Harris, Mose C. (1843–1922)

By: Frank H. Bushick

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: November 6, 2020

Mose C. Harris, journalist and reformer, was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on May 25, 1843. He was a printer on the Louisville Courier Journal before joining a Confederate guerrilla force at the age of eighteen; he was captured by Union troops but was paroled and remained in Washington, D.C., for the duration of the Civil War. In 1872, with a "shirt tail of type and an old Washington hand press," Harris started a paper at Hot Springs, Arkansas. He used his editorial pages so vigorously against both the sporting elements and the complacent officials of that city that a mob dragged him to the railway station, a rope around his neck, and ordered him never to show his face in Hot Springs again. In 1873 he moved to Texas and continued campaigns of uplift and reform in Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio. In Austin he assailed particularly the state's agreement with the Capitol Syndicate (see XIT RANCH) to exchange three million acres of land for the construction of the present state Capitol. A legislative investigation failed to sustain his charge that the new building was poorly constructed and unsafe. In the early 1890s Harris, who was called "Major" by those who admired his exploits or sought his favor, moved to San Antonio, where for ten years he published the Texas Republic. The paper was Republican in policy and attacked incompetent politicians and office holders. In San Antonio, Harris and William C. Brann, for a time the editorial writer for the San Antonio Express, engaged in a short-lived editorial duel of wit and personalities. Harris served as deputy collector of internal revenue in the San Antonio division from 1889 to 1893. Later he moved to El Paso, where he died on June 2, 1922.

Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.


  • Journalism
  • Newspapers
  • Editors and Reporters
  • Publishers and Executives


  • Central Texas
  • Austin
  • San Antonio
  • North Texas
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Dallas
  • Fort Worth
  • Southwest Texas
  • El Paso

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

Frank H. Bushick, “Harris, Mose C.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 24, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/harris-mose-c.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 6, 2020

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: