Born: c. 1867

Died: October 12, 1922

Married: Judge Ralph Chandler Harrison

Ella Spencer Reid Harrison was a niece of New York Herald Tribune publisher Whitelaw Reid; she was the first resident of Camp Wild Air on Upper St. Regis Lake where she spent the summer of 1882 in a tent "for her health." She is said to have designed Wild Air's first cabin.

New York Times, September 28, 1892


White Plains, N. Y., Sept. 27.—A pretty wedding took place at high noon to-day at Ophir Farm, the country residence of Whitelaw Reid, near this place, when Miss Ella Spencer Reid, the only surviving daughter of Whitelaw Reid's only brother, the late Gavin McMillan Reid, became the wife of Judge Ralph Chandler Harrison of San Francisco, Cal.

…The bride had been one of the family of Whitelaw Reid ever since her parents died, when he assumed charge of the two little girls, sending them to school, first in Xenia, Ohio, and afterward in Philadelphia, and, after their graduation, placing them at the head of his house, then 23 Park Avenue, New-York.

Judge Harrison was long a lawyer in high standing at the bar of San Francisco, and is now a member of the Supreme Court of the state of California, with ten years of his term yet to serve…

New York Times, October 13, 1922

Niece of Whitelaw Reid Perishes in Fire Which Destroys Her California Home

Special to The New York Times

SAN FRANCISCO. Oct. 12.—Mrs. Ella Reid Harrison, widow of Judge Ralph C. Harrison and niece of Whitelaw Reid, was burned to death this morning at Carmel-by-the-Sea in a fire which destroyed her beautiful home. Mrs. Harrison's charred body was found among the ruins.

Mrs. Harrison was alone in the house at the time, and one of the theories advanced is that she was overcome by a heart attack while lighting a fire in a grate and that her clothing became ignited. Mrs. Harrison was an invalid.

It is also suggested that burglars may have broken into the residence and been the authors of the tragedy.

Mrs. Harrison went to Carmel to make her home three years ago, soon after the death of her husband, who was widely known as an attorney and as a Justice of the State Supreme Court in her home three years ago, soon after

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antiques and art works by famous artists, in addition to a library considered one of the most extensive and valuable in the State.

Recently she purchased a site and had plans drawn for a fine library building that was to be erected as a memorial of her husband, who for more than twenty-seven years was President of the San Francisco Library Trustees. She also recently financed the Arts and Crafts Club to build a little theatre in Carmel. The Harrison home in this city which was destroyed by the fire of 1900, was noted for its artistic furnishings.

Mrs. Harrison was born in New York State and was about 55 years old. She was one of the beneficiaries under the will of her uncle, Whitelaw Reid, receiving $50,000. She leaves two stepsons in this city, Robert W. Harrison, Chief Deputy Attorney General of the State, and Richard C. Harrison, a lawyer.