Minyard Harriss


Obituary 1914 of Minyard Hickerson Harriss
Son of Braddock Harriss & Avey Handley

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

From the Fairfield Recorder, Fairfield, Texas
27 November 1914


Our people were shocked last Saturday morning to hear of the death of Mr. Minyard Harriss, of Kirven, which occured about 2 0'clock in the morning.  Mr. Harriss had been suffering a great deal from asthma, and had arisen and was walking in the yard when he fell and expired in a few minutes, death being due to heart trouble.

Maj. Harris, as he was known to his friends, was a native of Alabama, enlisting in the Confederate Army in that State.  At the close of the war, he came to Freestone, settling in Old Woodland, where he resided until death.  He was owner of a great deal of real estate, and at one time raised a great deal of fine stock in connection with his farming interest, and also was engaged in he mercantile business, moving his business from Woodland to Kirven after the railroad was constructed.  He was a member of W. L. Moody Camp, and had been Comander of the Camp for four years, and his efforts to promote the welfare of the Camp, and his courteous and old time manners endeared him to the old soldiers and the people of Fairfield.

He was a true gentleman of the old school and we sorrow at his passing.  He leaves his aged companion, and a son and daughter to mourn his death.  Maj. Harriss was 68 years of age.

His funeral was largely attended.  The business houses at Kirven all closed and there was a large attendance from Wortham and Mexia, and other points.  The following old comrades from Fairfield attended the burial: Dr. W. N. Snned, A. G. and J. G. Anderson, and J. G. Salter of Streetman, who went from this place.

From the Fairfield Recorder, Fairfield, TX
2 April 1915


He was one of the most prominent citizens of Freestone Co., Texas and in most respects one of the best men I ever kenw, and I had known him intimately for forty years.  I knew him long and well, as well or better perhaps tha anyone outside of his immediate family. His many noble traits of character could not be appreciated without a close and intimate association with his private life.  One of his strongest attributes was to adhere to the truth – he scorned falsehood – and he frequently incurred the displeasure, even anger, of some by his blunt candor.  But his life was one of principle, not policy; while it was his wish and purpose to be agreeable (and he was always affable, at times, most entertaining) yet, he never indulged his sunny disposition to the verge of deceit and falsehood.  He was richly endowed by nature with great mental and physical vigor and power, which he cultivated and developed by his own energy and ambition.

Minyard Hickerson Harris [sic] was born in Coosa County, Ala., October 18th, 1846; was married to Kate E. Lennard, at  Nixburg, Coosa county, Alabama, August 11th, 1872; moved to Woodland, in Freestone county, Texas in October, 1873; died at his home at Woodland, near Kirven, Texas, November 21st, 1914.  When a mere boy, he enlisted as a soldier in the Confederate Army from his native State; at the time of his death he was Commander of the local Camp of Confederate Veterans at Fairfield, Texas.  At the end of the war he found himself without property and without an education; yet with a remarkable brilliance of intellect, combined with a high sence [sic] of pride and ambition and strength of purpose, he managed to become a scholar without a school education, for he read and understood books and kept apace with current news and general literature as but few could.  Added to all this, he had a prodigious memory, and could at all times intelligently discuss all the live questions of the day as well as the history and incidents of the past.

In all his makeup, he was a most extraordinary man.  He had no political ambition for himself, but was patriot, that he was, he always worked for his friends and his party with loyalty, zeal and fidelity, as he thought would best subserve [sic] his country and his county.  He was open faced and he fought open handed.  There was never any question as to how he stood for men and measures, and he was nearly always right.  Having both courage an wisdom, he seldom failed in his estimate of men and his analysis and solution of issues, but when convinced that he was wrong, he never hesitated to confess his error, for there was nothing treacherous or duplicitous in his nature or his conduct.  His life was an open book which contained his few vices as well as his many virtues. 

In all my observations and experience in life, and there are many, I have never known his duplicate.  Through all these years, he was my friend and I enjoyed his friendship; it was as close and intimate as could be. His home was always open to me, and so many hundreds of times have I enjoyed the hospitality of that dear old home where he lived  with his interesting and cheerful family for so many happy years.  He loved his good wife and  children, and they worshipped [sic] him.  They were never denied any of the comforts or luxuries of life.

Only his wife and son, Lennard and daughter, Mrs. Katie Mae Harriss Gibson of Mexia survive him.  His noble wife Miss Kate, as well called her was his loyal and loving companion for forty-two years.  No better woman lives; loved by all who know her; may the good Lord, who she have loved and served nearly all her life, sustain and comfort her in this, her darkest hour of the many afflictions she has suffered.

Besides the loss of other children who died in infancy, was the eldest, Jewell, who died many years ago, a beautiful and charming young woman of rare accomwlishments [sic]; and Clifton, the youngest, a noble and most popular young man who died two years ago.

My good friend was about 68 years of age at the time of his death.  He was laid to rest in the old cemetery at Woodland, where so many of those whom we have loved and lost lie buried.

After all, life is a mystery and death a tragedy.
O. C. Kirven, Austin, Tex.

end of eulogy

[Note: Oliver Carter Kirven, former Judge of  Freestone County, Texas ]

Please note:
Buried in the old Woodland Cemetery off FM 80 near Kirvin,  Freestone County, Texas [cemetery map space  353]

BORN in: Brooksville Ala.
Oct. 8, 1846

DIED in: Old Woodland Tex.
Nov 21, 1914

Gone from our home. But not from our hearts

Minyard H. Harriss
Co. B Hubbards Batt. Ala Cav
Oct 8, 1846 -- Nov 21, 1914

Also on same monument

Sept. 18, 1851  -- Oct. 12, 1926

for more information on the Woodland Cemetery
Woodland Cemetery