Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl

HARRISON, TEXAS. Harrison is on State Highway 6 some eight miles southeast of downtown Waco in eastern McLennan County. The area was part of a plantation owned by Gen. James E. Harrison during the late 1850s and 1860s. After the Civil War, a mill, a cotton gin, a school, and a general store were established to serve the needs of former slaves who remained on the plantation as sharecroppers. In 1872, when the Houston and Texas Central Railway laid its track from Bremond to Ross, the community became a station known as Harrison or Harrison's Switch, in honor of General Harrison, who had given the railroad permission to cross his land. A post office was established at Harrison in April 1878 with Joseph W. Moore as postmaster. By the mid-1880s the community had 150 residents, three general stores, two churches, and a district school; cotton was the primary crop grown by area farmers. In 1896 Harrison was the focus of a black school district with two teachers and sixty-six students. After 1900 the community began to decline. Its post office was discontinued in 1905, and by 1920 its population had fallen to an estimated twenty. Thirty-five residents and two businesses were reported there during the late 1930s. A school and a few scattered houses marked the community on county highway maps in the 1940s. The population of Harrison was given as twenty-five from the 1940s through 1990. In 2000, however, the population was 100.

Dayton Kelley, ed., The Handbook of Waco and McLennan County, Texas (Waco: Texian, 1972). William Robert Poage, McLennan County Before 1980 (Waco: Texian, 1981).

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl, "HARRISON, TX," accessed January 23, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hnh12.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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