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Harris was born in Lawrence County, Alabama near the community of Mount Hope. His education consisted of both the public schools and private tutoring. When the American Civil War began, Harris enlisted in the Confederate States of America army. He was assigned to the Sixteenth Alabama Infantry, Company F. He progressed through the ranks, attaining the rank of lieutenant. At a point, Harris was captured and taken as a prisoner of war by the Union. He was held at Camp Chase, Ohio, until the war ended.
Upon returning to Alabama, Harris served as Clerk of the Circuit Court of Lawrence County from 1865-1867. He studied law and began to practice in Moulton, Alabama. In 1872, Harris moved to the larger city of Decatur, Alabama, where he continued his practice of law. In 1887 he was instrumental in establishing the First National Bank of Decatur and served as its president until 1913.
In that year he established the Bank of Commerce and became its president. He also became the chairman of the Democratic executive committee for the 8th district and was elected to fill the unexpired term of William Richardson, who had died in office. He served from May 1914 until March 1915. He did not seek reelection.
After his Washington work, Harris returned to Alabama and served as president of City National Bank in Decatur. He was later named to the Chairmanship of the bank. he died December 28, 1935. He is buried in the Decatur City Cemetery, Decatur, Alabama.
|United States House of Representatives|
William N. Richardson
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Alabama's 8th congressional district
Edward B. Almon
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