Ralph Erskine Harris
HARRIS, Ralph Erskine, proprietor of a heating and plumbing establishment in Macomb, McDonough County, Ill., was born in Newcastle, Ky., July 4, 1846, a son of Ralph and Mary (Wilson) Harris, the former a native of Virginia, and the latter, of Kentucky. The maternal grandfather, James Wilson, was also a Kentuckian. The parents of Mr. Harris came to Macomb in 1848, their family consisting of ten children, of whom Ralph Erskine was the eighth. The father was pastor of the Presbyterian Church, and also of McDonough College. His son, Ralph E., received his early mental training in the public school, completing his studies at the age of fourteen years. He then learned the molder's, machinist's and patternmaker's trades, serving three years at each. For fifteen years, he worked at the machinist's trade and conducted a novelty shop. In 1892 he opened a heating and plumbing shop, purchasing the old electric light plant on East Calhoun Street, where he has since been located. In 1894, he took his son Ralph into partnership with him, and they have developed the enterprise into the largest and best establishment of its kind in Macomb.
Mr. Harris was married in December, 1872, to Mattie Jackson, who was born in Louisville, Ky., and pursued a course of study in a seminary in that State. The children resulting from this union are; Florence (Mrs. A. J. Black), Ralph, Mamie and Leila. The political views of Mr. Harris are in accordance with the principles of the Republican party. Fraternally, he is affiliated with the Masonic Order. He is a keen and energetic business man and the son, Ralph, since his association with his father in their present undertaking, has co-operated with the latter in an able manner.
Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, page 900, extracted 04 Jan 2019 by Norma Hass.