Harris, Thoro

HARRIS, Thoro. b. Washington, DC, 31 March 1874; d. Eureka Springs, Arkansas, 27 March 1955. Harris was one of two children born of the union of an unnamed father from North Carolina, thought to have been an African American physician, and Elizabeth W. Harris from Michigan (ca.1840-ca.1900). The 1880 Washington DC census lists the mother as ‘white’ and ‘head of household’. Thoro and his sister Worthy (born South Carolina 1871), are identified ‘MU’ (mulatto). The Catalog of Howard University, 1889, lists Harris as a fourth year student in the Normal Department, a Post Graduate student, and a special student in the Theological Department.

After at­tend­ing col­lege in Bat­tle Creek, Mi­chi­gan, Har­ris pro­duced his first hym­nal in Bo­ston, Mas­sa­chu­setts, in 1902. He then moved to Chi­ca­go, Il­li­nois, at the in­vi­ta­tion of Pe­ter Bil­horn, and in 1932, to Eu­re­ka Springs, Ar­kan­sas. He com­posed and com­piled a num­ber of works, and was well known lo­cal­ly as he walked around with a can­vas bag full of books for sale.