Merced Express, January 15, 1897
DEATH OF EDITOR HARRIS.
Thomas Harris, Senior Editor of the
Merced Star, is Dead.
Thomas Harris, a well known citizen of Merced; and editor of the Merced Star, died at his home on Nineteenth street on Tuesday evening last in the noonday of life.
Mr. Harris had been failing in health for several years, and last summer he was forced to leave his desk and seek health elsewhere. He went to Adamsís Springs, Lake county, where he remained for six or seven weeks, but the change did not benefit him much, and he returned home and resumed his editorial work, which was laborious and trying especially to one in his state of health. After the close of the campaign he went to San Francisco and went under the care of a specialist of six weeks, but the treatment proved too sever and he failed rapidly. The doctor, we understand, told him that he had consumption, and two weeks ago he returned to Merced to die, surrounded by those who were near and dear to him.
On his arrival here he went to bed and never left the house afterwards. During his illness he was patient, and strange to say, insisted until the very last that he would be out in a few days, but his friends new different, and therefore, were not surprised when his death was announced, for it had been expected daily for a week..
Editor Harris was a native of Blue River, Wisconsin, and was born April 7, 1844. He was one of a family of ten children, seven of whom survive him. He came to California with his parents in 1852. His father died a few weeks after their arrival in this State, and his mother passed away about eight years ago. At the early age of ten years he went to work in the Mariposa mines, but mining was not congenial employment and he quit it to learn the printersí trade, starting in 1857 in the office of J. H. Lawrence, who conducted the Mariposa Star. He worked his way up in his chosen trade from the devil of the office to a first class printer. In 1858 he left Mariposa for Visalia, where he accepted a position on the Delta and Remained for three years. His next employment was in Stockton, where he was a compositor on the Independent. He had been there about two years when the Virginia City excitement reached it height. He was always anxious to better his condition and was among the many who went to Nevada at that time seeking fortune. Arriving at Virginia City he took a case on the Enterprise which he held for seven years, but the climate was too sever for him and he then went to San Francisco and took a position on the Alta, and afterwards on both the Chronicle and Call.
He was always looking forward to a time when he could launch out for himself in his chosen occupation, and an opportunity offering. He associated with his brother John in 1868 and conducted the old Mariposa Gazette. The mining industry was then on the down grade and after a few years the brothers disposed of the Gazette to Angevine Reynolds in 1872. Mr. Harris then returned to San Francisco, where he once more went to work on the Chronicle. The hours of printerís work on the large dailies were not to his liking and he accepted a place with Farrar & Stoneroad as foreman on the MERCED EXPRESS. After about three years experience on the EXPRESS he associated himself with his younger brother, Charles, and established the Merced Star in 1880. Since the commencement of the paper he has been its managing editor, the business of which was under his direction up to the time of his death.
Thomas Harris was a self made man, honest in all his dealings with his fellow men, loyal to his friends, true to himself and kind to his brothers and sisters. He will not only be missed by his relatives and friends, but in business circles in Merced, for he took a prominent part in all public matters. At the time of his death he was a director of the Agricultural Association of this district, a director of the Merced building and Loan Association, a member of the Republican County Central Committee, and a member of the Knights of Pythias.
Five brothers and two sisters survive him who deeply mourn his loss: Emily, Levinia, John, Matt, Charles, and James and Fred.