Randolph County, Indiana
Emmett B. Harris
It is no very
rare thing for a poor boy in our country to become a prosperous man and occupy a
commanding position in the business world, but many who have fought their way
from poverty to wealth, from obscurity to prominence, retain some marks and scars
of the conflict. They are apt to be narrow and grasping, even if not sordid and
unscrupulous. Emmett B. Harris, the able and popular cashier of The
Citizens Banking Company, of Modoc, Randolph county, although he did not come
up from the ranks of the poverty stricken and has not reached the affluence of
the rich, yet he has worked his way from a modest beginning to a comfortable
station in the world of affairs, being an instance of a man who has achieved
success without paying the price at which it is so often bought. His success
has not removed him further from his fellow men, but has brought him into
nearer and more intimate relations with them, and, although he has led a busy
life, he has yet found time to devote to those interests which develop the intellectual
and moral nature of man, living not to himself alone, but showing a desire all
the while to aid his fellow men.
Mr. Harris was born July 12, 1876, in Farmland, Randolph county.
He is a son of David T. and Mary V. (Botkin) Harris. The father was born
in Hagerstown, Indiana, and was a son of John G. Harris, a native of
Lynchburg, Virginia, from which place he emigrated to Indiana in pioneer times
and spent the rest of his life engaged in farming near Hagerstown, and there
also the father of our subject engaged in farming. The mother of our subject
was born on the old Botkin homestead, which has come down through three
generations from the great-grandfather, who was one of the earliest settlers in
this part of the state, and from that early day to the present the Botkins
have been influential citizens in Randolph county, where Mrs. Harris
grew to womanhood and was educated in the early schools. She is still living,
being now sixty years of age. The death of David T. Harris occurred
November 27, 1908. To these parents four children were born, two sons and two
daughters, namely: Emmett B., of this sketch; Chester R., who is
employed by the Western Union Telegraph Company in New York City, married Mabelle
Skeele, and they have one child, Franklin; Jennie G. married C.
A. Davis of the Western Electric Company, of East Orange, New Jersey, and
they have one daughter, Mabel Marie; Mabel N., who was graduated
from a high school, and is a successful teacher in Modoc, was born September
Emmett B. Harris grew to manhood in his native locality and he received
a good practical education in the local schools, later was graduated from a
commercial college, after which he worked for some time as bookkeeper for the
Strawboard Company at Yorktown, Indiana. He gave eminent satisfaction in this
position, and since 1904 he has been cashier of The Citizens Banking Company,
of Modoc, Indiana, and has done much to increase the prestige and high standing
of this solid and popular institution. It was established in March, 1903, with
a capital of ten thousand dollars and has made a gratifying growth ever since,
doing a general banking business in a safe and conservative way, thereby
gaining the confidence of the people. Their surplus and undivided profits have now
grown to over ten thousand dollars. Its president is John Christopher,
of whom a sketch appears on another page of this work. The directors are W.
P. Farquhar, H. A. Gaddis, B. C. Mendenhall, Arthur R. Moore, M. V. Maulsby,
J. C. Cropper and John Christopher.
Mr. Harris was married July 14, 1907, to Inez Porterfield,
of Richmond, Indiana, a daughter of M. C. Porterfield, a well-known
citizen of that city, where Mrs. Harris was born, reared and educated.
To Mr. and Mrs. Harris one child has been born, Freeman, whose
birth occurred July 25, 1909.
Mr. Harris is
Independent politically, but has never been active as an office seeker, but has
been town treasurer of Modoc for some time. Fraternally he is a member of the
Knights of Pythias and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He attends the
Methodist Episcopal church.
Past and Present of Randolph County, Indiana, 1914.
Contributed by Gina Richardson
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