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Biography: Joseph Warren Harris born Dec. 9, 1847 – photograph

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Harris, Joseph Warren - PikeJOSEPH WARREN HARRIS



Pike County, Alabama

Joseph Warren Harris, of Troy, Alabama, was born Dec. 9, 1847, near Troy, Pike county, Alabama. He was the son of Edward Harris and his wife, Mary Ann (Faulk) Harris. Edward Harris was born Jan. 22, 1825  in South Carolina, but moved to Alabama in an early day, living for many years near Troy; he was a carpenter and farmer, settling on a fine farm on the west side of Manning’s creek, north of Troy; he enlisted as a private when the war opened.

The great-grandfather of Joseph Warren Harris was Edward Harris, who was a native of North Carolina and emigrated to South Carolina, where he settled and raised a large family. His son, George Harris, and wife, Sophia, were reared in South Carolina, and married, having five children born while residents of that State: William Harris, Ezekiel Harris, Polly Harris, Abigail Harris and Edward Harris. They emigrated to Alabama and settled in Pike county, where three more children were born to them: George Harris, Ginsey Harris and Jonathan Harris.

Ezekiel and George Harris enlisted in Company G, Sixtieth Alabama, and Edward enlisted in Company G, Sixty-first Alabama regiment, Battle’s brigade, and was killed in battle at Snicker’s Gap, near Martinsburg, Virginia., July 18, 1864. He was the father of Joseph Warren Harris.

Edward Harris and Mary Ann Harris raised a family of five children: William McDonal Harris, the oldest, was born Oct. 13, 1843, enlisted and served with the Twelfth Alabama for nearly three years, and was killed in battle near Spottsylvania Court House, Virginia, May 15, 1864, his head being shot off by a cannonball.

Jonathan Harris, sickened and died in the service, and was taken home for burial in the churchyard cemetery at old Pleasant Hill church.

Elizabeth Harris was born in 1845, married Bartholomew Floyd and emigrated to Woodruff county, Arkansas, in 1867, where Mr. Floyd soon died, and she married a young physician, Dr. J. N. Ritter; they moved to Indian Territory, where they resided in 1904, and reared quite a family, living in or near Shawnee.

Timothy Marron Harris, born in 1850, married a Miss Malinda Bell, of Pike county, Ala., and settled in Montgomery county, where they raised a family of six children, two of whom emigrated to Texas, the rest settled near them, three at Grady on the Atlantic coastline.

John E. Harris was born in 1852, married a Miss Lucinda Gainus, and settled in Pike county, later moving to Coffee county, Alabama, following farming and rearing five children.

Mary Ann Faulk Harris was the daughter of Philip and Elizabeth (Soles) Faulk, who lived at Troy. Philip Faulk was born in North Carolina, Aug. 6, 1796, and emigrated to Tennessee, and from there to Lowndes county, Alabama, thence to Pike county about 1835. He served in the War of 1812 and also as lieutenant of a company in the Indian war of 1836, the company being one raised in Pike county. He settled three miles southwest of Troy, then Centreville. He had previously married Elizabeth Soles, of a family that had also emigrated from Carolina and settled in Centreville, and was among the first settlers and business men of Centreville.

Philip Faulk was the son of Philip Faulk the first, a veteran of the Revolution, two of his sons emigrating to Tennessee, the eldest, Richard Faulk, having been born Aug. 1, 1793. Philip Faulk second raised five sons: Timothy S Faulk., born Oct. 2, 1815: William Warren Faulk, born Sept. 4, 1820; Joseph Travis Faulk, born May 1, 1823; Philip Marron Faulk, born June 6, 1833; Crockett H. Faulk, born Jan. 16, 1837. They also had three daughters: Mary Ann Faulk, born April 7, 1826; Mahala E. Faulk, born Oct. 26, 1828, and Sarah Ann Faulk, born Aug. 4, 1831. William W., Joseph T., Timothy S. and Philip all married and settled near Troy, Pike county, Ala., and raised large and highly respected families, who were among the prominent citizens of that section, with the exception of Philip, who enlisted and served as orderly sergeant in Company G, Sixtieth Alabama, being paroled at Appomattox Court House and returned home, emigrating about 1875 and settling in Wood county, Texas, where he purchased a fine farm. He raised a large family, most of whom were living in the neighborhood of Big Sandy, Texas, among the best people of that part of the State.

Joseph Warren Harris secured an education in the common schools and academies of Troy, by constant study at home, and while engaged in teaching, and by attending summer schools of pedagogy at the State Normal college at Troy. He followed farming and teaching. He was elected tax collector of Pike county in 1877 and again in 1880, and held to the end of the term in 1884 when he retired. He was elected county superintendent of schools in 1898 for two years and re-elected in 1900. He was annually elected to the office of secretary and treasurer of the Farmers’ Mutual Insurance association of Pike county for eight years.

In his sixteenth year, he enlisted as a private in Company I, Fifteenth regiment, and served nine months under Lee and Longstreet around Petersburg and Richmond, Virginia. He never entered a hospital, and the only time he was absent from duty was the result of remaining at his post on vidette duty until nearly frozen, by the picket commander’s going to sleep and letting him remain on duty long beyond the regulation time. Mr. Harris did not report him and asked his comrades not to do so, the officer being an exceptionally good man and exhibiting much distress over the affair. The young recruit was in all the terrible fighting on the James river at Forts Gilmore and Harrison, Sept. 27-29 and Oct. 7, 13 and 27, between the James and Chickahominy, and on the 9th of December, 1864, and up to the surrender at Appomattox Court House, April 9, 1865.

He was a Democrat first, last and all the time, strictly Jeffersonian in principle, and believed in constitutional “States rights.” He was originally a Presbyterian, but after the war closed joined and affiliated with the Baptist church of the Primitive faith, and held the position of clerk. He was married Dec. 5, 1867, to Nancy Jane Hinson, daughter of William and Martha Hinson, living near Troy.

William Hinson was born and raised to young manhood in North Carolina, and came to Pike county, Alabama, when about twenty-five years of age. He engaged his services and worked on a farm with Silas Lee, two miles west of Centreville. He married Miss Martha Pugh, daughter of Masten Pugh, a well-to-do farmer, and slave holder, living about six miles from Centreville. They settled on public lands near Centreville and entered and bought from the government until they had a fine body of land, on which they lived and reared a fine family of five children, namely: Ritty Ann Hinson, Masten Asbury Hinson, Caroline Hinson, Nancy Jane Hinson and Everett E. Hinson. Ritty Ann married H. A. Pugh, and lived on the place in the old residence and cared for the aged mother. Masten A. Hinson married Miss Lula Rushing, a daughter of Hon. William Rushing, a noble and worthy citizen, who was honored several times with office, and was a good farmer and miller, and a venerable citizen. Everett E. Hinson, the youngest of the family, married a Miss Turner and emigrated West, settling at Pleasant Grove, Texas, and purchased a fine farm, where he resided in 1904, having reared quite a large family, some of whom married and settled near him, and all of them are highly respected citizens. Miss Caroline married Mr. John O. Brown, who was then a teacher by profession, but later settled in Troy and engaged in the mercantile business, still living in that city in 1904. He was twice elected to the office of county treasurer, serving the two terms with honor to himself and to the satisfaction of the people.

Speaking of some of those things which have influenced his life along political lines, Mr. Harris said: “My ancestors had all along been what were called Constitutional ‘States Rights’ Democrats, but opposed to secession as long as there was any hope of preventing it. They were opposed to the political measures of the New England States in their efforts to override the Constitutional principles of ‘States rights.’ This, it seems, I had imbibed or inherited, and if my name ever goes down in any history, I wish it to appear as a patriotic defender of that principle of Constitutional right so dear to us all. They had not forgotten the very important principles learned from their forefathers in the care maintained in the act of accompanying their State Constitution with a bill of rights in which it was declared that the people possessed certain inalienable rights of which they could not be deprived, which were specified in the creation of a government with delegated and strictly limited powers only. And for greater security for their liberty and rights, they provided that the power and rights not therein delegated were reserved to the States and that they retained jurisdiction over local questions as well as all domestic institutions, etc. So when the people of the North and East commenced agitating, with influence and crusade, for the abolition of slavery without the consent of the States, they began a revolution in distinct violation of the Constitution and laws, thus making themselves a lawless, revolutionary party, and became rebels against the Constitutional government of the United States, and when they levied war to carry out their policy they became traitors, to all intents and purposes, to the United States principles of government as we saw and understood them. Hence those things fired the hearts and souls of all Southern heroes and made men fight as never men fought before.”

The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Harris were:

  1. Martha Jane Elizabeth Harris, born Dec. 16, 1868. married George W. Smith in Troy, Alabama, and resided near Big Sandy, Texas,
  2. Joseph Edward Harris, born Oct. 17, 1871, was educated in the Troy city schools and Highland Home college, married Miss Allie Faukner, of China Grove, Pike county, Alabama., and settled in the City of Troy, where he was a prominent business man of high character;
  3. William Masten Harris, born Aug. 9, 1875, reared and educated in Troy, emigrated to Texas, married Miss Fannie Smith, settled near Big Sandy, and was a farmer and carpenter;
  4. Miss Annie Lucretia Harris, born May 8, 1881, educated in Troy city schools and Troy State Normal college, married William J. Pugh, and lived near Troy in 1904.

 Joseph Warren Harris died June 22, 1912 and is buried in Hinson Cemetery, Troy, Pike County, Alabama.


  1. Notable Men of Alabama: Personal and Genealogical, Volume 1 edited by Joel Campbell DuBose, 1904
  2. Find A Grave Memorial# 47864672 # 47864671 # 11296184 # 52398559 # 25664796# 47864679


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  1. I’m a great, great grandchild of Richard Joseph Sims from “Old China Grove”. Carolyn Louis Sims born 1828 was his mother.

  2. I have a minor correction here. Mastin Asbury Hinson son of William and Martha Ann Pugh Hinson, married LUCINDA Rushing, not Lula Rushing. They were married on October 5, 1865, at Troy. They moved to Texas about 1903 and settled at Mart, Limestone County, Texas. Mastin and Lucinda are buried in Prairie Hill, Texas.

    Colonel William C. Oates of the 15th Alabama mentions Joseph Warren Harris in his famous history of the war, “”The War Between the Union and the Confederacy and Its Lost Opportunities, with a History of the 15th Alabama Regiment and the 48 Battles in Which It Was Engaged.” He wrote of Joseph Harris: “Joseph Harris was sixteen years old when enlisted on September 15, 1864. Though he came in late and at an early age, he made a good soldier and fought through to the surrender. There is a photo in the book that was taken at a reunion of the 15th Alabama and Joseph Harris is listed as one of the men in it.

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