our Heavenly Father on July 19, 2011. He was born June 1, 1946, in Bay City to Cyrus Lafayette Cook Sr. and Christine Harrison Cook. C. L. loved the Lord with all his heart and served Him well. He adored his wife, whom he often referred to as “Baby.” He spent many happy days fishing with his family and always had a story to tell about one of his six grandbabies. He lived his faith and set a great example of what a husband, father and friend should be. He worked most of his life in farming and turf management, and spent the past 10 years as the Grounds Supervisor for BCISD, touching the lives of his co-workers and crew. Survivors include his cherished wife, Melissa Hill Cook; beloved sons, Harrison Cook and wife, Christy, of El Campo and David Cook and wife, Amber, of Ft. Bragg, North Carolina; brother, Donald Cook of Port Lavaca; sister, Margaret West of Lake Jackson; and grandchildren, Harrison Cook Jr., Katy, Josh, Jackson, Gracie and Anastyn Cook. The family will receive friends and relatives at the funeral home from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 21. The funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Friday, July 22, at First Baptist Church of Bay City, with Dr. Mike Zimmerman officiating. Interment will follow at Cedarvale Cemetery. Memorials may be made to International Awakening Ministries, PO Box 232, Wheaton, IL 60187-0232.
www.taylorbros.net Photo courtesy of Betty Crosby
Vivian Harrisonwas born on August 30, 1919, in Bay City, the fourth of seven children of Frank and Maggie Harrison. She attended the Bay City schools and was a member of the First Presbyterian Church. Vivian married first Arbon Rhondolph "Rhon" Cady on November 7, 1940. Rhon served in the 4830th Service Unit, WorldWarII. He died on December5, 1966, and was buried in Cedarvale Cemetery, Bay City.
She married second John Kincaid Wier on April 13, 1968. He was retired from the Santa Fe Railroad Company, and they made their home in Bay City Vivian's parents were Francis Thomas Harrison and Margaret Snadden Smith, who were married on September 24, 1913, in the Methodist Church, Bay City, by the Reverend E. L. Selfridge, Presbyterian Minister Francis Thomas Harrison was born on March 8, 1887, in Cuero, Texas, died on May 29, 1961, and was buried in Cedarvale Cemetery Margaret Snadden Smith Harrison was born on January 9, 1893, at Wadsworth Ranch, Matagorda County, Texas, and in 1984, at the age of ninety-one was a resident of Matagorda House, Bay City.
Her paternal grandparents were Francis Harrison and Christine Katherine Schmidt, who were married on August 16, 1880, at the home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Fredrick W Schmidt, Cuero, Texas. Francis Harrison was born on May 2, 1855, at Decrows Point and died on June 23, 1922, in Cuero. Christine Katherine Schmidt Harrison was born on January 27, 1861, at Indianola, Texas, and died on March 28, 1946, at Cuero. Both were buried in Hillside Cemetery, Cuero.
Vivian's paternal great-grandparents were Thomas Harrison and Margaret Smith, who were married on September 25, 1848, in Indianola, Texas, and Fredrick William Schmidt and Katherine Fuchs, who were married on March 29, 1859, in Indianola. Thomas Harrison was born in Syracuse, New York, in 1822, and came to Indianola in 1839 He settled at Decrows Point, Matagorda County, and was drowned during a hurricane on September 25, 1875. He is buried in the Indianola Cemetery. Margaret, born on May 4, 1833, in Frankfurt, Germany, and died on October 24, 1866, in the cholera epidemic, was buried in the Indianola Cemetery. Fredrick William Schmidt was born in 1838 in Germany and came to Texas in 1855. He died on January 8,19 11 , in Cuero. Katherine Fuchs was born on November 12, 1840, in Rouhentahl, Germany, and died on March 20, 1922, in Cuero. Both were buried in Hillside Cemetery, Cuero.
Maternal grandparents were John Robert Smith and Eliza Jane Cook. They married on March 18, 1892, in Bay City. John Robert Smith was born on February 16,1862, at Indianola, and died on December 27, 1933, in Bay City. Eliza Jane Cook was born on November 11,1872, on Blue Creek, Matagorda County, and died on November 5, 1943, in Bay City Both were buried in Cedarvale Cemetery, Bay City. John Smith was a water boss, and the water company had a telephone installed in their home in 1920, the number was 251. When he quit working for the water company, he had his own telephone installed . Their number was 140W from then until their deaths.
Vivian's maternal great-grandparents were William Benjamin Smith and Katherine Neugent Johnson and Alexander R. Cook and Margaret Snadden. William Benjamin Smith was born in Scotland and married Katherine Neugent Johnson in 1858 in Galveston. He died in 1899 at the Wadsworth Ranch, and was buried in the Matagorda Cemetery Katherine Neugent Johnson Smith was born in Ireland, died in 1871 at Indianola and was buried in the Indianola Cemetery. Alexander R. Cook was born in 1845 in Belfast, Ireland, and came to Matagorda County in 1867 He married Margaret Snadden, his childhood sweetheart, in 1868 aboard ship in Galveston. He died in 1875 at Blue Creek, Matagorda County, and was buried there. Margaret Snadden was born on March 3, 1846, Kirkcaldy, Scotland, and came to Texas in 1868, landing at Galveston, where she married Alexander R. Cook. They settled on Blue Creek until his death in 1875. Margaret Snadden Cook married Thomas Jefferson Harris on October 10, 1880, and lived on Sexton Road. Thomas Jefferson Harris died on October 9, 1907, and was buried in the Harris family cemetery Margaret Snadden Cook Harris died on March 21, 1925, and was buried in Cedarvale Cemetery.
Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, pages 558-559, 1984
Funeral services for Vivian Marie Harrison Wier, 78, of Bay City will be at 2 p. m. Tuesday, Feb. 24 at the First Presbyterian Church with Rev. Sam Steele officiating. Burial will follow at Cedarvale Cemetery.
Mrs. Wier passed away on Saturday, Feb. 21 in Matagorda General Hospital. She was born on August 30, 1919 in Matagorda County to Frank Thomas Harrison, Sr. and Margaret Snadden Smith Harrison. She was the fraternal twin of Vernon Lee Harrison, Sr. She married twice, first to Arbon Rhondolph Cady, who preceded her in 1968. She then married John Wier who died in 1989.
She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Bay City for most of her life, where she served on the Finance Committee and where she was given the distinction of the award of a Lifetime Membership in the Women of the Church. At various times in her life, she was active as a Pink Lady at Matagorda County General Hospital, the Bay City Library Board, the Bay City Book Review Club, and many other civic organizations.
Mrs. Wier is survived by her brother, Travis Harrison; her sisters, Nellie Harrison Griffith and Christine Harrison Cook; her sisters-in-law, Mabel Chapman (Mrs. Vernon Sr.) Harrison, Carmel Sliva (Mrs. Frank Jr.) Harrison and Peggy Nygard (Mrs. Travis) Harrison. She will also be sorely missed by her many nephews, nieces, nephews-in-law, nieces-in-law, great and great-great nieces and nephews, and their families and friends, all of whom just called her "Aunt Vivian."
Pallbearers include, Vernon Lee Harrison, Jr., David Thomas Harrison, Larry Wayne Harrison, John Daniel Harrison, Karl Bartholomew, Brett Burgess, Peggy Diane Harrison and Stephen Harrison.
Arrangements are with Taylor Bros. Funeral Home in Bay City.
Daily Tribune, February 24, 1998
Funeral services for John Kincaid Wier, 86, of Bay City were held 3:30 p. m. Sunday at First Presbyterian Church where the Rev. David C. Duncan officiated. Burial was scheduled for 3 p. m. today at Shannon-Rose Hill Memorial Park in Fort Worth with the Rev. Wilson Canafax officiating.
Mr. Wier was born Sept. 8, 1902, in Covington, Hill County, Texas, to Joseph Patterson and Edna Earl Wier Sr. and died July 29, 1989, at Matagorda General Hospital, Bay City.
Mr. Wier retired in 1967 as an assistant general claims agent for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad. He moved to Matagorda County in 1968.
He attended First Presbyterian Church of Bay City and was a member of Tucker Memorial Lodge 297 A. F. & A. M. of Galveston and The Scottish Rite of Freemasonry Valley of Galveston; Khiva Shrine Temple of Amarillo, Royal Arch Mason, chapter 196 of Amarillo, Royal and Select Master Council 134 of Amarillo and Knights Templar of Commandery 48 of Amarillo.
Survivors include his wife, Vivian Harrison Wier of Bay City; a sister, Charlotte Wier Capps of Fort Worth; a brother-in-law, Orval R. Capps of Fort Worth; a brother, Joseph P. Wier of Fort Worth; a sister-in-law, Mickey Wier of Fort Worth; two nephews, John P. Wier of Grandview and Mark David Wier of Santa Fe, N. M.; two nieces, Jo Ann Wier of Fort Worth and Sue Capps Mitchell of Azle, Texas.
He was preceded in death by a brother, Robert Reid Wier.
Pallbearers include Vernon Harrison, Jr., David Harrison, Larry Harrison, John Harrison, Stephen Harrison, John P. Wier and Kark Barthlomew.
Arrangements were with Taylor Brothers Funeral Home, Bay City.
Daily Tribune, July, 1989
Vernon Lee "Red" Harrison Family
By Mabel Chapman Harrison and Vernon Lee Harrison, Jr.
Harrison and his
Vivian Marie were
City, Texas. Their
were Francis Thomas
and Margaret Snadden Smith.
and Margaret Smith Harrison's children were: Vernon Lee; Percy Alvin
who married Marie Hatchett;
who married Joe Griffith,
married Cyrus L. Cook;
Vivian Marie, who
Arbon Cady, and second John Wier; Frank
and Travis James.
the Bay City schools where he participated in football, basketball, and
track, and was president
of his senior class, 1938-1939 He enlisted in the United States Army
on January 29,
with the 525th Heavy
Ordinance Company He was in military action in North Africa and
in the battles of
Alamien Salerno and
He came home on his
December, 1944, and
where his parents
had married on September 24,1913. He was
back overseas to Italy
and returned to Bay City in September, 1945, where he farmed rice as
he had before the war
his community as a
deacon and an elder of the First Presbyterian Church, as a member
and president of
the Bay City
Independent School District; as
Commissioner; Chairman of Agricultural Stabilization and
Conservation Service, was Outstanding Citizen in
Outstanding rice farmer
his brothers in 1961,
and director of the Bay City Chamber of Commerce
Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts
of America, Girl Scouts of America,
director of Little
Vernon and Mabel's children
were: Vernon Lee, Jr.,
Larry Wayne, John Daniel, Mabel Suzanne, and Eleanor Vivian. All of
from Bay City
VernonLee, Jr. was graduated from Lamar College of Technology and the University of Houston Law School, and was an attorney in Houston. David Thomas was graduated from Lamar University, married Fay Ann Ryall, had two children, Christopher David and Stacy Ann, and lived in Beaumont where he operated a car dealership; Larry Wayne attended Lamar University and received his LLB from St. Marys University, married Monique Mangum, and was an attorney in Houston; John Daniel, born was an Eagle Scout, was graduated from Lamar University, and was a real estate broker; Mabel Suzanne was graduated from The University of Texas, received her Master's Degree from Lamar University, and was employed by an oil company in Houston; Eleanor Vivia was a student at Southwest Texas State University in 1984.
Vernon LeeHarrison died on April 20, 1980, and was buried in Cedarvale Cemetery, Bay City, Texas, beside his infant son Philip Edward, who was born and died on August 13, 1952.
MabelColley Chapman was born in Gulf, Texas. Her mother, Mabel Lee Colley, was born on September 8, 1886, at Italy, Ellis County, Texas, and died on September 19, 1977, at Bay City, Texas, and was buried in Roselawn Cemetery Her father, David Robert Chapman, was born on September 28, 1884, at New Bielau, Colorado County, Texas, and died on April 11, 1974, at Bay City, and was also buried in Roselawn Cemetery. David Robert Chapman and Mabel Lee Colley were married on June 28, 1909, at Houston, and moved to Matagorda in 1917. The David Robert Chapman family moved to Bay City in 1924, and he became a deputy sheriff and was known affectionately as "Mr. Dave."
Mabel and Dave Chapman had four children. Eleanor Winnifred, born on November 13, 1910, married Christian F Stipp of Carrollton, Carroll County, Missouri and resided there; David Robert, Jr , "D. R.," born on December 16, 1913, married Mary Louise Hodges and resided in Humble, Texas; Alma Queen, born on January 23 , 1916, married William H. Hogan and resided in Ada, Oklahoma, and Mabel Colley
Mabel Colley Chapman's maternal grandparents were Dr Joseph Carson Colley, whowas born on April 6, 1847, near Atlanta, Georgia, died on August 12, 1918, at Marietta, Oklahoma, and was buried there; and Clemmie Cowden Davis, who was born on February 22, 1862, in Avalon, Ellis County, Texas, died on May 7, 1888, at Italy, Ellis County, Texas, and was buried at Avalon, Texas.
Her paternal grandparentswere George Seagler Chapman, who was born on December 23, 1837, at Selma, Alabama, died on June 6, 1906, at Osage, Colorado County, Texas, and was buried in the Osage Cemetery; and Eleanor Adair Lide, who was born on January 9, 1849, at Marion, Alabama, died on September 14, 1923, at Garwood, Texas, and was buried in the Osage Cemetery George Seagler Chapman came to Texas some time before 1861 and enlisted at Trinity County, Texas, in Company "E" of the 7th Regiment, Texas Mounted Volunteers, Sibley's Brigade, Confederate States of America.
MabelColley Chapman was reared in Bay City, attended the Bay City public schools, and was graduated from Bay City High School in 1939 Mabel Chapman was reared as a member of the First Methodist Church where she and Red were married, but became a member of the First Presbyterian Church in 1948 where she remained an active member
Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, pages 217 - 218, 1984
Vernon L. "Red" Harrison, 60, of Bay City, died at his residence Sunday, April 20. He was a lifelong resident of Bay City and a Veteran of World War II. Survivors include: wife, Mabel Chapman Harrison of Bay City; mother, Mrs. Frank T. Harrison, Sr. of Bay City; daughters, Suzanne Harrison of Beaumont, Eleanor Harrison of Bay City; sons, Vernon L. Harrison, Jr. of Katy, David T. Harrison of Beaumont, Larry W. Harrison of Houston, John D. Harrison of Houston; sisters, Nellie Griffith, Christine Cook and Vivian Wier, all of Bay City; brothers, Percy Harrison, Frank T. Harrison, Jr. and Travis Harrison, all of Bay City; three grandchildren. The funeral will be held Tuesday, April 22, at 2 p. m. at the First United Methodist Church with the Rev. Frank Seaman officiating. Interment will follow at Cedarvale Cemetery. The family requests donations be sent to the First Presbyterian Church building fund of the American Diabetes Association. Pallbearers include: nephews serving as pallbearers, Charles W. Harrison, Joe Frank Griffith, C. L. Cook, Jr., Donald Ray Cook, Frank Thomas Harrison III, Hurschel Harrison, George R. Harrison, Steven Harrison, Mike Hogan, and Joe Ted Tullos, Jr. Arrangements under the direction of Taylor Brothers Funeral Home.
Daily Tribune, April 21, 1980
Former Drainage Commissioner Dies
Vernon L. "Red" Harrison, 60, an active Bay City citizen, died at his home Sunday, April 20.
A lifelong resident of Bay City. Harrison was well known throughout the community for his civic leadership.
He was a director of the Chamber of Commerce and Commissioner of the Matagorda County Drainage District.
Harrison was a member of the board of directors of Bay City Little League, chairman of county ACCS, and served as Cub Master of Pack 51. He was a former president and chairman of the Farm Bureau. He also served on the board of trustees of the Bay City Independent School District.
He was voted the outstanding rice farmer of Matagorda County in 1961 and an outstanding citizen in Bay City in 1960. He served as president of the Matagorda County Rice Farmers Co-op for the years 1953-55, 1964-70 and 1975-77. He was a member of the Board of Directors of Blue Ribbon Rice Mills, Inc. and belonged to the Bay City Lodge No. 865 AF & AM.
Harrison was a deacon of the First Presbyterian Church of Bay City where he also taught Sunday School.
He is survived by his wife Mabel of Bay City.
Daily Tribune, April 21, 1980
Mabel Colley Chapman Harrison, passed peacefully from this life, at
the home of her daughter, Suzanne, while in Hospice care in Sugar
Land, Texas, in the early morning hours of December 4, 2014.
She was born in Gulf, Matagorda County, Texas, to David R. Chapman
and Mabel Colley Chapman, on February 16, 1922. Mabel was a devout
Christian, who was reared as a Methodist and was a Presbyterian most
of her adult life. She was a dedicated mother, grandmother and
great-grandmother. Mabel brought love and wisdom into the lives of
all who knew her. Mabel’s family loved her and looked to her for
spiritual, as well as earthly guidance.
She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Vernon Lee “Red”
Harrison; and her sons, Philip Harrison and John D. Harrison.
She is survived by son, Vernon L. Harrison Jr and wife Brenda, son,
David T. Harrison and wife Fay, son, Larry W. Harrison and wife
Monique, daughter, Mabel Suzanne Bartholomew and husband Karl,
daughter, Eleanor V. Burgess and husband Brett, and John’s wife,
Mary C. Harrison.
Mabel’s grandchildren are Christopher D. Harrison, Leslie Shofner,
Stacy Vinson, Sarah Harrison, Eric Harrison, Philip Bartholomew,
Elizabeth Burgess, and Cody Harrison. She also had seven
The family will receive friends and relatives from 4 p.m. until 6
p.m., Sunday, December 7, 2014, at the funeral home.
Her funeral will be conducted by her oldest grandson, the Rev.
Christopher D. Harrison, at 2 p.m., Monday, December 8, 2014, at
Taylor Bros. Funeral Home, Bay City, Texas.
Burial will be at Cedarvale Cemetery in Bay City, Texas, beside her
Her pallbearers will be grandsons, Eric Harrison, Philip Bartholomew
and Cody Harrison, great-grandson, Jack Shofner, and
grandsons-in-law, Steve Shofner and Zack Vinson.
Online condolences may be shared with the family by visiting
Arrangements are with Taylor Bros. Funeral Home in Bay City.
Bay City Tribune, December 7, 2014
Funeral services were held this afternoon at Cedarvale Cemetery for the infant on of Mr. and Mrs. V. L. Harrison, Phillip Edward.
Services were conducted for the child who died early this morning by the Rev. Jack Lancaster.
He is survived by his parents and brothers: David Thomas, Larry Wayne and Vernon Lee, Jr.
Matagorda County Tribune, August 13, 1952
child of Francis Thomas Harrison and Margaret Snadden Smith, was born
on February 3, 1922, at the family home in Bay City. Frank and Carmel
Mary Sliva were married on June 8,
1947, in the Holy
Cross Rectory in Bay City. Carmel was born in
Orchard, Fort Bend County, Texas, the daughter of Emil William Sliva
and Annie Hattie Pisklak.
Frank and Carmel had three daughters and three sons, all of whom attended the Bay City schools: Barbara Ann attended Sam Houston State University, married Patrick Alan McCarty, had three children, Kathren Deann, Patrick Henry, and Lesley Harrison, and settled in Austin, Texas. Francis Thomas III, attended Sam Houston State University, married first Sherry McKelvy and second Stella Nowak, was the father of three children, Jennifer Mary, Jessica Lynn, and Matthew Thomas, and lived in Bay City. Mary Lynn, attended Texas A & M University, married Tobias Gus Selcer, had one daughter, Kate Renee, and lived in Bryan. Hurschel William attended Southwest Texas State University, and lived in Bay City. Melissa Jean attended Southwest Texas State University, married Elliott Keeble, taught school in Dickinson, Texas, and lived in Houston. George Richard attended Southwest Texas State University and lived in Bay City
In 1943 Frank, Jr., his father, and brother Vernon began farming rice. In 1945 Percy, Frank's older brother, and later the youngest brother Travis joined in forming Harrison Brothers, Inc. In 1963 Harrison Brothers bought the UI Ranch brand and cattle, 415 cows and thirty-seven bulls. By 1975 they had worked up to 1,700 cows, 140 bulls, and were farming 4,400 acres of rice. Frank and his brothers recorded many accomplishments in their farming. They built a rice dryer in 1963, and worked with Massey-Ferguson Manufacturing Company for twenty years testing and improving combines. They designed scrapers to take the place of bulldozers to level land and also patented a rice bin spreader and designed the first hydraulic levee push. They received the "Outstanding Rice Farmer" award in 1961.
Frank Harrison, Jr., was active in civic and community affairs throughout his life. In 1960 he became a member of the Matagorda County Fair Board. He served on the Roselawn Cemetery Board and was recognized for his outstanding work with the FFA and 4-H clubs in 1975-1976. He served on the Matagorda General Hospital Board from 1974 until 1978. In 1982 Central Power and Light Company made Frank a lifetime honorary vice-president.
Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, pages 211 - 212, 1984
Francis Thomas "Frankie" Harrison, Jr., 75, of Bay City passed away May 30, 1997 at his residence.
He was born Feb. 3, 1922 in Bay City to Francis Thomas Harrison and Margaret "Maggie" Smith Harrison. He was a lifetime resident of Bay City, a rancher and rice farmer and a member of Holy Cross Catholic Church. He was a member of the Holy Cross Church Council; a CCD Teacher; member of the Matagorda County Fair Association; a 4-H Adult Leader; board member of the Matagorda County Hospital District; past board member for Roselawn Memorial Park; member of Bay City Wolfe Hunters Club; member of Texas and Southwest Cattle Raisers Association; voted outstanding rice farmer in 1961; and was Honorary Vice-President of CP&L.
He is survived by his wife, Carmel Sliva Harrison of Bay City; by three daughters and sons-in-law, Barbara and Patrick McCarty of Austin; Mary and Toby Selcer of College Station; and Melissa and Elliot Keeble of Friendswood; by three sons and a daughter-in-law, Tommy Harrison of Bay City; Hurschel and Diane Harrison of Bay City; by three sisters, Nellie Griffith, Vivian Wier and Christine Cook all of Bay City; by one brother and sister-in-law, Travis and Peggy Harrison of Bay City; by 14 grandchildren, Kathren, Patrick and Lesley McCarty; Jennifer and Jessica Harrison; Matthew and Jared Harrison; Kate and Amy Selcer; Reid and Kendall Harrison; and Lauren, Ryan and Madison Keeble; and by one great granddaughter, Noel Harrison.
He was preceded in death by two brothers, Percy Harrison and Vernon "Red" Harrison. A rosary will be recited at 7 p.m. Monday, June 2, 1997 at Taylor Bros. Funeral Chapel. Funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 3, 1997 at Holy Cross Catholic Church with Rev. Joe Varna officiating. Burial will follow at Roselawn Memorial Park in Van Vleck. Pallbearers include, Steve Sliva, Joey Sliva, Kelly Webber, Larry Harrison, C. L. Cook, Charles Harrison, Joe Frank Griffith, Britt Saha, Mark King, Gene Robinson, and Paul Sliva.
Arrangements are with Taylor Bros. Funeral Home in Bay City.
Daily Tribune, June 1, 1997
Travis James Harrison Family
By Peggy Harrison
child born to
Margaret Snadden Smith
He was graduated
from Bay City
High School in May, 1948, and
A & I College in
January, 1952, with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration.
in the United
States Army from February, 1952, until
1954. When he
discharged, he returned
to Bay City to farm rice with his
and his three brothers,
and Frank, Jr When his
retired, Travis bought
his interest in the
business, known as the
On June 2,1957, Travis married Peggy Ann Nygard in the First Presbyterian Church in Bay City, at a ceremony performed by Dr A. T Dyal. Peggy was born on February 25, 1936, the youngest child of Lewis C. Nygard and Nellie Pauline VoIding Nygard. Peggy was graduated from Tidehaven High School in May, 1954, and from Wharton College Junior College in May, 1956, with an Associate Arts Degree.
Travis and Peggy had two children: Stephen Paul, born on June 8,1958, who married Mary Anne Birkner on April 16, 1983; and Peggy Diane, born on May 17, 1959 Stephen was graduated from Bay City High School in May, 1976, and attended Wharton County Junior College. Diane was graduated from Bay City High School in May, 1977, and from Texas Lutheran College in December, 1981, with a Bachelor's Degree in Physical Education.
Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, pages 217, 1984
Funeral services for Peggy Ann Nygard Harrison, 63, of Bay City, will be 2 p. m. Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2000 at the First Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Sam Steele officiating.
Interment will follow at Cedarvale Cemetery.
Mrs. Harrison died Sunday, Jan. 2, 2000 in Galveston, Texas, She was born Feb. 25, 1936 in Midfield to Lewis and Nellie Volking Nygard.
She was an active member of First Presbyterian Church and a former employee of the First National Bank of Bay City. She was also a devoted and loving wife, mother and friend.
She is survived by: husband, Travis; daughter, Diane of Cedar Park; son, Stephen and wife, Mary Anne; granddaughters, Stephanie, Stacie and Savannah; brother, Lewis Nygard; sisters, Polly Lukefahr and Nellie Cornelius; and numerous friends and relatives.
Pallbearers include: C. L. Cook, Hurshel Harrison, Joe Frank Griffith, Larry Harrison, Charles Harrison, and Chris Nygard.
Arrangements are with Taylor Bros. Funeral Home.
Daily Tribune, January 5, 2000
2009 - Present by the Harrison Family
Aug. 1, 2009
Aug. 3, 2014