JOSEPH C. HARRISON, ex-County Clerk of Calhoun County and a prosperous merchant of Belleview, is a very prominent and influential citizen of this part of the State. He comes of good pioneer stock, and is a native of this county, born September 5, 1851. His parents were Joseph C. and Bridget (Red) Harrison. His father was a native of Pennsylvania, and coming to this county in pioneer times he married here, and while in the midst of a useful career his life was terminated while yet in its prime, when his son our subject was only sixteen months old. He was the father of four children, of whom two are living, George and Joseph C.
The latter who forms the subject of this brief biographical review, was early left an orphan by his mother's death when he was only five years old. His father had been prominent in pioneer life hero, being an early settler of Belleview Precinct and he had served as Justice of the Peace and as Deputy Sheriff of the county. Our subject was reared under pioneer influences and passed his youth on a farm. He was given the advantages of a liberal education, laying its foundation in the common schools of his native county, and in the fall of 1867 he became a student at the Notre Dame University at South Bend, Ind., where he devoted himself to his books for two years. He was thus well qualified to teach, and he pursued that profession some six months.
Mr. Harrison was selected by his party for the responsible office of Clerk of the county in 1877, and he served in that capacity nine years successively with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of his fellow-citizens without regard to party. In 1887 he located at Belleview, having decided to give his attention to the mercantile business and sagaciously concluding that this was a fine point at which to open a general store. In the fall of 1889 he moved into his present commodious quarters in a fine brick building, two stories in height, 25x50 feet in dimensions, which he has fitted up very neatly and has it well stocked with goods of all classes that are demanded by his customers amounting in value to about $4,000, his annual sales bringing him in $8,000. He is a well-educated man, possesses a sound well-balanced mind, and good financial talents, which place him among the successful business men of his native county. He is a leader of the Democracy in this section of the State, and his hand is felt in various enterprises advanced to further the interests of Belleview and the county at large. In religion he is a true Catholic and is a member of the church.
Mr. and Mrs. Harrison's pleasant home in Belleview is made very attractive to their numerous friends by the kindness and cordiality of the hostess and the genial courtesy of the host. These two people were united in the bonds of matrimony April 5, 1874, and three of the five children born of their union are now living — Charles A., Lettia and Mary. William L. and Rolin E. are deceased. Mrs. Harrison's maiden name was Julia A. __dwell, and she is a daughter of the well-known John Sidwell, of whom a sketch appears on the pages of this volume.
Extracted 16 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Illinois, published in 1891, pages 592-595
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