LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, Andrew Jenson, Vol. 3, p.105 Harris, Martin Henderson, a pioneer and missionary, was born Sept. 29, 1820, near Mehoopany, Wyoming county, Pa., the son of Emer Harris and Debora Lott.
He [p.106] was a nephew of Martin Harris, one of the Three Witnesses to the Book of Mormon, and a descendant of Thomas Harris, companion in exile of Roger Williams, and one of the founders of Providence, R. I. His parents being members of the Church, Martin was baptized in September, 1842, by Milton Stow, near Nauvoo, Ill. While a youth he served as a guard in Nauvoo to protect Joseph the Prophet against surprises by mobs. He also served in the Nauvoo Legion and witnessed the laying of the cornerstone of the Nauvoo Temple. After being driven with the Saints from Nauvoo in 1846, he resided temporarily in St. Louis, Mo., until 1850, when he went to Kanesville, Iowa, and thence crossed the plains to Utah in Wm. Snow's company, which arrived in Salt Lake City, Sept. 23, 1850. He went to Ogden that fall and spent the winter in the so-called Brown's Fort. In 1851 he commenced farming at Harrisville, built a house and fenced some land, his being the first house built west of Four-Mile creek, and the only house which remained standing in that neighborhood during "the move," in consequence of which the Ward, when organized some years afterwards, was named Harrisville after him. Bro. Harris soon became known as a horticulturist and planted trees from many climes. He was president of the first co-operative store in Ogden, served as road commissioner of Weber county eleven years and assisted in locating most of the highways of that county. Bro. Harris was ordained a Seventy Sept. 5, 1853, by Luman A. Shurtliff, and was secretary for many years of the 38th quorum of Seventy. In the summer of 1863 he was appointed presiding Elder of the Eighth ecclesiastical district (later Harrisville). When the so-called Eighth District was organized with a president Nov. 15, 1863, he was set apart as first counselor to Luman A. Shurtliff. He taught the first school in the Harrisville district in his own house without pay, and acted as the first superintendent of the district Sunday school when that was organized in May, 1865; he held that position till Sept. 13, 1868. He acted as district or Ward clerk for many years and culled data from private records and other sources in compiling the Harrisville Ward history for 25 years, beginning with 1850. He was the first missionary called from the district or Ward to Salmon river, and during the move in 1858 he went South. He was also fifer in the first military band of Weber county. In 1877 he filled a one year's mission to the Eastern States. On account of sickness he returned, and never fully recovered. He died Feb. 14, 1889, of palsy at Harrisville. Bro. Harris married Georgiana Maria Aldous Jan. 18, 1855; she died Oct. 30, 1858, leaving a son Emer, born August 6, 1856. Bro. Harris married Louisa Sargent April 3, 1859, by whom he had six children, namely, Leander S., born April 20, 1860; Louisa G., born March 4, 1862; Nathan J., born March 29, 1864; Martin D., born May 4, 1856; Louisa P., born May 30, 1868, and Ida E., born Nov. 27, 1875.
HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH
Aug.--Wednesday. 17--I walked out into the woods, for exercise, in company with Brother Derby, where we were accidentally discovered by a young man; we asked him various questions concerning the public feeling, and situation of matters around, to all of which he answered promptly; on being requested not to make it known where we were, he promised faithfully he would not, and said time would tell whether he did or not,
(Young man was M. H. Harris.)
DEATH OF A PIONEER
The Founder of Harrisville Laid to Rest.
Martin H. Harris died February 14th, 1889, at Harrisville, of general debility. He was born Sept. 29th, 1820, in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania, being 68 years, 4 months and 16 days old at the time of his demise. The deceased was the son of Emer Harris and a nephew of Martin Harris, one of the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon. He early identified himself with the Church. The progenitors of the Harris family came at a very early day from England, settling in Providence, Rhode Island. His grandfather moved to the town of Palmyra, Wayne County, New York, being among the first of the white race who settled there. Emer Harris, father of the deceased, died at Logan, Cache County, Utah, November 28th, 1869, at the age of 83 years.
Brother Martin has led an eventful life. When a young man he guarded the house of the Prophet Joseph Smith in Nauvoo, and was on duty in the Legion when the corner-stone of the Nauvoo temple was laid. On August 17, 1842, while traveling through the woods he discovered the Prophet Joseph in hiding from his enemies, mention of which is made by Joseph in his history. He came to Weber County, Utah, in 1850, and in 1851 he settled in Harrisville, being the first settler north of Four-mile Creek. Harrisville derived its name from him. In 1855 he married Georgianna, daughter of Robert and Mary Aldous, who now reside in Huntsville. She died in 1858, leaving one child, Emer, who now resides in Cache County. In 1859 he married his present wife, Louisa Sargent, and by her has had six children, three boys and three girls. All were present at their father's death except the oldest daughter, who lives in Idaho. In the spring of 1876 he planted a grove of 100 shade trees in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of our nation's freedom. These stand to this day as a lasting memento of his love of home and country.
The history of Brother Harris may be said to be the history of Harrisville, for he has identified himself with all her public enterprises, being the first to open his house for a school, which he taught gratuitously. Some of our prominent young men were students therein.
Space will not permit me to name all the conditions in which he has been a public benefactor. It is only proper to say that he was always foremost in all public movements, was very industrious and frugal, and gathered property around him which enabled him to leave his family comfortably provided for. He was always willing to lend a. helping band to the needy, and as a Latter-day Saint he was strictly scrupulous in the payment of his tithing and donations.
He has been a subscriber to the Deseret News, Juvenile Instructor, the Ogden Junction (now The Standard) and other works from their publication, and has been the first to support all home industries. Sister Harris wears a silk dress every part of which was raised and manufactured by her own hands.
He was regarded as one of God s noblemen--an honest man--and at his death he requested that all outward display at his funeral should be plain and in harmony with his Pioneer life.
The funeral services were held at Harrisville East schoolhouse, presided over by Bishop P. G. Taylor. The choir rendered appropriate hymns. The speakers, Bishop P. G. Taylor, President L. W. Shurtliff, Patriarch Joseph Taylor, William W. Dixon, and High Counselor D. B. Rawson dwelt upon their early associations with the deceased and his many virtues. Elder Joseph Perry dwelt on the condition of humanity here and hereafter.
His wife, four sons, two daughters, and two adopted children and three brothers were present. The assembled people having viewed the remains, a large cortege followed them to Ogden Cemetery, where they were laid by the side of his dear wife Georgianna to rest in peace.
Deseret News please copy. P. L. (Feb. 17, 1889)
A Patriarchal Blessing by Emer Harris, Patriarch, upon the head of Martin H. Harris No. 118, recorded in book A, page 140. William Nattale, recorder, Provo City.
Provo City, June 24, 1855
A blessing by Emer Harris, Patriarch, upon the head of Martin H. Harris, son of Emer and Deborah Harris, born Sept. 29, 1820, Windham, Luzern County, Pennsylvania, America.
My son Martin H. I lay my hands upon your head in the name of Jesus of Nazareth and place upon you a fathers blessing, thou art a descendant of Ephraim, the son of Joseph which was sold into Egypt by his brethern, therefore thou art a legal heir to the Priesthood, which hath come down through the lineage of thy fathers even into thee, thou shalt bear of the Priesthood with honors unto thyself and confer it upon thy posterity after thee, and also thou art entitled to the blessings conferred upon Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob for thy posterity shalt become numerous on the earth, and the fruits of the earth shall be given unto you until you shall be satisfied therewith. Missionary labors will be required at thy hand and thou shalt have strength and wisdom to perform all things whatsoever shall be required of thee, whether at home or abroad and thy days shall be lengthened out as long as thou shalt desire it. Thou shalt live to see the ministration of Angels, and converse with them face to face; feat not my son but be strong and thou shalt be able to overcome all difficulties and all trials, and shall rejoice in the Zion of God; and inasmuch as thou art faithful, all these blessings shall be made sure unto you and no power of earth and hell shall be able to arrest them from you, and by the authority of the Holy Priesthood invested in me, I seal this a fathers blessing upon you, and in the name of Jesus Christ I seal thee up unto eternal lives.
Even so Amen.
Also see notes on Ethel Fern Oram.
CENSUS: Age 39, laborer, wife Luisa age 18, Emer M 3, Leander 3 months.