Gibson Harris was born in Litchfield county, Connecticut, March 7, 1791. His parents were Ebenezer and Abigail Harris. (Maiden name Burnham). Ebenezer was a farmer. Gibson came west in 1818 or '19, stopping at Vincennes, Indiana, where he engaged in making plats and maps of the surrounding country. Being a practical surveyor he found plenty to do in his vocation. He aided in laying off the town of Terre Haute. After a few months' sojourn in Vincennes, he came to Albion, where he entered the employ of Francis Dickson as clerk. In this capacity he continued until the time of his purchase of the stock of goods. In the mercantile trade he continued until the time of his death, December 5, 1847. From a humble beginning he established, by prudence, energy and the exercise of an excellent judgment, a large and lucrative business. In an early day he took strong grounds in favor of temperance, nor was it in words alone, but in action as well. It was the custom of the times to have liquor on sale in such establishments. This he would not do. Years afterwards this was imputed to him as a virtue, though at the time his customers thought it a hardship. He was united in marriage with Elizabeth Woods, daughter of John Woods, one of the hardy English pioneers of Edwards county, in 1826. By her he had nine sons, Gibson W., now of Cincinnati; George, Chester, Francis, John, Levinus, Lucius, Morris and Bedford E. Of these, all are living, save Chester, who died February 7, 1870, and John, who died February 10, 1850. Mrs. Harris survived her husband several years, during which time she carried on, aided by her sons, the business he had established until the time of her death, which occurred September 9, 1864. Gibson Harris was one of nature's noblemen, a true friend, a wise counselor, a man of irreproachable character.

Extracted 12 Aug 2017 by Norma Hass from 1883 A Combined History of Edwards, Lawrence, and Wabash Counties, Illinois, page 217.

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