Harriss Store Fire


Transcribed by MaryFrances Flournoy 15 August 2007
(by permission of the Fairfield Recorder)

From the Fairfield Recorder, Fairfield, Texas
Friday, August 6, 1886

Residence Burned.

Mr. M. H. Harriss, a well known young merchant of Woodland had the misfortune of getting his neat residence destroyed by fire recently. It was burned some weeks ago, but its loss was one of those items that escaped our notice until last week. The fire occurred aboutr 12 o’clock at night and did not awaken the occupants until the roof of the kitchen and dining room had fallen and the dwelling proper in flames. Mr. Harriss just had time to get his children out of the house, and save only a few articles from one room. The loss of the residence and contents was almost a total one, and falls heavily on the loser. We heard that there were circumstances connected with the burning that point strongly to incendiaryism [sic], but we have learned nothing since in regard to it. There was no insurance on the property lost.

From the Fairfield Recorder
27 January 1888

A Store Burned

Mr. George May of Woodland called on us last Monday, and informed us that the store building and contents of Mr. M. H. Harriss of that place, were totally destroyed by fire, about 4 o’clock on the morning of the 22nd inst. The fire was undoubtedly of incendiary origin and started in the rear of the building, which was in a big blaze when the fire was discovered.
Nothing at all was saved, it not being safe to enter the store when parties got to the scene. It is not known who set the building on fire, and no clue had been found Monday we Mr. May left. A negro man was lodge in jail here about two weeks ago for burglarizing said store, and one theory of the fire is, it was caused by some friend or accomplice of the prisoner.

Mr. Harriss was insured on his building and contents for $1,500 dollars $1,000 in the East Texas Insurance Company and $500 [newspaper illegible] New Orleans.

From the Fairfield Reporter
31 July 1896

From Mr. James Payne, of Bonner, we learn that M. H. Harriss had the misfortune to lose his barn by fire last Friday night. It was evidently set on fire by some mean, malicious person, as it was burned about 2 o’clock in the morning. Mr. Payne informed us that in the early part of the night all the family were gone except Mr. Harriss. He heard some one prowling around the rear part of the premises, and in order to frighten them away he fired off his gun. The ptrty [sic] returned the fire, sending a ball not very far about Mr. Hariss’ [sic] head. That night the barn was burned.

From the Fairfield Reporter
10 January 1908

Minyard Harris [sic] store, at Woodland, an old landmark of the county, was destroyed by fire several days ago.

[Note: Fire also reported in the Dallas Morn