William C. Harris (1851 - 1930)



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William C. Harris Biography & Family History

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Saint-Gilles, Quebec, Lotbinière Regional County Municipality, Quebec Canada


Saint-Gilles, Quebec, Lotbinière Regional County Municipality, Quebec Canada


Waterville, Kennebec County, Maine
Cause of death: Sepsis

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Tobey Cemetery,
Canaan, Somerset County, ME


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Father: Daniel Harris
Mother: Nancy Agnes Magee
Siblings: Richard H. Harris, Mary Ann Harris, Esther Hilton Harris, Abel A. Harris, Mary Elizabeth Harris, Agnes Harris, Charles David Harris, Katherine Olive Harris, Maggie J. Harris, Orra Ann Harris, and John Alexander Harris

Wife: Augusta A. Prescott
Children with Augusta: Alice May Harris and Harry Brown Harris


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1851 - In the year that William C. Harris was born, on April 28th, Santa Clara College - now Santa Clara University - was chartered. A private Jesuit college, it has remained in the same location for over 165 years. Originally all students were men but women were admitted in 1961.

1867 - He was 16 years old when on March 30th, Alaska was bought by the US from Russia for $7.2 million dollars, which worked out to about 2 cents per acre. The newspapers called it "Seward's Folly" because United States Secretary of State William H. Seward negotiated the purchase and Alaska was seen as frozen, useless land.

1888 - He was 37 years old when on July 25th, a court stenographer from Salt Lake City - Frank Edward McGurrin - decisively beat the competition in a typing contest in Ohio. He was supposedly the only person who used touch typing and is believed to have invented the method. Touch typing is ubiquitous now - but Frank's win is what convinced everyone that the method was good!

1891 - At the age of 40 years old, William was alive when from March 9th through the 12th, a blizzard hit the south and west of England. Called the Great Blizzard of 1891, it led to snow drifts of up to 15 feet and killed 200 people and 6,000 animals. Fourteen ships sank.

1930 - In the year of William C. Harris's passing, as head of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, William Hays established a code of decency that outlined what was acceptable in films. The public - and government - had felt that films in the '20's had become increasingly risque and that the behavior of its stars was becoming scandalous. Laws were being passed. In response, the heads of the movie studios adopted a voluntary "code", hoping to head off legislation. The first part of the code prohibited "lowering the moral standards of those who see it", called for depictions of the "correct standards of life", and forbade a picture from showing any sort of ridicule towards a law or "creating sympathy for its violation". The second part dealt with particular behavior in film such as homosexuality, the use of specific curse words, and miscegenation.


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William C. Harris, father to 2 children, died on July 26, 1930 in Waterville, Maine at 78 years of age. His family lists the cause of death as: sepsis. He was buried in Tobey Cemetery, Canaan, ME. He was born on October 9, 1851 in Saint-Gilles, Quebec, Quebec , Canada. He was born to Daniel Harris and Nancy Agnes Magee, with siblings Richard, Mary, Esther, Abel, Mary, Agnes, Charles, Katherine, Maggie, Orra, and John. William married Augusta A. Prescott. and they gave birth to Alice May Harris and Harry Brown Harris.


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