Harless / Hurless / Harlip / Harliss

Including: NON-HARLESS

Extracted by Kathy Lynn






John Harless Bowen

John Bowen was born in Giles County, Virginia, in 1800 and is the son of John Harless Bowen.  In his father's family there were fourteen children.  His father died in that state.  His mother was still living at that time he left the state.  When a young man Mr. Bowen left his native state for Michigan with teams.  When he arrived in Ohio, he ran out of money and was forced to stop and seek employment, which he found, and remained there three years.  He then went to Michigan, and after a residence of five years came to Illinois in 1836.  He first settled in McDonough County, and two years after came to Hancock, where seventeen years of his life was spent.  He bought land in that county, and having three yoke of oxen, harness and wagon, he was not long in making a start in life.  He sold his land there in 1854 and removed to Henderson County.  At one time he owned over a section of land.  He was married in Virginia at the age of nineteen years to Miss Mary Burton.  He is the father of the following children:  Ariminta, Marshall, Elizabeth, Lena, John R., Almeda, Catharine, W.H., James H., Mary, Jonathan, Arena, Lafayette, Eliza, Warren, and two others who died while young.  Though Mr. Bowen is now eighty-two years of age, he is quite active and attends to all the little odds and ends about the farm.  In all his struggles with fickle fortune to gain a competence, and the severe trials thought which he passed, it is a source of great satisfaction to him in his declining days to know that he has the good will of all.  He holds to the principles of Freemasonry.

(Bedford Twp. pg. 278 HENDERSON CO. IL, Family Page)




JOHN ALLEN--son of Carr and Tempa (DANIELS) ALLEN, was born in Grayson county, Virginia, January 29, 1817. He married Sarah, daughter of William and Mary (EDWARDS) JOHNSON, who was born in Grayson county, December 17, 1819. Their marriage was solemnized at Mount Airy, North Carolina, November 26, 1840, and the record of their children is: Mary Jane, born September 24, 1841, lives in Kanawha county, West Virginia; Martha Ann, April 16, 1843, lives in Fayette county, West Virginia; William C., February 7, 1845, lives in Dublin District, Pulaski county; Tempa Frances, June 24, 1847, lives in Raleigh county, West Virginia; Margaret Matilda, January 4, 1849, lives in this district; Sarah Elizabeth, March 23, 1850, died in August 1882; John II, November 15, 1852, lives in Fayette county, West Virginia; James Anderson, September 17, 1855, lives in Raleigh county, West Virginia; Surrildia Catherine, October 28, 1858, lives in Wyoming county, West Virginia. William BRADSHAW, B. F. HARLESS, and A. J. WILLIAMS, sons-in-law of John ALLEN, were all Federal soldiers, serving through the entire time of the war between the States.  All were in the West Virginia Infantry service, and passed through the war doing their duty on all occasions, yet remaining unwounded. B. F. HARLESS is still suffering from sickness contracted while in the service. Some years ago John ALLEN made his home in Pulaski county, engaging in farming in Dublin district, and coming here from Raleigh county, West Virginia.  He has filled with ability the offices of district clerk, 1871-5, and constable, 1876-80. He receives his mail at Poplar Hill, Giles county, Virginia.

(Biography of John Allen - Pulaski Co. VA
Source: The Index to Pulaski County History in Hardesty's 1884)



(NOTES:  B.F. HARLESS is Benjamin Franklin Harless)



FLOYD H. HARLESS, a Charleston attorney, where he has been in active practice for over ten years, has the honor of being state councilor for West Virginia of the Order United American Men. As head of this order in the state he is greatly interested in spreading its principles and making the order a vehicle of genuine service and usefulness as a defender and propagator of real Americanism and good citizenship. Mr. Harless inherits some of the strong and sturdy char- acter of his ancestors, who have lived in the Mountain State for several generations. He was born on the Harless homestead on the Straight Pork of Mud River in Lincoln County in 1884. His parents, G. W. and Louisa E. (Humphrey) Harless, are still living, the former a native of Lincoln and the latter of Kanawha County. Harless is a name of German origin, but the first American ancestor settled in Virginia about the time of the Revolution. He reared a family of eleven sons and two daughters. Four of these children lived to be over 100 years old, and in all the generations the Harlesses have been noted for long life. The grandfather of the Charleston lawyer was Rev. Edwin Harless, who lived to be over ninety years of age, and for seventy of those years was an active Baptist minister.

Floyd H. Harless attended the country schools of Lincoln County, Marshall College at Huntington, and studied law in West Virginia University at Morgantown. He finished his law course in 1910, was admitted to the bar the same year, and at once located at Charleston, where among many of the state's foremost lawyers he has won creditable distinction by his abilities and has been favored with a growing general practice. His practice is in the various County, State and Federal courts. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias and Odd Fellows.

Source: The History of West Virginia, Old and New Published 1923,

 The American Historical Society, Inc., Chicago and New York, Volume III, pg. 235



GRANT HARLESS, son of Frank M. and Elvina Harless, was born in Putnam County, Missouri, October 9, 1868. He was married December 24, 1889, to Eliza Palmer, who died August 29, 1904. They had three children: Fred, born March 6, 1891; Earl, December 24, 1892, Ray, October 7, 1896. He was again married March 29, 1911, to Vennie E. Maas, a widow, daughter of J. P. Lawson.  Mr. Harless was reared on a farm in Putnam County, followed the occupation of farming in that county till 1901, then went to Oklahoma, remaining two years. In 1903 he came to Adair County, Missouri, where he has since lived and been engaged in farming.   He also travels at odd times for the K. K. K. Medicine Company. He was elected road overseer of the district where he lived in 1905, and has since continuously served in that capacity, being regarded as one of the best in the county. He lives on the Jasper Abernathy farm, one and one half miles west of Stahl.  Mr. Harless is a Republican and belongs to the 1. 0. 0. F. and Redmen fraternities.

Index to the Biography section of Violette's History of Adair Co., Mo. 1800's 

(NOTE:  Sent to me from the Library by  jmsapko@truman.edu)

(NOTES:  Found in the 1880 Census: Elm Twp Putnam Co. Missouri Household number 397/408 Stinson Scoby age 23 Viola Jane wife age 20 (D/O Frank and Elvina Harless) Ella F Dau age 2 George Son age 6/12

Household number 368/378 Daniel Ledford age 66 Evina wife age 46(Elvina Harless wife of Frank) GRANT Harliss G-son age 12 (Grandson of Daniel Ledford but Son of Elvina!)



J.B. HARLESS, proprietor of a general store at Marmet, Kanawha County, W. Va., a representative citizen of this section, was born February 27, 1840, in what was then Kanawha County, Va. His parents were James H. and Spicey (Barker) Harless. James H. Harless was a native of Virginia and was a farmer in his native State for practically all his life, his death occurring when aged sixty-eight years.  His wife was also born in Virginia and she outlived him, dying near her seventy-second birthday.  They had eight children, J. B. being the third in order of birth. The others were: Martha and Silas, both of whom are deceased; Mary and Nancy, who are also deceased; Rachel, who is the wife of M. Snodgrass; Willard Harold, who is the wife of Albert Harold; and Virginia, who is the wife of L. N. Perry.   J. B. Harless describes the schoolhouse, in which he studied his first lessons, as a, log structure with very primitive furnishings, with sessions lasting but three months in the year.  On many occasions it became his duty to get up before daylight and find wood with which to build the schoolhouse fire, that being in the contract with the teacher.  Mr. Harless then became a farmer and also worked in the timber and continued until he was forty-five years of age, when he discontinued those lines and went into merchandising. He purchased his present store which is favorably located for trade, near the C. & 0. Railroad depot, and he carries a large and well selected stock and does a prosperous business. He owns other property and is one of the substantial men of the place. During the Civil War he served in the Union Army, enlisting in i86i, in the 8th and later the 7th Va. Cav., under Col. Lozier, and served two years, during which time he participated in the second battle of Bull Run, the battle of Cedar Mountain and many other engagements. He returned from the army practically uninjured and resumed his former business activities. Mr. Harless was married to Miss Mary E. Barker, who was born in Kanawha County, Va., and they have had three sons and one daughter, namely: Wyatt, who is deceased; Watson B., who married a Miss Price and they have four children; C. D., who works for his father, married Alma Grass and they have one child, Reba; Flora, who is the wife of Thomas Evans, and has four children, the oldest Sybil who is an adopted son of Mr. Harless.  In his political opinions, Mr. Harless is a Republican.


Source: History of Charleston and Kanawha County, West Virginia and Representative Citizens W.S. Laidley Richmond Arnold Publishing Co., Chicago, ILL. 1911 p. 399



JAMES ALBERT HARLESS, assessor of Lincoln County, is one of the reliable and public-spirited citizens whose capabilities are finding adequate expression in the discharge of the onerous duties of his present office. His popularity is remarkable, and is evidenced by the fact that he was elected to his office on the republican ticket in a democratic strong- hold. For some years he was connected with the business life of Hubball. He is known all over the country, and no one man enjoys more of the public's confidence than he.

A native son of Lincoln County, Mr. Harless was born at Branchland, November 15, 1883, and has always continued loyal to this region. His ancestors were of good, old Virginian stock, of Scotch origin, and members of the family served in the American Revolution. He is a son of J. M. and Emma (Eplin) Harless, both natives of West Virginia, born in Lincoln County. The mother died when James Albert Harless was two years old, but the father survives and is today one of the leading men of Lincoln County. He is still engaged in mercantile business at Branchland. Although too young himself to participate in the great war between the two sections of the country, J. M. Harless had an elder brother in the service under Gen. "Stonewall" Jackson, the sympathies of the Harless family being with the Confederacy.

The educational training of James Albert Harless was limited to that afforded by the common schools of his native county, and after completing his attendance at them he never had any further instruction, except that gained in the great school of experience, of which he still considers himself a student. Going into the mercantile field, he and his brother for eight years conducted a store at Branch- land, and then Mr. Harless, selling, was left free for other operations. He went to Hubball and established himself in a similar business, but at the termination of two yea's sold his store to A. J. Harland so as to give his time and attention to his campaign for the office of county assessor. Elected to this office in November, 1920. he assumed the duties of his office in January, 1921, and is making a wonderful record for thoroughness and fair dealing.

In 1913 Mr. Harless married at Ironton, Ohio, Miss Katie Row. Her father is conducting extensive timber operations in the South. Mr. and Mrs. Harless have one daughter, Opleimagine. Mr. Harless is a Baptist, and his wife belongs to the Christian Church. He belongs to the Knights of Pythias, in which he is a dokie, the highest rank in that order, and is also a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Fraternal Order of Eagles and the Modern Woodmen of America, and is deservedly popular in all of these organizations. Mr. Harless' career affords proof of the statement so often made that the best officials are those who have had a successful business experience. It stands to reason that one who can manage his own affairs profitably and efficiently will give to the taxpayers an equally judicious conduct of public business, and the people of Lincoln County feel satisfied in their choice of James Albert Harless to regulate matters in the office of county assessor, for they not only have confidence in his ability, but also in his integrity and realize that he is a man who will show no favors, but make his levies impartially, giving exact justice to all. no matter what influence may be brought to bear upon him.

In April, 1922, Mr. Harless established a general mercantile business at Branchland, Lincoln County, West Virginia, where he now resides.

The History of West Virginia, Old and New Published 1923, 
The American Historical Society, Inc., Chicago and New York, 
Volume II, pg. 565 Lincoln County 
(NOTES:  (James Albert S/O Joseph Madison, S/O William Riley O.,
 S/O Philip O. S/O Martin Johan S/O Johan Martin S/O Ferdinand) 

James H. "Buck" Harless


James H. "Buck" Harless started his career in the coal mines and has grown to become one of the most substantial benefactors of higher education in West Virginia. After graduation from high school, he worked as a miner for several years at Red Jacket Coal Co. In 1947 he gave up mining to become a part-owner and manager of a saw-mill. Through smart investments, he grew to be a major entrepreneur with significant international timber holdings. Although he did not go to college, he has helped ma n y students do so by donating his time, money and expertise. He was one of the first contributors to the Society of Yeager Scholars at Marshall University. He has been awarded five honorary doctoral degrees, including an honorary Doctor of Humane letters degree from Marshall in 1979 that recognized his involvement in programs to improve health care for people of Southern West Virginia. In 1983 he received the "West Virginian of the Year" award from The Sunday Gazzette-Mail in Charleston and the "Spirit o f Life" award from the City of Hope.



JUDGE LEROY HARLESS, now superintendent of the Kanawha County Infirmary, located eight miles west of Charleston, W. Va., was born in what is now Boone county, W. Va., August 23, 1842, and is a son of James H. and Spicey (Barker) Harless. James H. Harless was born in Giles county, Va., where he was educated. At the time and some time after his marriage, he lived in that part of Kanawha county that now makes up Boone county, W. Va., where he owned about 300 acres of land, which has passed into the possession of his heirs. His death occurred when he was seventy years of age. He married in Kanawha county and his widow survived him some years, passing away in her eightieth year. Ten children were born to them, namely: Martha, Silas B., James B., Leroy, Rachel, Mary, Nancy, Willa, William and Virginia. The survivors are: James B., Leroy, Rachel, Willa, William and Virginia. The parents of the above family were members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Tn early man-hood the father was a Whig and later became a Republican and on the ticket of that party was elected to a number of district offices. Leroy Harless was scarcely through school before he joined a volunteer military company, becoming a member of Co. B, 8th Va. Vol. Inf., recruited for the Union Army. After the termination of his first period of enlistment, he reenlisted in the 7th W. Va. Cav., with which he remained connected until the close of the war. He saw much hard fighting and bravely faced danger on a hundred occasions or more, but fortunately escaped all serious injury and when the war ended gladly resumed a life of peace. He came back to Kanawha county and for a number of years was engaged in a mercantile business on Coal river, near Fort Peytona. After this he went into the number and timber business which he continued until 1892, when he was elected deputy sheriff on the Republican ticket. He served in this capacity for four years under Sheriff Silman, and four years under Sheriff Copenhaver, and two more years under Sheriff John Jarrett. He was then elected a county commissioner in Kanawha county, and after serving six years returned to private life for two years, when he was appointed to his present responsible office, in 1910. He has always been a Republican and a strong party man. He has a beautiful residence at No. 1001 Bigley avenue, Charleston, which is the family home, but six days in the week he is found at the Infirmary, where all the duties pertaining to this institution are faithfully and efficiently considered, both as to the best interests of the county charges and of the tax payers. He owns a farm of 153 acres, situated in Washington district, Kanawha county, on which his son-in-law lives as a tenant. Mr. Harless was married first on February 25, 1869, to Miss Lethia Keeney, a daughter of Foster and Eliza Keeney, of this county. She died February 7, 1907, and her burial was on Allen Creek in Kanawha county.  She is survived by five children: Elmer E., Cora Ollie, Carrie 0., Gertrude and Wesley. Mr. Harless was married second, December 24, 1909, to Mrs. Rufiny (Foster) McLane, a daughter of James Foster, of Kanawha county. Mrs. Harless married first Charles Hanna, and they had one child, Minnie. No children were born to her second marriage to Charles McLane.  Mr. Harless and wife attend the Bowman Methodist Episcopal church. He belongs to Blundon Post, G. A. R., at Charleston, and also to the Odd Fellows.

Source: History of Charleston and Kanawha County, West Virginia and Representative Citizens W.S. Laidley Richmond Arnold Publishing Co., Chicago, ILL. 1911 p. 394-395


Richard Fielding Harless

HARLESS, Richard Fielding, a Representative from Arizona; born in Kelsey, Upshur County, Tex., August 6, 1905; moved to Thatcher, Ariz., in 1917 and attended the grade and high schools; was graduated from University of Arizona at Tucson in 1928; taught school at Marsha, Ariz., 1928-1930; was graduated from the law school of the University of Arizona in 1933; was admitted to the bar the same year and commenced practice in Phoenix, Ariz.; assistant city attorney of Phoenix, Ariz., in 1935; assistant attorney general of Arizona in 1937; county attorney of Maricopa County, Ariz., 1938-1942; elected as a Democrat to the Seventy-eighth, Seventy-ninth, and Eightieth Congresses (January 3, [p.1269] 1943-January 3, 1949); was not a candidate for renomination in 1948 but was an unsuccessful candidate for the gubernatorial nomination; resumed the practice of law; is a resident of Phoenix, Ariz.

Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1949

Biographies H page 1269


Sarah E. (Harliss) Curnutt


C. A. Curnutt, a competent and successful farmer and stockman of Columbus
township, is a native of Tennessee.  He was born in 1865 in Anderson county,
a son of Calloway and Sarah E. (Harliss) Curnutt, both of whom were natives of
Tennessee and are now deceased.  The father died in 1885 and the mother died
prior to her son's coming West.



 William C. Harless was the first branch president of Kelsey, Texas. He served from December 29, 1901, until Spring Conference of 1905.

William H. Harless, son of William C., in a letter dated December 1975 states, "It is true that my father was called to be the first president and it was for this reason they moved to Kelsey. I was born in Kelsey in 1902, a little more than a year after my parents moved there. I am the second son of Bishop (Br. Pres.) Harless. Because of ill health in the family, my parents moved away from Kelsey and homesteaded land in western Oklahoma about 1907. My father passed away of pneumonia in April, 1916 and Mother moved the family to Thatcher, Arizona in November, 1917. My older brother Edward, James and Mamie B. Cope (sis.) now live in Phoenix, Arizona. My second sister, Maudie J. Berry lives in Rupert, Idaho. Since July, my wife and I lived in Provo, Utah." Dr. William H. Harless died of a heart attack June 25, 1980. He and his wife, Thorn, have a daughter, Yvonne Harless Chenny whose husband is a bishop.

Yvonne's letter of April 4, 1984, states, "My mother, Thorn Allen Harless, resides in Provo. You may know that both Maudie and Edward have passed away, Edward since 1980... I am certainly proud of my Harless ancestry that stems back to Kelsey. My husband and I made a trip out to Kelsey, Jo and Joe Pritchett were friends of ours and helped us find certain places and introduced us to Bro. Lindsey and a sister who, I believe, were the only people living that knew my grandparents."

I quote from the book, Short Biography and Memories of Charles A. Shirley, page 51 "One day a reporter from the Houston Post came to Kelsey seeking information about Richard F. Harless. Mr. Harless was a congressman from Arizona who had been born in Kelsey at the old Burnett family home place. When he was a young boy, his parents had moved away. The reporter and Charles went to the old house where Mr. Harless was born." Elder Dixon's Missionary Journal entry number one reads "We blessed Bro. Harless's baby and gave it the name of Richard Fielding Harless, born Aug. 6, 1905".

We were told by Abbie Lindsey that she thought President Harless had a baby buried in the Kelsey Cemetery. Dr. W. H. Harless ās letter of 1976 states that the baby, Susan Elizabeth, was born and died in 1900 in Royce City, Rockwell County, Texas, before his parents moved to Upshur County. His two older sisters remember well about the child's death.

Elder M. J. Blackburn was sent from a conference in Pine Mills, Wood County, Texas, December 6,7, and 8, 1901, to labor in the mission office at Essex, now Rosewood, Upshur County, Texas. Kelsey Colony, 3 miles away, was not yet named. Myrtle Sunday School had been organized in August 1901. Kelsey Branch was organized December 29,1901.

Elder Blackburn makes this statement in a letter to Sallie Aaron Cude written from Vale, Oregon, April 28, 1960, ...Bro. Harless.. had a wonderful testimony. Elder Blackburn's journal entries read:

Nov. 12, 1902. Still preparing for Conference... Got wet by rain while going to Bro. Harless's place to get a team to go to Gilmer to meet Pres. Duffin. We awaited the arrival of both trains but Pres. Duffin did not arrive...Fri. Nov. 14, 1902... At ten o'clock A.M. we met again in a general session. While we were in session, Pres. Duffin and Apostle Woodruff arrived. Apostle Woodruff had come to visit the Conference and to do some work on colonizing...Nov. 15,1902... After our priesthood meeting in the woods, I walked with Apostle Woodruff over the grounds selected for the new town site. He was pleased and thought it would be a good place for the Saints in this region to settle and advised us to go ahead...Nov. 23, 1902. We had Sunday School and Sacrament Meeting. That night we held Mutual. Nov. 24,1902. At nine o'clock I met with the teacher, Elder Davis, and the pupils in school. We organized the school, and I taught the first day as I had taught before. The pupils were glad to see me again in school. Thur. Nov. 27, 1902. Ate dinner (Thanksgiving) with Sister Aaron's family. Had a nice time and dinner. Nov. 30, 1902. Sunday.  Had Sunday School and meeting as usual after which we held another meeting to arrange to pay for the land and the church house.  Mon. Dec. 1, 1902.... Also helped Bro. William Harless lay off a place for his house on the new town site."

(I only had excerpts from this journal but thought it interesting to know some of the events that transpired during Kelsey Branch President Harless's period of service.)

Submitted by Fayrene Bonebrake

(NOTES:  This family is listed in the Pritchard Book on page 85 and 86. William C. is William Crousin son of William Thomas Harless of Madison Co. Ala. who was the son of Henry Crowson Harless who was the son of John Harless and Catharine Moser of Madison Co. Ala. who was the son of Henry Harless Sr.)



WILLIAM F. HARLESS, M. D. Skilled physician, efficient business man and good citizen. Dr. William F. Harless, of Clothier, is one of the representative men of Boone County, and no one stands any higher in public opinion than he. He was born near Spencer, Roane County, West Virginia, October 4, 1881, a son of William H. and Frances (Keifer) Harless. The Harless family was established in this coun- try by Doctor Harless' great-grandfather, a native of Ger- many, who settled in Virginia, and it was in that state that the grandfather was born. The Keifers were also of German extraction. Both William H. Harless and his wife were born in West Virginia, and he is a farmer of Roane County, and a man of some importance in his home community, having served on the school board, as a county commissioner, as a deacon of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in other capacities, and he is a prominent member of the In- dependent Order of Odd Fellows.

After completing his studies in the common schools of his native county Doctor Harless went through the Spencer High School. His professional training was taken at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, and he was graduated there from in 1908, with the degree of Doctor of Medicine. Immediately thereafter he established himself in a general practice at Clothier, where he still remains. Doctor Harless established the drug store at Clothier and one at Madison, both of which he still owns and keeps under his personal supervision, although he has a registered pharmacist at each one. He took up post-graduate work in 1913 at the Post-Graduate School of New York City, and keeps abreast of the progress made in his profession by reading and study.  For some time he has served as physician and surgeon of the Buffalo-Thacker Coal Company at Ottawa, West Virginia, and is also a C. & O. Railway surgeon.

In 1914 Doctor Harless married in Mason County Miss Lucetta Kay, a daughter of John and Elsie Kay. Mr. Kay is a native of Scotland, and his wife was born in Pennsylvania. In early life he was engaged in the coal business, but is now a farmer. Doctor and Mrs. Harless have one daughter, Eleanor. They belong to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and take an active part in the work of the various church organizations.  Fraternally Doctor Harless maintains membership with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He is a strong republican, but has not cared to come before the people as an office seeker.

Ever since he located at Clothier Doctor Harless has played an important part in its life. His drug store is one of the best-conducted in this part of the county, and he takes pride in it and the one at Madison. As a physician and surgeon he has won the approval of his professional associates as well as the affection and gratitude of his patients, and his practice shows a large increase annually. While he has not been an official, he has not spared himself in working for the good of the city, but cheerfully rendered a valuable service whenever it was needed, and is especially zealous in forwarding those measures designed to improve the sanitation of the city and county. Person- ally he is very popular, and has friends all over this part of the state.

The History of West Virginia, Old and New Published 1923,

The American Historical Society, Inc., Chicago and New York,

Volume III, pg. 126-127




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