Biography of Frank Harris

Frank Harris
Frank Harris

Hon. Frank Harris, the leading lawyer of the bar of Weiser, and a member of the state senate of Idaho, is a native of California, his birth having occurred at Placerville, on the 20th of June. 1854. He is the second in order of birth in a family of seven children, whose parents were William and T. E. (Saltzman) Harris. The Harris family is of English descent and was founded in Virginia in colonial days. William Harris, the grandfather of our subject, was born in the Old Dominion, and when the Revolutionary war was inaugurated aided in the struggle for independence. His son, William Harris, was born in Virginia, in November. 1809, and after attaining the age of forty years he married Miss T. E. Saltzman, a lady of German lineage. In 1849 William Harris removed to California, where he engaged in mining for a number of years, but later devoted his energies to farming in Humboldt county, where his death occurred in 1886, in the seventy-seventh year of his age. His estimable wife still survives him, and is now seventy years of age. All of their seven children are also living.

Frank Harris acquired his literary education in the public schools of California, and on determining to make the practice of law his life work entered the office of Buck & Stafford, well known attorneys of Eureka. He completed his studies under the preceptorage of the firm of Chamberlain & De Haven of that place, and in 1880 he came to Weiser and was admitted to the bar. Here he has since made his home, and in the practice of his profession has met with gratifying success, to-day holding rank as the leading member of the legal fraternity in his county.

In 1884 Mr. Harris was united in marriage to Miss Nettie Oakes. a native of Wisconsin, and they now have three children. William, James and Emma. They have a delightful home in Weiser, erected under the direction of Mr. Harris, and they enjoy the high esteem of a large circle of friends. Socially our subject is connected with the Knights of Pythias fraternity and is now the efficient chancellor commander of the lodge. His political views are in accord with the principles of the Democratic Party, and to that organization he has rendered valuable service during the campaigns, being a most effective, entertaining and instructive campaign speaker. His utterances are logical and convincing, and at the same time are never tiresome or pedantic. In 1889 he was elected a member of the convention which framed the present constitution of Idaho, and his knowledge of constitutional law made him a valuable factor in framing the most important document in the state government. In 1896 he was elected a member of the state senate, where he served most acceptably to his constituents and with credit to himself. Thus in various departments of the public life he has rendered important service to his state, yet his greatest work is in the line of his profession. His preparation of cases is most thorough and exhaustive: he seems almost intuitively to grasp the strong points of law and fact, while in his briefs and arguments the authorities are cited so extensively and the facts and reasoning thereon are presented so cogently and unanswerably as to leave no doubt .as to the correctness of his views or of his conclusions. No detail seems to escape him: every point is given its due prominence and the case is argued with such skill, ability and power that he rarely fails to gain the verdict desired. He is a member of the Idaho State Bar Association, of which he is vice-president for Washington County.

Mr. Harris is also personally interested in mining in the Seven Devils district, and has a large clientage among the mine owners and miners of the now famous mining country just mentioned. In March 1899, he formed a partnership with R. A. Stuart, late of the Washington bar, and formerly a member of the law firm of Thompson & Stuart, of Iowa.

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Illustrated History of the State of Idaho. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company. 1899.

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