Biography of Simon Harris

Simon Harris, of Silver City, is a native of Mineral Point, Wisconsin, born April 18, 1851, and is of English descent, his parents, Elijah and Caroline (Mitchell) Harris, both being natives of England. In 1844 the father crossed the Atlantic to America and took up his residence in Mineral Point, where he was married. In 1852 he crossed the plains to California and was quite successful in his business ventures in the Golden state. Several times he made the trip across the country to California, Colorado and Montana, and in 1872 came to Silver City. He is now living in Wisconsin, at the age of seventy-seven years. His wife departed this life in 1894, at the age of seventy years. They were the parents of eight children, four of whom are living.

In the public schools of his native town Simon Harris was educated, and was reared upon a farm, but during the greater part of his life has engaged in mining. He came to Silver City, October 16, 1872, when a young man of twenty-one years, and engaged in mining on War Eagle mountain. He worked in the Golden Chariot mine in 1873-4 when it was one of the greatest producers in the state, its stock advancing to twenty-two and even twenty-four dollars per share. Miners were paid by the foot for drilling and it was a prosperous era on the old mountain. Mr. Harris was elected president of the Fairview Miners’ Union, in March 1875, and six months later the organization had fifteen hundred members in good standing. The following year he filled the responsible position of treasurer in that organization.

He was married in Silver City, December 5, 1880, to Mrs. Bertha Lewis, of Peru, Illinois, and a few weeks afterward they visited Arizona, Washington, D. C, and the old Harris home in Wisconsin, whence they returned to Silver City. In July, 1881, Mr. Harris took charge of the Black Jack Mine for a short time and was foreman of the Trade Dollar Mine from 1892 until August, 1893, at which time he resigned his position, making a trip to the east, visiting the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago and many places of interest in the capital city of the nation, returning to Idaho in May. 1894.

At the general election in 1896 Mr. Harris was chosen a justice of the peace of Silver City, which position he has since acceptably filled. At the formation of the Silver City Miners’ Union, in August 1896, he was elected its vice-president, and in 1897 was elected its recording secretary. He has been a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows since 1872, when he took the degrees of the order in Wisconsin, and soon after his arrival in Idaho he transferred his membership to Owyhee Lodge, No. 2, I. O. O. F., which organization he represented in the grand lodge in 1888. In November, 1875, he was a representative to the grand lodge of Good Templars from Fairview, and he is also a member of the Masonic fraternity, having served as master of Silver City Lodge, No. 13, F. & A. M., in 1892, and as high priest of Cyrus Chapter, No. 2, R. A. M., in 1897. He is also a member of Idaho Commandery, and his wife is a valued member of the Episcopal Church, while both are highly esteemed residents of Silver City and have a large circle of warm friends.



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

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