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Harris, John H.

Born: 1792-10-31 New York

Died: 1881-09-05 Tremont, Illinois

Flourished: Tazewell County, Illinois

Harris was a hatter in New York and South Carolina. In 1833 he came to Illinois to scout the land and in 1835 he returned with a group of prospective settlers from New York, who established themselves in what became the town of Tremont. Later that year, Harris donated twenty acres to Tazewell County to secure Tremont's selection as county seat. He married Catharine Montross in 1815, with whom he had four children before her death. In 1843, he married Sarah Holder, with whom in had one child. In 1860, Harris was a farmer living in Tremont with his second wife and their son, and he owned $5,000 in real estate and $400 in personal property. Abraham Lincoln represented Harris in three cases in the Tazewell County Circuit Court, one of which Lincoln appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Tazewell County, 13 April 1843, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Tazewell County, IL, 97; History of Tazewell County Illinois (Chicago: Charles C. Chapman, 1879), 248, 653, 657; For Harris's cases with Lincoln, search "Harris, John H.," Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, 2d edition (Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 2009), http://www.lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org.