Jefferson County Historical Society

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Milton C. Harbison, a practicing physician of Big River Township, is 
the son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Bowles) Harbison, and was born near
Manchester, St. Louis County, in 1846.  The father was born in Kentucky
about 1810, and when a small boy was brought by his father, Archibald
Harbison, to St. Louis County, where he was married about 1831.  He was
a man of very limited education, was a farmer, and in 1849 crossed the
plains to California, where he soon after died of cholera.  His father
was also a native of Kentucky, and his mother was born in Dublin, Ireland.  
Milton's mother was born near St. Louis, about 1817, and died April, 1871.  
She had been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church since fifteen 
years of age, and her husband was also a member of the same church.  Her 
people were formerly from Virginia.  In 1852 she married William Price, 
who died about 1884.  The Doctor was reared on the farm, receiving a 
country school education, and at the age of twenty began the study of 
physics with Dr. E. B. Bowles, a cousin. Here he remained for one year 
after which he spent some months with Dr. E. J. Thurman, of Fenton, and 
in 1868 entered St. Louis Medical College.  He began practicing in Big 
River Township, where he has met with well deserved success, and is now 
one of the foremost physicians of Jefferson County.  He has now a fine 
farm of 160 acres, situated one mile northwest of Morse's Mill.  He left 
college in poor health and $500 in debt; the former was overcome by rustic 
living, and the latter by close application to his profession.  December, 
1869 he married Miss Amanda, daughter of Madison and Nancy Graham, natives 
of Jefferson Co., where they spent their entire lives.  The father died in 
1882 and the mother is still living.  To the Doctor and wife were born nine 
children, viz.: Mary, Charley, Delos, Frederick, Gertrude, Clyde, Edwina,
Kate and May.  The Doctor is an earnest worker for the cause of education, 
and was instrumental in establishing a good school in the neighborhood.  
In politics he has been a life long and consistent Democrat, and cast his 
first presidential vote for Seymour, in 1868.  He is a member in good 
standing in the Masonic lodge, and is also a member of the A. O. U. W.  
Mrs. Harbison has been a member of the Baptist Church since her fifteenth year.