James Madison Harrison

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JAMES MADISON HARRISON, retired oil operator, Parker's Landing, Pa., was born near Brady's Bend, Armstrong county, Nov. 9, 1845, son of William and Ann (Erwin) Harrison.

William Harrison was born in Maryland, near Hagerstown, in 1815, and in early manhood came to Armstrong county, locating near Brady's Bend. He was a brickmaker by trade, and for a number of years engaged in the manufacture of brick at Brady's Bend, Parker City and Bear Creek, in Armstrong county, and also at Bruin, in Butler county. In later life he engaged in farming in Perry township, where he died in 1898, being then in his eighty-fourth year. He was a soldier in the Civil war, enlisting in 1861 in Company B, 103d Pa. Vol. Inf., and after nearly two years of service was honorably discharged on account of disability.

William Harrison married Ann Erwin, who was born in Butler county, Pa., daughter of John Erwin, who was one of the pioneers of that county. He settled near the present site of Petrolia, where he cleared and improved land, which he sold later in life and purchased a small farm in Perry township, Armstrong county, on which he spent the remainder of his life. To William and Ann Harrison four sons were born: William H., James M., John E. and Henry H., William being deceased.

James Madison Harrison grew up in Armstrong and Butler counties and attended the district schools. When nineteen years of age, on March 16, 1864, he enlisted for service in the Civil war, entering Company L, 14th Pa. Cav., and in August, 1865, was honorably discharged at Fort Leavenworth, Kans. During this time many of the most important battles of the Rebellion were fought, lost and won, and he took part at Winchester, Fisher's Hill, Cedar Creek, and many skirmishes and engagements, including the Lynchburg raid.

In 1866 Mr. Harrison became interested in the oil industry and became a driller and pumper as a beginner in the business, working until 1875 in both Pennsylvania and West Virginia. He then secured leases in these States and began operating on his own account, in which he continued with success. In 1910 he disposed of his interests and retired from active business.

On Sept. 1, 1870, Mr. Harrison was married to Emily Elder, daughter of Robert Elder, of Clarion county, Pa., and six children have been born to them, namely: Daisy, wife of Elmer Royle; William O.; Robert L.; Anna, wife of F. B. Digel; Grant, and Harry.

From 1871 until 1894 Mr. Harrison lived in Butler county, and then moved to Parker City, which has since been his home. In politics he is a Republican, and for seven years served as a member of the city council. He belongs to Craig Post, No. 75, G. A. R., and to Parker Lodge, No. 761, Odd Fellows, at Parker City.

Source: Page 975, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed November 1998 by Joyce Sherry for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/armstrong/)

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