Family Histories of Coleman County, Texas

by H. Aubrey Clay and Gladys Clay Sippola

From A History of Coleman County and Its People, 1985 
edited by Judia and Ralph Terry, and Vena Bob Gates - used by permission

James Benjamin Harris, known as J. Ben Harris, obtained a certificate in Pharmacy from the Interstate School of Correspondence, Chicago, Illinois, dated January 14, 1910 and operated a pharmacy in Talpa until sometime in 1965, after having been registered as a pharmacist in the State of Texas for over 55 years (see Samuel Russell Harris).  The store was originally a frame building.  It was replaced about 1920 with a reinforced concrete building, which still stands.  The concrete building provided space for another store immediately on the south, which was occupied by a barber shop.  The rock walled store to the north was a furniture - hardware - undertaking combination.  The rock wall between was shared.

J. Ben Harris is listed in The Historical Encyclopedia of Texas, Vol. II.   “J. Ben Harris, owner of the Harris Pharmacy, has been the owner and operator of this modern and up-to-date drug store in Talpa since its establishment in 1907.  He has one of the finest prescription departments of any drug store in any small town in West Texas, carries a complete line of drugs and drug sundries, toilet articles, perfumes, candies, etc.  Although active in much of the community life of Talpa, Mr. Harris has few interests outside of giving the people of this community the best service a retail drug store can afford.  He is a quiet and unassuming man, has a host of friends in Talpa and Coleman County, and is a member of the Presbyterian Church.”

He spent his last two years with his sister, Mrs. J. D. (Alberta) Clay in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he passed away October 16, 1968, buried in Talpa beside his wife (see John David Clay).  J. Ben married L. Josephine (Josie) Evans of Talpa July 28, 1912 (see Henry Evans).  She had worked in the E. M. Jones Dry Goods store, next to the drug store.  L. Josephine died March 19, 1926, in Ballinger, from peritonitis following an appendicitis operation, buried in Talpa.  They had no children.  Josie’s nephew, Everett Evans, still lives in Talpa.

(Image to be added)

J. Ben and Josephine (Evans) Harris

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This page last updated November 12, 2005
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