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John Lewis Harrison (1884 - after 1922)

Laurel Co., KY

Surnames Mentioned: Acton Baker Duncan Graybeal Harrison Spivey

JOHN LEWIS HARRISON is marking with special efficiency his official record as clerk of the County Court of Laurel County, and his selection for this position indicates the appreciative estimate placed upon him in his native county. He was born September 10, 1884, on the home farm of his parents, five miles southeast of London, the judicial center of Laurel County, and in the rural schools of that locality he acquired his early education, which was amplified by his attending Berea College one term and the Sue Bennett Memorial School three terms, ending in 1909. He was twenty-one years old when he began teaching in the rural schools of his native county, and his effective service as a teacher continued for eight years. In November 1913, he was elected clerk of the County Court, and by re-election in 1917, and again in 1921, and he has since continued his service in this important office, the records of which he has maintained at high standard. During his tenure of office Mr. Harrison has, as a matter of course, maintained his residence at London. He is a stalwart advocate of the principles of the republican party, has been an active worker in its local ranks, and he and his wife are members of the Baptist Church. He is affiliated with London Lodge No. 249, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and London Council No. 181, Junior Order of United American Mechanics. He owns his home property on Fall Street, London, as well as other real estate in his native county. Mr. Harrison was a vigorous and loyal supporter of the various local war activities during the period of American participation in the World war, and in addition to subscribing as liberally as possible to the Liberty and Victory Loans, Savings Stamps, Red Cross work, etc., he took active part in furthering the drives for these patriotic objects in his home county.

In 1914, at Pittsburg, Laurel County, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Harrison to Miss Vessie Acton, a daughter of Dr. J. A. and Elizabeth (Graybeal) Acton, who now reside at East Bernstadt, Doctor Action being one of the representative physicians and surgeons of Laurel County. Mr. and Mrs. Harrison have one child, J. L., Jr., who was born April 13, 1921.

Oliver Harrison, grandfather of the subject of this review, was born in Virginia, where the family was founded in the Colonial period of American History, and he was a young man when he came to Kentucky and became a pioneer settler in Laurel County, where he reclaimed a farm five miles southeast of London, and where he passed the remainder of his life, as did also his wife, whose maiden name was Bettie Duncan. Their son, John O., was born on the old home farm in this county, October 10, 1848, and here he well upheld the honors of the family name both as a citizen and as a productive farmer. Shortly after his marriage he established himself on the farm which was to continue as the stage of his activities during the remainder of his long and useful life, and there his death occurred October 1, 1910, his home farm having been a part of the landed estate here accumulated by his father. He took local part in community affairs of a public order, was a republican in politics, but had no desire for political office of any kind. His wife, whose maiden name was Martha Spivy, was born in Laurel County in 1854, and she survived him by about five years, her death having occurred in 1915 and both having been consistent members of the Baptist Church. Of their children the eldest is Elizabeth, wife of Rev. J. R. Baker, a farmer near McWhorter, Laurel County, and also a clergyman of the Baptist Church; Henry is a harness maker by trade and resides at London, the county seat; W.D. resides at Bernstadt, this county, where he is serving as magistrate; James, who resides at McWhorter, this county, has been for twenty years a successful teacher in the public schools of this section of the state; G. W. is a farmer near London; and the subject of this sketch is the youngest of the children.

Source: History of Kentucky, five volumes, edited by Judge Charles Kerr, American Historical Society, New York & Chicago, 1922, Vol. IV, p. 252, Laurel County

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Last Updated: 28 January 1998
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