Black History Month has gotten underway, and to celebrate, we thought we’d highlight a figure with importance to our local history. And while we can’t quite claim Henry Harris as an Idahoan (though he died and is buried here in Twin Falls), he helped to expand the idea of what a Southern Idaho cowboy was.
Harris came out West in the 1880s and worked for John Sparks whose cattle roamed the Northern Nevada/Southern Idaho grangelands. Harris soon became a foreman for the Sparks-Harrell Company, and oversaw all the hands at the D.B. Ranch near Wells, Nevada, most of whom were white. Stories paint him as fair-minded boss, a man who could bust broncs with the best of them, and a pretty good storyteller.
His legacy lives on quietly – an abandoned railroad stop near Contact, NV still bears the name of “Henry,” named after Harris in more prosperous days, and he was inducted into the Buckaroo Hall of Fame (Winnemucca, NV) in 2008 and the National Cowboys of Color Hall of Fame (Fort Worth, TX) in 2009.
Learn more about Henry Harris here.