Contra Costa County












CAPT. ALFRED B. HARRISON.  A seafaring man for thirty years, Capt. Alfred B. Harrison was no less a success in land pursuits when he decided to train his sons to an agricultural life, selecting at that time as his place of residence Contra Costa county, Cal., where he remained until his death.  He was born in Plymouth, England, June 4, 1821, a son of Edward Harrison, and was reared and educated there until he was thirteen years old.  He then went to sea as an apprentice on merchant vessels, and in the course of time received promotions which eventually brought to him a captaincy.  For thirty years he continued in this occupation, traveling in many parts of the globe and becoming familiar with various localities. In New York City he met and married Isabelle MacLeod, a native of Washington, D.C., and a daughter of Donald and Jane (Smith) MacLeod.  Her grandfather, John MacLeod, came from his native land of Scotland about 1790 and settled in Virginia, and there Donald MacLeod was born in the city of Alexandria.  In young manhood he went to Scotland and attended college, while there meeting and marrying his wife, a native of that country.  He then returned to the United States and followed the occupation of journalist until his death.  His wife is also deceased.


Captain Harrison, as before mentioned, continued to follow a seafaring life for thirty years, when he decided to settle down to land pursuits, and train his sons in an agricultural line.  He therefore came to California, stopping in San Francisco until he had found a desirable location.  In 1877 he bought a ranch in Contra Costa county, today known as Glen Rest, and entered at once upon its cultivation and improvement.  He followed general farming and also put out various fruits, and during a part of the ten years that he lived there acted as justice of the peace of Walnut Creek, the town nearest his ranch.  Disposing of that property he then bought ninety acres of the William Hemme ranch, the beautiful property upon which his widow and sons now live.  His second son, Wilfred, early took an absorbing interest in horticulture, and began at once to plant the seeds of almonds, prunes, apricots and walnuts, from which he raised trees and grafted a fine orchard.  He planted the almond trees just where he wished them to grow and they were in splendid condition until the late rains and frost, which quickly proved that they were not a financial success.  He therefore cut off the tops and grafted peaches, which now make a fine display.  A handsome residence, commodious barns and out-houses, and well-kept grounds add to the beauty and value of the property.  The death of Captain Harrison occurred June 7, 1896.  In his fraternal relations he was a member of the Masonic order.


Surviving Captain Harrison are a widow and four sons, namely:  Edward, in the internal revenue service; Wilfred, universally considered to be the best pruner and grafter known in this section, and whose orchard is among the finest the country affords; Ralph, constable of the county, and prominent fraternally, being a Mason, Woodman of the World and Forester, and Neil, a carpenter, also a member of Woodmen of the World and the Eagles.




Transcribed by Donna Toole.

ญญญญSource: History of the State of California & Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California by Prof. J. M. Guinn, A. M., Pages 740-741. The Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904.

2015  Donna Toole.







Contra Costa County Biographies

Golden Nugget Library