William R. Harrison, Esquire

Harrison WR422
W.R. Harrison. Courtesy of Dick & Helen Harrison

A native of North Carolina and born on 29 April 1813, is in many ways considered the original dean of Lassen County’s legal community.  Like so many, he slowly worked his way west. His first stop Montgomery County, Indiana where his four children were born. Then it was to Iowa for a brief spell. In 1849, Harrison set out for the gold fields of California and like so many others, had never mined before.

Fortunately, when he arrived in Shasta County he was able to fall back on his original profession as an attorney. He served two different terms as county judge in Shasta, and then moved to Red Bluff. There he served a term as Tehama County District Attorney. In 1862 he was lured to the mines of Unionville, Nevada. Again, he fell back on his previous profession and passed the Nevada bar exam.

In 1863 he returned to Red Bluff to spend the winter and the following spring moved his family to Susanville. On October 18, 1865 he was elected county judge of Lassen County.  After his two year term expired, he continued with his mining interest.  In June 1868, he was appointed to the position of Lassen County District Attorney, as Isaac Roop failed to qualify for that job. He remained in that position until his death on April 24, 1870. It should be duly noted that some of his descendants still reside in Lassen County.

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