Future founders of Harrisburg wed
On this day in 1813, John Richardson Harris wed Jane Birdsall in New York. While living in Missouri, the Harrises met Moses Austin, who convinced them to move to Texas. John went to Texas in 1824 and received title to 4,428 acres of land in what is now Harris County. He boarded with William Scott while he built a house at the junction of Buffalo and Bray's bayous, and two years later hired Francis W. Johnson to lay out the town of Harrisburg. After John Harris died of yellow fever in 1829, his widow moved to Harrisburg. There, in the spring of 1836, she was the hostess of the provisional government; so crowded was her house that all of the cabinet, except the president, vice president, and secretary of state, were obliged to sleep on the floor. She later operated an inn that, after the construction of the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado Railway, was patronized by travelers who changed from railroad to steamship and from steamship to railroad at Harrisburg. Jane Birdsall Harris died in 1869.