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Richard Harris
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James Harris
Jane Barnard

James K. Harris


Family Links

1. Martha Tipler

2. Pamillia Irwin

James K. Harris

  • Born: 13 Aug 1854, Marston, Bedfordshire, England
  • Marriage (1): Martha Tipler on 16 Jan 1873 in Moulton, Bedfordshire, Britain
  • Marriage (2): Pamillia Irwin on 21 Jan 1885 in Toronto, Ontario
  • Died: 9 Oct 1925, Choteau, Montana, U.S.A. aged 71

bullet  General Information:

James Harris was another younger brother of William's that was rumoured to be involved in the formation of the original "Harris Bros." rendering business set up on Kingston Road (that particular section is now part of Queen Street) in Toronto (1869-71).

But, according to the documentation of James' Mother (Jane Harris) he did not even come to Canada until November, 1879.

Based on her notes, James was 3000 miles away from the businesses for the first 8 to 9 years of it's operation.

Jane Harris goes on to say that James left Marston for Canada in the November of 1879 and returned to Marston on April 7, 1880 only to leave Marston and go back to Canada a week later later on April 14, 1880...this time with his wife, Martha and their existing children at that time.

James emigrated to the U.S.A. in 1887 (Chicago, Illinois) - the following year Pamelia and his children followed.

bullet  Research Information:

William's younger brother, James (Jim) Harris left Marston for Canada in the November of 1879 and returned to Marston on April 7, 1880 only to leave Marston and go back to Canada a week later later on April 14, 1880...this time with his wife, Martha (Tipler) and their existing children at that time. Instead of joining William in the rendering business it appears that he opened a grocery store on Queen Street. It is noted on the birth certificate of his daughter Emily (born 1882) that Jim was a Grocer by trade. In 1882, Jim and his family with his first wife, Martha Tipler (1853-1884), resided at 365 Queen Street East. It is assumed that the grocery store that Jim owned & operated was located at this address as well. In a letter dated October 15, 1982, written to Joan (Harris) Macrae by Lois (DeCoursey) Phasey (Jim Harris' granddaughter), Lois notes that the Toronto home address of Jim & Pamillia Harris was 120 Queen Street East. According to Lois, Jim owned the entire block. It is assumed that he moved from 365 Queen St. to 120 Queen St. around 1885 - shortly after the death of his wife Martha on March 4, 1884.

On January 21, 1885 Jim married Pamillia Irwin (1856-1919) of Burlington. In 1888 (for reasons not known yet) Jim sold his business & assets and moved the entire family to Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. His documented date of U.S. naturalization is February 25, 1889 - this same date of naturalization applies to all members of James' family as a whole. Once there Jim became a well known Restauranteur. Lois also states that around this time John Barnard Harris, one of Jim's sons that he had with Martha Tipler, became ill, eventually dying of Typhoid. According to J.B. Harris' death certificate he died in Chicago in 1892. Lois' letter goes on to say that Jim was a successful and respected Chicago businessman. He joined the Masons and he made many important friends within the Chicago business community. Jim's tenure as a successful Chicago Restauranteur seems to have been a short lived reality. While Jim and his family were living in Chicago (around 1895 time possibly) Jim became separated from a very large portion of his money & property.

Family legend says that Jim loaned a fellow Mason $80,000.00 An excessely large amount of money in the mid 1890's; and for that matter, a considerable sum even by today's standards. Suffice to say, the Mason Lodge brother disappeared shortly after the loan was finalized. James never did see his lodge brother, or his $80,000.00 ever again.

Following this financial devastation, Jim and his family took whatever they had left and bought an inexpensive, yet scenic piece of land in Choteau, Montana - with the intention of ranching. Around 1901/2, while digging a well, Jim struck a vein of copper - a very large and prosperous one. He then opened a copper mine on that land, making back his previous losses quite quickly and buying up other properties in the area for prospecting and/or ranching purposes. The actual name of the mine and business that Jim founded was the "Anaconda Copper Company". The business address of this mine was in Great Falls, Montana. Both he and Pamillia would live the rest of their days in Choteau, Montana.

In 1979 the descendants of James Harris/Martha Tipler/Pamillia Irwin were very surprised to find out that Jim had reserved a portion of the mineral rights to the Choteau ranch land for his family about a year before he died. It was, although, not specified in his will. "Hunt Brothers" now lease the land rights from Jim's descendants. The area is now known as the "Overthrust Belt", or more specifically, "The Deep Creek Project".

bullet  Medical Information:

Montana Death Index, 1860-2007 about James Harris

Name: James Harris
Age: 71
Estimated birth year: abt. 1854
Gender: Male
Death Date: 9 Oct 1925
Index Number: Bt 4074

Source: Montana Office of Vital Statistics


bullet  Events in his/her life:

Occupation: Baker, 1871, Marston, Bedfordshire, England.


James married Martha Tipler, daughter of George Tipler and Unknown, on 16 Jan 1873 in Moulton, Bedfordshire, Britain. (Martha Tipler was born in 1853 in Moulton, Bedfordshire, Britain, died on 4 Mar 1884 in Toronto, Ontario and was buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto, Ontario.) The cause of her death was Chronic Interstitial Nephritis.


James next married Pamillia Irwin, daughter of Alexander Irwin and Cecilia Redmond, on 21 Jan 1885 in Toronto, Ontario. (Pamillia Irwin was born on 25 Feb 1856 in Mount Forest, Burlington, Ontario and died on 14 Jul 1919 in Choteau, Montana, U.S.A..)

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