On January 21, 1885 James married Pamillia Irwin
(1856-1919) of Burlington. In 1887 (for reasons not known yet) Jim sold his business &assests and moved the entire family to Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. Once there James became a well known Restauranteur. Lois also states that around this time John Barnard Harris
, one of James' sons that he had with his first wife Martha Tipler, died of Typhoid. Recent research led to the discovery of J.B. Harris' death registration
, and sadly he did pass away in Chicago in 1892. Lois' letter goes on to say that James was a successful and respected Chicago businessman. He joined the Masons and he made many important friends within the Chicago business community. James' tenure as a successful Chicago Restauranteur seems to have been a short lived reality although. While James and his family were living in Chicago (around 1895 time possibly) Jim became separated from a very large portion of his money & property.
James' descendant's maintain that he loaned a fellow Mason brother $80,000.00 An excessely large amount of money in the 1890's; and for that matter, a considerable sum even by today's standards. Suffice to say, his Lodge brother miraculously disappeared shortly after the loan was finalized. James never did see this man or his $80,000.00 ever again.
Following this financial devastation, it seems that James 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. In 1897/8, while digging a well, James (like many others in the day) 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. By the early 1900's James sold his mine to the a booming company from Butte called Anaconda Copper
. 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 James 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".
John Barnard Harris (September 18, 1856 - January 22, 1930)
John Barnard Harris was the youngest of the four brothers. He originally came to Canada in 1872 with the newly married William and Caroline (Richardson) Harris. Based on immigration records, John originally resided at 355 Strathmore Avenue, Toronto. John did not stay in Toronto for very long. By 1873 he was a Butcher's apprentice in London, Ontario. In 1878 he left London, Ontario to once again return to England. John came back to Canada in 1880 and again settled in London. It was not until John married Alice Kimber (1858-1926) in Toronto on May 23, 1881 that he is noted as residing in Toronto. The first child born to Alice & John was William George Harris on April 6, 1882. William George is noted as being born in Middlesex County, London, Ontario. Even though John appears to have been residing with his family in London until as late as 1883, John became a partner in W. Harris & Company in mid 1882. It is very possible that John was involved in the company in some other way, i.e. sending business to Toronto from London. This is still being researched.
John and his family initially lived at 924 Danforth Road. In 1885 they would move to 1624 Danforth Road. It is at this address that John and Alice would remain for the remainder of their lives.
John and his sons assumed total control of W. Harris & Company after William Harris' death on May 11, 1914. John's descendants continued to administer and operate W. Harris & Company until 1960/61 when the area of Keating Street was obtained by the city of Toronto in order to construct the Don Valley Parkway. In 1961 W. Harris & Company was sold to British Glue and Chemical. It had been in business for exactly 90 years.
From roughly 1890 until 1923 (?) John and his son's also owned and operated the Harris Coal Company as well.
John's middle son, Joseph Henry Harris, or simply "Joe" as he preferred, (b. December 13, 1888 - d. October 25, 1952) was elected to the Canadian House of Commons. Joe was initially elected as a Federal Member of Parliament (MP) for the York East Riding in the 1921 Canadian election. During his lifetime he would also serve as the Federal M.P. for both the Danforth & Toronto-Scarborough ridings (this riding was renamed from the Toronto-Scarborough Riding to the Danforth Riding in 1933). Lastly, Joe was elected in 1949 to the Danforth Riding - he died while in office on October 25, 1952. He remains the longest running incumbent Federal politician in Canadian history. During his 31 years as a member of Parliament he was affectionately known as "Silent Joe Harris" - meaning that he was never really "silent" at all. Joe's greatest accomplishment while in office was the concept & construction of the Toronto East General Hospital. To see an image of him at the Hospital's official opening in 1929, click here.
To view Joe's profile on Wikipedia, click here.
To see Joe Harris' obituary with his photo, click here
In 1938, during the Conservative leadership convention, Joseph was nominated and ran for the Federal Conservative party leader seat. He placed third in the race. He would not run for this title again.
In total, Joe was re-elected an impressive 8 times in his chosen riding.
John Barnard Harris is cited in Toronto history as a "Danforth Pioneer".
"Harris Avenue", a small road that runs East/West in East York, located one block north of Danforth Avenue and one block West of Main Street between Oak Park Avenue to the West and Chisholm Avenue to the East, was named in John's memory. Harris Park Drive, another street located in East York, is named after John's son, Joseph H. Harris. Originally, a Park was dedicated to Joe's memory - but the park was built over when the Eglinton Square Plaza was constructed. Harris Park Drive is situated between Pharmacy Avenue and Victoria Park Avenue, North of Saint Clair Avenue East. It runs North/South from Arvington Road (North end) to Edge Park Avenue (South End).