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Harrison, Christopher


The only one of three commissioners appointed by the Legislature to superintend the laying out and survey of the town that appeared and acted.  He was from Salem, Washington County; was a man about fifty years of age, and like the surveyor (Mr. Ralston), a bachelor.  He stopped at the house of, and boarded with, my father.  He had no more hair on his head than there was in the palm of his hand, and wore a wig.  I shall never forget the fright he gave my younger brother, James.  The morning after his arrival at our house, he was out at the well, washing, and had his wig off.  James happened to discover the want of hair, and ran to my mother and told her "the Indians had scalped the man that came last night."  This she did not understand fully until she stepped to the door and saw his bald head.

I think he was a Virginian by birth, but had been a resident of the territory and State for many years.  He was a perfect gentleman in his manners and intercourse with his subordinates in this important work, and won their universal confidence and respect.  He remained but a short tim after his official duties were ended, and returned to his home.

I do not think he ever visited the place but once afterwards; that was during the first session of the Legislature, in 1825.  He lived to a good old age, and died as he had lived, a bachelor.




Nowland, John H. B., “Early Reminiscences of Indianapolis, with Short Biographical Sketches of Its Early Citizens, and of a Few of the Prominent Business Men of the Present Day,” 1870, pp. 44
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