Mr. and Mrs. James Madison Harris are buried at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. While the 1860 U.S. Census for Erie County indicates he was born in Kentucky in 1810, an obituary for Mr. Harris, which appeared in the July 9. 1895 issue of the Sandusky Register, reported he was 95 years of age at the time of his death on July 8, 1895. James Madison Harris was an early African American settler of Perkins Township in Erie County, Ohio. In the 1880 U.S. Census, Mr. Harris's first name was listed as Mattison. He was a farmer, aged 65, according to the census records. He lived in Perkins Township with his wife Julia, age 40, and his son William, age 17. A marriage record for William H. Harris, which informs us that he married Ida Smith in 1903, indicates that William Harris's mother's maiden name was Julia Brown.
Mrs. Julia Brown Harris passed away at the family residence on Patten Tract Road in Perkins Township on April 3, 1904. An obituary for Mrs. Harris was carried by the April 4, 1904 issue of the Sandusky Morning Star.
A beautiful monument which honors the memory of James Madison Harris and Julia Brown Harris is located in Block 13 of Oakland Cemetery. A draped urn which sits upon a closed book adorns the top of the Harris monument. The draped urn symbolizes sorrow or mourning.
A hand holding an open book is found in the middle portion of the Harris monument, just below a decorative flower.
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