Horatio Turpin and Keturah Leitch Harris


Horatio Turpin Harris was born 24 Mar 1799 in Powhatan Co Virginia, the son of Major Jordan Harris, a Virginian of the Continental army (1763-1826) a member of the Virginia Society of the Society of the Cincinnati and a grandson of Major John Harris of "Norwood" Powhatan Co. and Elizabeth Mosby Cannon.  He married Keturah Leitch Taylor, daughter of James Taylor and Keturah Moss on 21 Aug 1821 in Newport. He served in the Kentucky legislature from Campbell Co. He died 19 Nov 1855 in Newport and was buried in the Newport Cemetery (now Evergreen).

Keturah Leitch Taylor was born 9 Aug 1802 at Bell View Mansion. She died 20 Oct 1871 in Newport and was buried in Newport Cemetery in Southgate. Keturah was active in the Baptist church and supported many community activities, especially programs for the poor.

Keturah Leitch Taylor Harris Obituary

Children Horatio Turpin Harris and Keturah Leitch Taylor

1. Josephine Bonaparte Harris b-17 July 1823 in Covington; d-13 Oct 1902 in Manhattan New York; m-George Washington Ward 15 June 1847 in Newport
2. Jordena Cannon Harris b-1827 in Ohio; d-2 Nov 1853 in Morristown New Jersey; m-John Taintor Foote
3. Joan Harris b-1830 in Covington
4. John E Harris b-20 Jan 1833 in Newport; d-16 July 1849 in Newport
5. Anna Maria Harris b-1837 in Newport; m-James O'Fallon of St Louis
6. Virginia Moss Harris b-16 Apr 1844 in Newport; d-14 Nov 1908 in Cincinnati; br-Evergreen; m-James Van Voast

Children of Josephine Bonaparte Harris and George Washington Ward

1. Katharine Ward b-1848 in Newport
2. Edward Ward b-1850 in Newport
3, Elizabeth Johnson Ward b-May 1853 in Newport; m-Charles Avery Doremus 4 Aug 1880 in Washington DC

Children of Anna Maria Harris and James O'Fallon

1. Harris Taylor O'Fallon b-13 June 1856 in St Louis Missouri; d-22 Aug 1942 in Los Angeles California

Children of Virginia Moss Harris and James Van Voast

1. Virginia Remesen Van Voast 1871-1947
2. James Taylor Van Voast b-30 Dec 1874 in Newport; d-9 Jan 1875 in Newport; br-Newport Cemetery
3. Rufus Adrian Van Voast 1879-1969; m-Mildred M

Virginia Moss Harris was the youngest of Horatio and Keturah's five daughters. She was the daughter of a former mayor of Newport and a granddaughter of Gen James Taylor. Virginia was married to US Army Major James Van Voast5 July 1870 in St Louis Missouri. Virginia accompanied James to some of his bases. Her daughter Virginia Remsen was born in 1873 in Columbia, South Carolina, where James was serving during the reconstruction after the Civil War. She became an acclaimed artist. Her son Dr. Rufus Adrian Van Voast was born in Ft Wallace Kansas in 1879, which was still active in the Indian Wars.  Virginia resided with her husband in Cincinnati until her death on 14 Nov 1908.  She was passionate about family history, charity, church work, and was active in Cincinnati society.

Eight Forgotten by Time Resolute Individuals Shaped Our History
An article from the Kentucky Post. (Covington, KY, May 6, 1996)

Virginia Moss Harris

Virginia Moss Harris (Mrs. James Van Voast)

Many people play significant roles in local and national events only to be forgotten by time. Among those from Northern Kentucky were a former provost-marshal of San Francisco, an engineer for the Panama Canal construction, a river captain and
a strong willed woman who kept her family together in a series of frontier military posts. . . . . James and Virginia Van Voast — the namesakes of Van Voast Avenue in Bellevue. Virginia Van Voast was the granddaughter of James Taylor, founder of Newport, and Keturah Taylor, the widow of David Leitch. Mrs. Van Voast's parents were Horatio T. Harris and Keturah Leitch Taylor. Like many early settlers in Northern Kentucky, Harris came from Virginia. He was born in Powhaton County on March 24, 1799 and served in the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1832. He died Nov. 19, 1855. His wife, Keturah Leitch Taylor was born Aug. 9, 1802 at the Taylor mansion on Third Street in Newport. She was a member of the local Baptist church and active in community projects. Virginia married James Van Voast in 1870. It was his second marriage

There was much about Virginia’s family that illustrates the sheer toughness of Kentucky’s first citizens. Her grandfather’s achievements were well known and his family’s connections were solid. When he died in 1848 “One of his last acts was to cast his vote for his cousin Zachary Taylor, exclaiming “I have fired my last shot for my country.” Upon his death, one eulogy said “Few men have been more widely-known in the West, been more actively or adventurously engaged in its early scenes, and none have been more eminently successful in his pursuits.”

Her grandmother’s life was no less adventurous. When she was 84-years-old, Keturah Moss Leitch Taylor wrote the following to the Pioneer Society of Cincinnati.

 I came to Kentucky from Goochland, Va., in 1783, and resided near Lexington until my marriage with Major David Leitch, when in the year 1790 we came to reside on a tract of land about live miles from the mouth of the Licking, owned by Major Leitch on which he had erected a block house to defend himself and man against the Indians ; and during our residence there we were sometimes compelled to seek safety in Fort Washington.

About this time an incident occurred, connected with one of the most prominent settlers which I will relate.  As my husband and myself were descending the Licking in a small batteau rowed by two men, the Major and men all being armed, it began to rain and we went ashore to shelter ourselves under some trees, when we heard the firing of guns in the direction of the mouth of the Licking. My husband remarked that something must have happened as the firing of guns was contrary to orders. When we reached Fort Washington we found that the Indians had surprised a party between Columbia and Cincinnati, killing one or more and taking a young son of Col. Spencer prisoner.

I was well acquainted with Gen. Harmer, Gen. St. Clair, Gen. Anthony, Maj.-Gen. Wilkinson, and was at the Fort when St. Clair marched against the Indians in 1791. I assisted the ladies in the Fort in making knapsacks, and preparing coffee for the soldiers, who served in that unfortunate campaign. When I first settled in this county the only building in Newport was a single log house, at the mouth of the Licking, built by Jacob Fowler, now deceased. When I came to Kentucky this part of the State was unsettled, and all north of the Ohio an unbroken wilderness, and I feel a grateful pride in being able to say that I now look upon this magnificent city and a densely peopled country which, when I first saw it, was infested by the savage Indian.

Virginia, inherited land in modern Bellevue, Ky., which she subdivided into town lots, and a street was named Van Voast in the family's honor. By 1900 the Van Voasts were living at 507 E. Third St., on the near east side of Cincinnati.

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