Samson A. Harris


Among the prosperous agriculturists of Allamakee county is Samson A. Harris, who has extensive holdings near Postville, owning a farm of three hundred and thirty acres. He is also interested in a number of important enterprises. He was born at Caldwell, Ohio, March 24, 1862, and is a son of David McGary and Rosanna (Floyd) Harris. Both parents were also natives of Ohio, the father being born in Noble county. He always followed agricultural pursuits in his native state and there passed away in 1892. The mother still makes her home in Ohio. David Harris made a distinguished military record in the was of the Rebellion, serving with valor and devotion for nine months and his death resulting from the effects of an affliction which he had contracted during the service. In his family were nine children, of whom our subject is the third in order of birth.

Samson A. Harris, in the acquirement of his education, attended public school in Noble county, Ohio, which state he left in 1881 in order to come to Iowa, where he accepted employment with his uncle, Elisha Harris, there remaining for four years. By thrift and energy he acquired the means which enabled him to purchase the farm upon which he now lives, the nucleus of his holdings consisting of sixty-seven acres, to which he has since added at various times until his property now comprises three hundred and thirty acres. He devotes his attention to general farming and also gives a good deal of his time to stock-raising. His buildings are modern and up-to-date and his equipment and machinery of the latest type. The appearance of his place speaks well for the methods he employs and stands as evidence of his prosperity. Mr. Harris has become interested in other enterprises and is a stockholder in the Postville Canning Factory and in the Clay Products Company. He also holds stock in the Farmers Implement Company of Plano, Illinois, and the Citizens Bank of Postville.

On September 22, 1885, occurred the marriage of Mr. Harris and Miss Ida Smith. She was born in Post township and 1864 and is a daughter of John N. and Susan (Lee) Smith, both natives of New York. They came to Iowa before their marriage and the father resided a short time in Decorah before removing to Post township. Here he acquired land, to the cultivation of which he devoted the remainder of his life, passing away in 1895. His wife still survives, residing in Post township. In their family were eight children, of whom but two are now living, including Mrs. Harris. Mr. and Mrs. Harris have two daughters: Lila, who is teaching school at Waukon and resides at home; and Leonek, who pursues her education in Toledo, Iowa.

Mrs. Harris and daughters are members of the United Brethren church, to which Mr. Harris gives his helpful support. His political faith is that of the republican party and, although he keeps intelligently informed upon all issues involved, he has never aspired to public office. Fraternally he is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Modern Woodmen of America. Starting out in life with no particular advantages, Mr. Harris has again proven the fact that success is but ambition’s answer and that industry and honest will win the day. While he has become one of the most prosperous agriculturists of his section, he has been a factor in the general advancement, and is recognized as a forceful element in the community, where he is highly respected and esteemed by all who know him.

-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Diana Diedrich

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