Saturday, March 29, 2008

Morrison and Jennie Harris

Among the Brethren who may have read the 1897 ad in Brethren's Family Almanac (see yesterday's post) luring the Brethren to North Dakota were Morrison and Jennie Harris.

Morrison was born on February 14, 1864 in Illinois and immigrated with his parents to Des Moines, Iowa. Jennie was born in Ohio and at the age of 17, following her mother's death, the family traveled by covered wagon to Iowa in 1882. Morrison and Jennie were married March 1, 1885 in Elkhart, Iowa. After the birth of a son in July 1886, they moved to North Dakota in 1897. Morrison went ahead of his family and homesteaded a 1/4 section of land near Kenmare ND. This means they got the land free for living on it and farming it. Morrison built a sod house to live in and went back to Iowa for his family. Later, as his family would grow to include eight children (including my grandmother), he built a small frame house and barn.

Morrison Harris united with the Church of the Brethren in 1887 at the age of 23 and a year later was called to the deacon's office. He continued to serve as a deacon as long as his health permitted and was a faithful member of the Church of the Brethren in North Dakota his entire life. His obituary indicates he was a splendid Sunday School teacher ... His sound advise, his charity and his wholesome viewpoint were always an inspiration to those with whom he came in contact.

Source: Kauffman Family Records