ORION BOYD HARRIS, who was the circuit-judge of Sullivan and Greene counties, Indiana, from 1900 to 1906, is a native of Knox county, Ohio, born April 15, 1859, son of Amos M. and Jane (Hill) Harris. The father was also born in Knox county, Ohio, the date being March 2, 1833; he died in 1900. The mother, also a native of Knox county, Ohio, was born in 1834 and died in 1905. They were united in marriage in their native county in November, 1857, and moved to Greene county, Indiana, in 1866, and lived there until 1873, when they removed to Knox county, Ohio. In Ohio, the father was a farmer, and also a general merchant doing business at one time at Newark, Greene county, Indiana. Retiring from mercantile life, he lived his latter years on his farm. The grandfathers on both paternal and maternal sides came from southeastern Virginia and effected a settlement in Ohio in 1808, remaining there until death. Grandfather Harris raised a family of ten children and they all lived to rear families of their own. Amos M. Harris, father of Judge Harris, was a stanch adherent to Democratic party principles. Both he and his wife were of Scotch-Irish descent. They were members of the Christian church. To them were born six children, as follows: Judge Orion B., of this memoir; Clarence W., residing in Syracuse, Kansas; Victor L., residing in same place; India A., wife of Harry A. Simmons, residing in Lakin, Kansas; Samuel C., died in infancy; Myrtle, wife of Charles P. Worden, residing in Syracuse, Kansas.


Judge Harris was reared on his father's farm and received his primary education in the district schools. He then attended the Normal School at Utica, Ohio, graduating in the class of 1878. Later he was graduated from Kenyon College, Columbia, Ohio, with the class of 1885. He taught school two years in Ohio, and one year in Greene county, Indiana. Having settled upon the profession of law as the one he wished to pursue, he read law while yet a teacher in both Ohio and Indiana. In 1887 he read with William C. Hultz, of Sullivan, Indiana, remaining until 1890. He acted as deputy prosecuting attorney, under Mr. Hultz, until 1892. From 1890 to 1893 he practiced law alone at Sullivan, Indiana, and at that date formed a partnership with William T. Douthitt, remaining with him until 1896. He then practiced law and managed the Sullivan Times, a Democratic local paper, until 1900. During the last named year he was elected judge of the Sullivan and Greene county circuit courts, taking his office in November, 1900, and serving until 1906, since which time he has practiced alone. His office is now located in the Citizens' Trust Building. In 1902 a Negro was lynched in his county, and the governor of the state undertook to dispossess the sheriff of his office. The judge gave his opinion and the sheriff was not molested. Judge Harris is a Democrat, and in fraternal connections is a member of the blue lodge and chapter of the Masonic order. He is also a member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks at Sullivan. Besides his legal business, Judge Harris is the president of the La Gloria Copper Mining Company, of Terre Haute.


He was married May 8, 1890, to Rachel, daughter of Seburn and Mary Elizabeth (McCrae) Kirkham. Mrs. Harris was born in Sullivan county, Indiana, and attended the common and high schools and also the state Normal. She subsequently taught for about three years in her native county. Mr. and Mrs. Harris are the parents of the following four children: Norval K., Naomi, Amos Myron, and Phillip Hill. Both the judge and his estimable wife are members of the Christian church.




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