Harrison, William Cole. | Tulane University Special Collections
Name: Harrison, William Cole.
Historical Note: William Cole Harrison (1841-1926) was born in Louisiana. While living in Liberty, Mississippi, Harrison became enamored of an Amite Seminary school girl, Eliza Jane Poitevent. She was the foster child of Judge and Mrs. Leonard Kimball, her aunt and uncle. The Kimballs did not approve of their friendship. A friend named Beck helped to pass some of their correspondence along. When she returned home for the summer, the Kimballs had her return Harrison's ring and likeness and kept a close watch on her mail. Although both married other people, Harrison and Poitevent continued to correspond. During the Civil War, Harrison joined the Crescent regiment and was detached as a medical purveyor in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he married Mary Jane Lattner in 1864. They had nine children, only two of which survived them. In 1866, he returned to Louisiana, opened a drug store, and earned his medical degree at the University of Louisiana Medical School in 1882. In 1888 he moved to Los Angeles and became a commander of the Pacific Division of the United Confederate Veterans. Eliza Poitevent married twice, first to Alva Morris Holbrook, owner of the New Orleans Picayune, and later to George Nicholson.
Sources: Manuscripts Collection 872
Note Author: LAC Group