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Hon William F. Harriman


Posted By: S. Ferrall - IAGenWeb volunteer
Date: 3/8/2012 at 00:48:52

Below are 3 biographies for Wm. F. Harriman. The source of each follows the bio.

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Harriman, Hon. W.F. - Having represented Franklin county in the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth General Assemblies and being at the present time a member of the senate, Mr. Harriman is known, at least by reputation, by every person who pays any attention to the leading affairs of state.

He was born in Warner, N. H., August 16, 1841, and attended the high school in the city of his birth, and the New London Literary and Scientific institution, in his native state. His first money was earned by working sixteen hours a day on the farm, for which he was paid at the rate of $13 per month. By great personal effort he early obtained a certificate and had taught one term when, in 1860, his parents concluded to move to Iowa. The son accompanied them and upon their arrival at Rockford sought and obtained a position as teacher, which vocation was followed for several years.

He read law while teaching and working on the farm, and in 1869 was admitted to the bar at Charles City. He immediately opened an office at Cherokee, but as there were few people in the county at that time the practice was very limited and he soon drifted into real estate as a means of making some ready money. It proved much the more profitable and received his whole attention, to the neglect of his law practice. Soon he was the owner of several pieces of property, including a tract of 720 acres immediately west of the town of Cherokee and adjoining the site recently purchased for the new hospital. On this land in 1873 he planted ten acres of trees of various kinds, which was the first artificial grove in the county. They have made such a wonderful growth in the twenty six years that they may be seen from almost any point within the county, and constitute a landmark that will be regarded with interest in years to come.

In 1876 he disposed of nearly all of the real estate and removed to Hampton, where he again took up the practice of law. He shortly formed a partnership with W. A. Church, a former pupil and graduate of the law department of the Iowa State university, who later sold his interest to the late J. W. Luke, the business being conducted under the firm name of Harriman & Luke until 1888. At that time Mr. Harriman was compelled to retire because of ill health and engage in some pursuit wherein he could have the benefit of pure air and sunshine.

He chose farming and stock raising and in that work has been successfully employed to the present time. He has held various offices, viz.: Member of school board in Rockford county; superintendent of schools in Cherokee county; member of town council of Hampton; mayor of Hampton; county attorney by appointment by board of supervisors under former statute; member of the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth General Assemblies, and was elected to the senate in 1895 to represent Franklin, Cerro Gordo and Hancock counties, and will be re-elected in the present year.

In his legislative work he is able, conservative and always loyal to the interests of his constituents. Besides having a place on many of the important committees during each session, he is frequently asked to serve on special committees, always with the greatest satisfaction to all concerned. Members of the senate have often remarked that they could learn more of a subject in a ten minute speech from Senator Harriman than in an hour of the average speaker, because his ideas are so clearly expressed.

He is a member of the Congregational church and belongs to the Masonic and Odd Fellow orders. He was married December 29, 1864, to Miss Ellen E. Mitchell. They have three sons: John W., who is professor of anatomy in the Iowa State university; Wilbert E., filling the chair of pathology, histology and physiology in the Iowa Agricultural college, and Charles B. Harriman, attending the public schools of Hampton. Mr. Harriman has long served as director and vice-president of the State Agricultural society, and is now its president

~Biographies and Portraits of the Progressive Men of Iowa - Vol I; by B.F. Gue; Des Moines, IA, USA: Conaway & Shaw Publishers, 1899; pg 369-370
~The photo of Hon. Harriman (at bottom of page) is also from this book

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W.F. Harriman was born in Warner, New Hampshire, August 16, 1841. His education was acquired in the public schools of his native town and in the New London Literary and Scientific Institution. He worked on a farm and taught school until his parents removed to Iowa in 1860, when he began to read law.

In 1869 he was admitted to the bar at Charles City and settled in Cherokee where he began practice. He soon became a large land owner and planted the first artificial grove in that county.

In 1876 he removed to Hampton in Franklin County where he resumed the practice of law. Retiring from active practice in 1888, Mr. Harriman engaged extensively in farming and stock raising.

In 1891 he was elected on the Republican ticket Representative in the House of the Twenty-fourth General Assembly, serving by reelection also in the Twenty-fifth General Assembly.

In 1895 he was elected to the Senate from the district composed of the counties of Cerro Gordo, Hancock and Franklin, serving in the Twenty-sixth and Twenty-seventh General Assemblies. He was the author of the act creating the Department of Agriculture.

~History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century; Vol. 4, pg 120; by Benjamin F. Gue, 1903

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Dates Served:
01/13/1902 - 01/10/1904
01/08/1900 - 01/12/1902
01/10/1898 - 01/07/1900
01/13/1896 - 01/09/1898
01/08/1894 - 01/12/1896
01/11/1892 - 01/07/1894

District: 43

William F. Harriman
A conspicuous statesman in the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth General Assemblies on the floor of the house was the Hon. W. F. Harriman, of Hampton.

Two years ago, when casting about for the right man to send to the senate, the republicans of Franklin, Cerro Gordo and Hancock counties decided they could do no better than to elect Senator Harriman to that position. He brought to the legislative work a fund of experience from an active professional and business life.

He was born in Warner, N. H., August 16, 1841, and came to this state thirty-seven years ago. He received his education in the Warner public and high school, and the New London Literary and Scientific institution.

In 1860 his parents removed to Iowa and located at Rockford. There the senator taught school for several years, then studied law, and was admitted to practice in 1869.

He practiced law fifteen years, then he engaged in farming and fine stock raising. He was married in December, 1865, to Miss Ellen E. Mitchell, and they have three sons.

He is identified with the Masonic and I. O. O. F. lodges, and belongs to the Congregational church. He has held various county and city offices, and was a member of the special committee from the house six years ago on the world's fair, where he did exemplary work.

He has been actively connected with the Iowa state fair organization, and to his untiring efforts is due much of the appropriation from the state. He is an earnest and convincing talker, and has served his constituents faithfully and well the past few years. Last term he was chairman of the committee on highways, and served on the committees on judiciary, appropriations, agriculture, public health, and horticulture and forestry. He is a valuable man in the republican party, and a public spirited man in his life as a citizen.

~Iowa State Legislative Biography

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Franklin Biographies maintained by Rose Rouse.
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