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
nominated to Cowboys of Color Hall of Fame
(Following story published at by Times-News, magicvalley.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.