The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 25, July 1921 - April, 1922 Page: 63
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Journal of Lewis Birdsall Harris, 1886-1842
JOURNAL OF LEWIS BIRDSALL HARRIS, 1836-18421
PERSONAL HISTORY FOR MY SONS
After my return from the west my elder brother and myself
lived with our Mother Grandfather and Grandmother Birdsall and
Uncle, Dr. Maurice L. Birdsall, at the old homestead midway be-
tween Waterloo and Seneca Falls, Seneca Co, on the banks of
the Seneca River, a beautiful river, where we fished and swam
during summer and skated during the winter. We attended a
public school in a little school house near by until I was about 10
and my brother two years older. When I went to live with my
uncle Dr. Lewis A. Birdsall who had recently married his cousin
Mary Jane Lee, they settled in Barrington about 20 miles from
Penn Yan, the[n] a wilderness. I went to school there a few
weeks only. When I left there I went to live with D. D. Van
Alen in Penn Yan who, kept a store of general Merchandize, from
him I went into the P. O. under Eben Brown, where after a little
I had full charge of the office, from there I entered the Store of
Parson Wheeler where I kept books, waited on customers, pur-
chased wool etc. about this time an old merch't wishing to sell
out induced my grand uncle Dr. Joshua Lee (one of the best men
in the world) to buy him out for Saml B. Kendig,-who had re-
cently married Jane Lee a cousin-and myself and we ent'd into
business under the name of Kendig & Harris as large as life. I
was about 17 or 18 and of course felt very much elevated at see-
ing my name on a big sign, but I soon found that with the ex-
travagant notions of my partner and his inattention to business
'Lewis Birdsall Harris was born July 1, 1816, at the home of his
parents, John R. Harris and Jane Birdsall Harris, on the Seneca River
near the town of Waterloo, New York. He was less than twenty years
old when he landed in Texas. After serving for several years as Deputy
County Clerk, he engaged in several business enterprises in the vicinity
of Harrisburg and Houston, until 1849, when he, in company with his
wife, Jennie Wilcox, and a few chosen friends, went overland to Cali-
fornia. During the gold development and for some years afterward he
accumulated a fortune. He made his home at first in Sacramento, but
during the latter years of his life he lived at San Francisco. After the
death of his first wife, he married Mrs. Amanda C. Dell, and by her had
his sons-Lewis B. Harris. Jr., and Gordon Bryan Harris. He died on
June 12, 1893, at San Diego, California, at the home of his son, Lewis.
He was an honored member of the Society of California Pioneers of
1849, and the memorial published by this society in his honor is an
honest tribute to his worth as a man and la citizen.--Adele B. Looscan.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 25, July 1921 - April, 1922, periodical, 1922; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101082/m1/69/: accessed July 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.