Nancy Drake Harris

    Nancy Drake Harris, the venerable pioneer mother so widely known and esteemed in Turman Township and Sullivan County, has spent fifty-nine years of her useful life on the fine farm and homestead which is now conducted by her son, Martin Harris. She was born in Fairbanks Township, this county, on the 15th of December, 1830, and is a daughter of James and Mary (Stone) (Pearson) Drake. Her father who was born in 1778, first migrated alone from Ohio to Indiana, in 1800. Later he returned for his family, which was among the first to settle in Fairbanks Township. There James Drake died in 1863, the father of ten children by a first marriage, and six, by a second. The only survivor of the first union is Manning Drake, of Curry Township, who is now one of the oldest residents of the county; he is the father of Manning E. Drake, whose sketch will be found elsewhere in this work. The living offspring of the second marriage are as follows: Nancy, of this biography; Martin, a resident of Fairbanks Township, and Coleman Drake, of Vigo County.

    Nancy Drake received her education in Fairbanks Township and lived at home until her marriage to William Harvey Harris, April 26, 1850. Her husband was also a native of that township, born in 1823, a son of Benjamin and Mary Harris. It is a somewhat singular fact of family history that the first wives of Benjamin Harris and James Drake were sisters and all located in Sullivan County about the same time. Promptly after his marriage to Miss Drake, William H. Harris commenced farming on his place of two hundred acres in Turman Township, about one mile southeast of Staffordshire, and there he died in 1870, an industrious, unassuming, moral man, and a faithful member of the Baptist Church to the last. The six children of this marriage were as follows:

    Martin Harris, mentioned above, was born on the Turman Township farm, of which he is now superintendent and part owner, on the 3rd of March, 1864. He obtained his education in the district schools of the township, and at the age of twenty-two began working for himself. With the exception of four years spent on a farm in Fairbanks Township, he has spent his entire mature life in looking after the interests of the old homestead. He has devoted himself to the raising of stock and grain and has maintained the family reputation as a progressive agriculturist and a useful citizen. Mr. Harris is a widower, his wife, who was formerly known as Miss Rosella Fusson, living but a few years after her marriage in 1886. Mrs. Rosella Harris was born in August, 1868, near Newton, Illinois, died in 1892, and was the mother of three children, two of whom did not survive infancy, and  Alma Florence died at the age of nine. Mr. Harris belongs to the Odd Fellows. He is a member of the Baptist Church as was his wife. Politically, he is a Democrat.

Source: A History of Sullivan County, Indiana. Closing of the first century’s history of the county and showing the growth of its people, institutions, industries and wealth. Thomas J. Wolfe, Editor. The Lewis Publishing Company, 1909, page 418-419.