My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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WILLIAM H. HARRY. Probably no man in Greene County has a more intimate acquaintance with its political history than he with whose name we introduce this sketch. Mr. Harry was born in Xenia, March 14, 1835, at No. 22, West Market Street, where he spent all his life until the fall of 1889, when he removed with his family to the corner of Union and Galloway Streets. He is the son of Samuel Harry, a native of Frederick, Md., and who was born April 6, 1791.

The father of our subject served as a Sergeant in the War of 1812, and about 1820 came to Oldtown by way of New Orleans and up the rivers. He was a wagon-maker by trade and had been Superintendent of the Washington navy yards, engaged in the manufacture of gun carriages. When taking a trip South, he remained in the Crescent City a few months, whence he came directly to this county and settled in Xenia, in 1822. He bought property west of the Bradley Hotel and carried on wagon-making until being elected Sheriff of Greene County, in 1846. He served two terms, and was noted for his bravery and fidelity to duty. During the imprisonment of Jesse Ramsbottom, who had been convicted of the murder of his wife, he prevented the lynching of the criminal by a mob who were determined to take his life before the regular process of the law could be carried out. He died at his home in Xenia, March 22, 1867.

The father of our subject was first married to Miss Sarah, daughter of Thomas Towler, who was one of the earliest settlers of Xenia, and they became the parents of four children. Only one was reared to mature years, Mary A., Mrs. Peacock, of Indianapolis. His second wife was Mary, daughter of Benjamin and Catherine (Marsh) Manor. The Manor family came from the vicinity of Winchester, Va., during the pioneer days of this county. This second marriage resulted in the birth of one child only, William H., the subject of this notice. The mother is still living, making her home with her son, our subject, and is now seventy-four years old.

The paternal grandfather of our subject was James Harry, a Quaker preacher, who married a Miss Rush and died in Maryland. They were the parents of two sons and three daughters. Grandmother Harry died near Xenia at the advanced age of ninety-six years. The Harry family traces its ancestry to Scotland.

The subject of this sketch attended the city school of Xenia during his boyhood days and later entered Antioch College, which he left in the fall of 1856 from the junior class. He spent the greater part of the following year in the Recorder’s office, and was then Assistant Clerk of the Probate Court until after the outbreak of the Civil War. He promptly responded to the first call for troops, enlisting in Company E, Twelfth Ohio Infantry, in the first call for three months, and going to the front, participated in the battles of Winchester, Wapping Heights, the Wilderness, Spottsylvania Court House, Tolapotomoy, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Monocacy, Opequanland, New Market, Cedar Creek and Sailors’s Creek, which latter was his last battle, and he had the satisfaction of witnessing the surrender of Lee at Appomattox. He remained in the service until August following, and was then given an honorable discharge.

This included two enlistments, as at the expiration of his first term of three months Mr. Harry re-enlisted in Company D, One Hundred and Tenth Infantry, after which he fought at Winchester and the Wilderness. He accompanied Sheridan on the Shenandoah campaign, and was in all but three of the thirty-five battles with which his regiment engaged. After the battle of the Wilderness he was promoted to the rank of Second Lieutenant for meritorious conduct on the field, and about three months later was made Adjutant of the regiment. In the winter of 1865 he was tendered a Captain’s commission for gallantry after breaking the lines at Petersburg. He received his final discharge at Columbus, Ohio, about July 1, 1865.

In the spring of 1867 Capt. Harry was appointed Chief Clerk of the Seventh Assessors’ District of Ohio, and he served as Assistant Assessor and Surveyor of distilleries, then as Gauger up to the election of President Cleveland, when, being a Republican, he stepped out. He identified himself with the Masonic fraternity in 1865, and has been a warm defender of its principles for a quarter of a century. It is hardly necessary to state that he votes the straight Republican ticket.

Mr. Harry was wedded to Miss Caroline E., daughter of Judge J. J. Winans, of Xenia, in October, 1869, and they are the parents of three children — Mary C., Samuel and James W. Mrs. Harry was born in October, 1846, in Xenia. Her mother bore the maiden name of Caroline Morris.

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This family biography is one of the many biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890. 

View additional Greene County, Ohio family biographies here: Greene County, Ohio Biographies

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