Harris Family Papers

Name of Collection

Harris Family Papers, 1901-1973
Accession #2018.003
.20 cubic feet plus one oversize box

Provenance of the Collection

The collection was found in the Archives without a corresponding Deed of Gift.  It may have been donated Mary Ross Harris, the daughter of Ellsworth and Eloise Harris.

Biographical Background

Pearl Harris was born in 1885 in Mineral Point, Wisconsin to John H. Harris and Elizabeth NeCollins.  She had one brother, Ellsworth Harris who was born in 1888.  Their mother died in 1891 and it appears that their father left them to be raised by a maternal aunt in Mineral Point.  Pearl and Ellsworth graduated from Mineral Point High School (in 1902 and 1906, respectively) where Ellsworth met his wife, Eloise James (class of 1911.)

Eloise James was born in 1893 in Waldwick, Wisconsin to Uriah James and Mary Jane (Ross) James.  After her high school graduatioin, Eloise attended business college in Chicago.   She returned to Mineral Point to work as a bookkeeper for the Mineral Point and Northern railroad.  Eloise James and Ellsworth Harris were married in 1927.  They had one daughter, Mary Ross Harris born in 1929.

Pearl Harris never married and lived with her brother and sister-in-law until her death in 1965.  Ellsworth became a Postal worker, holding the position of Postmaster on two occasions before he died in 1970.  Eloise died in 1992 at the age of 99.  Their daughter, Mary Ross Harris died in 2000 having returned to Mineral Point to care for her mother before her mother's death.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The collection documents the importance of education to Pearl, Ellsworth and Eloise Harris.  It consists of three Series.  The first contains two of Pearls exercise books in which she meticulously assembled the biographies and illustrations of famous authors from the Early English period through the romantics.  The books are dated 1901-1902 when Pearl was 17 and a senior in high school.

The second Series contains five certificates awarded to Pearl, Ellsworth and Eloise.  These include Pearl Harris 1902 high school diploma, Ellsworth Harris 1906 high school diploma, two of Eloise James (later Harris) Metropolitan Business College of Chicago progress reports and Eloise's 1912 diploma from Metropolitan Business College.

Series III includes correspondence and planning documents for the Mineral Point High School Class of 1911 50th Reunion that Eloise helped to organize in 1961.  Included are lists of surviving classmates and autobiographies from classmates who were unable to attend the reunion.  One of Eloise's classmates was Leila Allen, who married Dr. Homer Ludden and had a son named Allen Ludden of television fame.  Mrs. Luddens 4 page letter is included in this Series.



Box Inventory of the Collection

Box # Contents of Folders DateSpan
Series I: School Exercise Books
1 Exercise Book English Literature I 1901-1902
1 Exercise Book English Literature II 1901-1902
Series II: Certificates and Diplomas
OV1 Diploma to Pearl Harris from M.P. High School 1902
OV1 Diploma to Ellsworth Harris from M.P. High School 1906
OV1 Certificate for Sept to Eloise James from Metropolitan
Business College, Chicago, Illinois
OV1 Certificate for Nov to Eloise James from Metropolitan
Business College, Chicago, Illinois
OV1 Diploma to Eloise James from Metropolitan Business
College, Chicago, Illinois
Series III: Class of 1911 Reunion Records
1 Committee Correspondence 1960-1973
1 Letters of Confirmation 1961
1 Letters of Regret 1961
1 Biographies of Classmates 1961
1 Letters Post-Reunion 1961

Collection Arranged by Shan Thomas, 2016
Finding Guide Written by Shan Thomas, 2018