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Rev. Joseph Cabell Harrison (1793 - 1860)

Fayette-KY Christian-KY Grant-KY Paris-Bourbon-KY Cumberland-VA IL MO

Surnames Mentioned: Harrison Cabell Russell Tompkins Rice Bishop Breckinridge Graves Jordan Clarkson Corbin Gaines Brent Richardson Bulkley Sloan Brown Devore Castleman

Harrison Genealogy Repository ID: 11262

REV. JOSEPH CABELL HARRISON. The name of Joseph Cabell Harrison is closely identified with the establishment of Presbyterianism in Boone and other counties of northern Kentucky. He came to Boone from Fayette County in 1833. He was a Virginian by birth, the son of Robert Carter and Ann Cabell Harrison, who emigrated from Cumberland County, Va., to Kentucky in 1806, and settled on their estate near Lexington, which still bears the name of "Elkhill". There were three sons and seven daughters of this family: Joseph Cabell, the eldest son, born in 1793, Carter and Robert. They were all, on reaching manhood, farmers, as was their father, and lived on their own estates in Fayette County.* Carter married Miss Russell, and died young, leaving one son, Carter Harrison, the late mayor of Chicago. Robert married Miss Tompkins, of Lexington, and removed to Booneville, Mo. He was a lawyer by profession, and was a member of the Legislature both of Kentucky and Missouri. He left only one daughter. Joseph Cabell married Sophia, daughter of Dr. J. H. Rice, of Christian County, and granddaughter of Rev. David Rice, eminent a century ago as the founder of Presbyterianism in Kentucky, and intimately connected with the founding of its education institutions. Mr. Harrison received a liberal education, mostly at Transylvania, and studied for the ministry under the late Rev. Robert H. Bishop, D.D. About the year 1824 he established in Lexington, in connection with his kinsman, Rev. John Breckinridge, The Western Luminary, which was the first religious paper in Kentucky. They were its first editors. He also, prior to his coming to Boone, founded Mount Horeb Church, in Fayette County. He organized this church in the house of Mrs. Mary H. Breckinridge, his maternal aunt, and the land for the church building was given by David Castleman, his brother-in-law. The semi- centennial of this old church was celebrated in April, 1877. He founded the churches of Richwood and Burlington, in Boone County, about the year 1835. The fiftieth anniversary of the founding of Richwood was celebrated in May, 1885. The church at Union is a colony from Richwood, and that at Crittenden, probably a colony from old Lebanon Church, in Grant County, where he preached for some years. Mr. Harrison was possessed of good pulpit ability, and was a fluent speaker and writer; but his chief excellence was in being a true servant of God, zealous in his Master's cause. During his latter years he had no pastoral charge, but preached often in the adjoining counties. At different times during his ministry he was in the employment of the Board of Domestic Missions, and sent to preach in destitute parts of the State, and sometimes in other States. He was a man of fine social qualities, and most amiable character, and the purest motives, but impulsive and easily influenced by others. But if under misapprehension he was lead to do a wrong or an injustice to another, with true manliness he was willing and eager to atone for the injury. He died in 1860, in the sixty-eighth year of his age. "Many men have served God with more renown, but none with a purer heart, or deeper devotion." Mrs. Harrison, after eleven years of widowhood, surrounded by her children and their families, died in the year 1871, at the age of seventy-two. She was a gifted and most interesting woman, with quick sympathies and the warmest affections. For some years she was in declining health, and, calmly anticipating death, she literally and intelligently "set her house in order," both temporally and spiritually, and when the solemn event came, she laid down her mortal life, as one would fold and lay aside a worn-out garment that she had no longer any use for. Their remains lie in the burying ground of Richwood Church, for the upbuilding of which church they gave their efforts, their prayers and their means. They left six children: Mrs. Anna C. Graves, the oldest; Robert C. Harrison, Mrs. Lucy Jordan, Mrs. Maria Clarkson and Mrs. Mary Corbin; all living at this writing except the youngest, the lovely and beloved Mrs. Susan R. Gaines. The sisters of Mr. Harrison were Mrs. Hugh Brent, of Paris; Mrs. Samuel Q. Richardson, of Frankfort; Mrs. A. Bulkley, of Chicago; Mrs. Dr. Sloan, of Missouri; Mrs. Samuel Brown, Mrs. James Devore and Mrs. David Castleman, of Fayette County. Mrs. Castleman is the only surviving member of the family [See sketch of Graves Family.]

*The Harrisons were of English origin; were in Virginia as early as 1645, and identified with its history and government. But three of that generation came West: Robert and Peyton, brothers, and William H. Harrison, their first cousin, who was afterward President of the United States.

Source: Kentucky: A History of the State, Battle, Perrin, & Kniffin, 7th ed., 1887, Boone Co.

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Last Updated: 28 January 1998
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