Provincial Archives of New Brunswick

Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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HARRISON, WILLIAM, Methodist minister, Newcastle circuit, 1912-16; b. Kirkby Stephen, England, 10 Dec 1847 (bap. 5 Jan 1848), s/o Thomas Harrison and Mary Burnskill; m. 1878, Carrie E. McDonald, of Eastport, Me; d. Moncton, 31 Jan 1923.

William Harrison was a railway telegrapher in England and a licensed local Methodist preacher. He was one of twelve young men from Britain who landed in Halifax in October 1871 with a desire to be accepted into the ministry of the Methodist church. The twelve also included Robert S. Crisp, G. Wells Fisher, and Thomas Marshall.

After a four-year probation Harrison was ordained in 1875 and spent the next forty-four years in his chosen field. He served mostly in New Brunswick, but he was based at Cornwall, P.E.I., prior to accepting appointment to the Newcastle circuit in 1912, and when he left Newcastle four years later he went to Charlottetown. He retired in Moncton in 1919.

Harrison was a member of the board of regents of Mount Allison University, which conferred an honorary DD on him in 1912. "He was a good preacher," stated the Daily Telegraph, and "a faithful pastor, but a writing desk was his throne." He possessed "a fine literary mind" and had a good many articles published in the leading Methodist journals of Canada, the United States, and Britain. He also wrote for the secular press, including the Moncton Transcript and other papers, on the economic, political, and social questions of the day. He was survived in 1923 by his wife, Carrie E. McDonald, a son, and a daughter.


[b] annual 1923 [bap] LDS-IGI [m] PPMP [d] official records / Advocate 31 May 1916; Cornish; Leader 9 Feb 1923; Telegraph 11 Dec 1920, 10 Feb 1923; Walkington