click here to return to Homepage
click here to return to Homepage

Henry Harris

photo courtesy of Bethene Brewer circa 1910

HENRY HARRIS (1865 - 1937)

Henry Harris was the son of former slaves and was born in Georgetown, TX in 1865 as the Civil war was ending. He was the oldest of ten children. He learned to read and write with some schooling there. At a young age he went to work for John Sparks near Georgetown in Williamson Co. TX. The same John Sparks that eventually became the governor of Nevada in 1903. John Sparks brought young Harris to Nevada as a house boy while still in his teens, sometime around 1884 and 1885.

By 1886, John Sparks and John Tinin, another large ranch holder in Texas joined together. They put together a huge cattle ranching operation in northeast Nevada and so. Idaho. It was reported at around 50,000 to 75,000 head of cattle at its peak.

Henry graduated from house boy to punch'n cows and breaking horses. Later he became foreman at the Boar's Nest, Middlestack, Hubard and Vineyard ranches all located south of what now is known as Jackpot, NV. He served as wagon boss for Sparks and Tinin and later Sparks and Harrell, Vineyard Land and Stock Co. Then working at the U.C. or Utah Construction Co., when Sparks purchased it in 1908. Henry Harris was an exceptional person and thought very highly of by those who knew him and worked with and for him. He was a top hand and respected by white buckaroos who worked for him. He was known as a good horseman and one heck of a bronc rider. Henry Harris passed away in April, 1937 at Twin Falls, Idaho.

Henry Harris was inducted into the Buckaroo Hall of Fame in September 2008.

Harris nominated to Cowboys of Color Hall of Fame

(Following story published at by Times-News,
Twin Falls, Idaho, on Friday, January 16, 2009)

Henry Harris has been nominated for the Cowboys of Color Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, Texas, recently and results will be announced in March. He was inducted into the Winnemucca, Nev., Buckaroo Hall of Fame in August 2008. Harris, who lived from 1865 to 1937, was a famous cowboy of the Nevada-Idaho border region. He was born Dec. 15, 1865, to former slaves Monroe and Ann (Mason) Harris and was the oldest of 10 children. At a young age he went to work for John Sparks, who later became governor of Nevada. At age 17, Harris worked in Nevada with Sparks where he was the home cook. He was soon given the chance to work as a cowboy on the Sparks ranch and was adept in training young horses. Harris later became foreman of several ranches around Jackpot, Nev., where he supervised white cowboys, and served as wagon boss for several of Sparks' operations.

Les Sweeney of Payette, who led the effort to get Harris inducted into the Cowboys of Color Hall of Fame, is searching for Twin Falls-area relatives of Harris. Relatives are invited to contact Sweeney at 642-8178 or Sweeney is also looking for Harris' saddle, which is believed to be in the Magic Valley. The saddle was made by D.E. Walker, is a Visalia stock saddle and is probably marked with H or HH on the back. Anyone with information on the saddle is asked to contact Sweeney.