Monday, September 30, 2013

Military Monday - Cpl. Fred Harless

Cpl. Fred Harless Cited For Bravery

Seng Creek, March 14 - Mr. and Mrs. Fred Harless, of Seng Creek, have just received word that their son, Cpl. Fred Vernor Harless, recorder for Battery C., 30th F.A. Battalion, displayed unusual bravery and quick thinking during the recent exercise Leap Year in Erlangen, Germany.

Cpl. Harless, who is in the U. S. Army in Germany, was near a combat-loaded tank when it went out of control on an icy road, struck two trees, slid across the road onto a bridge then off into a 15-foot ditch, overturning and trapping the crew inside.

When some other soldiers yelled that the tank had overturned and was on fire Harless ran to see what could be done. Seeing the fire he ran back to a truck and grabbed the fire extinguisher.

Soldiers stopped Harless when he returned to the scene saying the tank was loaded with shells but Harless broke away and began trying to put the fire out. Before he could open the escape hatch of the tank the fire gained new fury. He finally succeeded in extinguish it and managed to get the escape hatch open allowing the crew to escape.

Cpl. Harless' display of bravery beyond the call of duty to release the tank crew when the ammunition might have exploded gained the everlasting thanks of the tank crew. Every member of his battalion is also proud of his action in saving both human lives and valuable equipment. 

Cpl. Fred Harless Cited For Bravery, Beckley Post-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia, 15 March 1952, p. 9, column 1.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friends of Friends Friday - Henry Harless Estate, 1857

"Alabama, Estate Files, 1830-1976," digital images, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, FamilySearch ( : accessed 27 September 2013), image copy, Sale of Negroes, dated 13 January 1857, Greene County Estate Files, Henry Harless #1316

An Account of Sales of negro Slaves of the Estate of Henry Harless, deceased, sold by attorney R. Davis the administrator on the 5th day of January AD 1857 upon a credit of twelve months -
Negro Bob to Tabius T Hill – for$1730.00
[Negro] Jerry [to] Tabius T Hill [for]$1700.00
[Negro] Georgiana [to] Mary M Harless [for]     $1000.00
[Negro] Fanny [to] D. T. Harless [for]  $240.00
Subscribed and sworn to
this 13th day of January
1857 Before me
N C Oliver judge.
             A R Davis adm.

Friends of Friends Friday is a way to share “records of enslaved ancestors, whether they are your own ancestors or not…” I haven't come across very many mentions of slaves in my search for Harlesses and I like to think this is because so few Harlesses were slave owners, but the ones I do come across will be shared on Friends of Friends Fridays.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wedding Wednesday - Marie Harless and Norman Brogan

The Charleston Gazette, Charleston, WV, 27 September 1940.

Almost 73 years ago, Marie Harless, the 17 year old daughter of Belva Lockwood Brown and Lightburn Bernie Harless, married Norman B. Brogan in Russell, Greenup County, Kentucky. I have often wondered if the couple chose to marry in Kentucky because Marie was under age to marry in West Virginia without parental consent.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Amanuensis Monday - J. B. Harless' Will 1914

Will of James Burwell Harless

"West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971," digital images, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, FamilySearch ( : accessed 23 September 2013), image copy, will of J. B. Harless, dated 24 February 1914, Kanawha County Wills, Vol. 7, p. 285.

State of West Virginia, County of Kanawha and town of Marmet.

I, J. B. Harless, with a sound mind on this the 24th day of February, 1914 in the presents of Albert Hearrold and J. C. Leavens, make my last will and testament to-wit: at my death I hereby make the following disposal of my property:

W. B. Harless, C. D. Harless, Flora Evines and Sybil Harless are to have an equal part of my estate, Improvements to be considered. Sybil Harless is not to come in possession of his part untill he reaches the age of 21 years. In case I should not live I here by name W. B. and C. D. Harless as his Guardian untill he does reach the age of 21 years.

My full meaning of this document is that the Four above named heirs shall shear and shear alike.

Signature of J. B. HarlessJ. B. Harless
Signature of witnessesC. A. Harold
J. C. Leavens

P. S. In case that Sybil Harless should die without leaving heirs of his own. His part shall be divided equeal among the other three heirs above mentions.

At a regular session of the County Court of Kanawha County, continued and held forsaid County at the Court House thereof on Saturday the 21st day of March, 1914.

A paper writing purporting to be the last Will and Testament of J. B. Harless,  deceased, late of said County, was this day presented to the Court for probate, and the same being duly proven by the oaths of C. A. Harold and J. C. Leavens, the subscribing witnesses thereto, the said paper writing is admitted to probate and ordered to be recorded as filed as and for the last will and testament of the said decedent.

Teste:  L C Massey. Clerk
Kanawha County Court.
An Amanuensis is a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another. Amanuensis Monday is a daily blogging theme which encourages the family historian to transcribe family letters, journals, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts.