Open main menu

William Julius Harris (February 3, 1868 – April 18, 1932) was a United States Senator from the state of Georgia. He was a great-grandson of Charles Hooks, who had been a Representative from North Carolina, and son-in-law of Joseph Wheeler, Confederate General and Representative from Alabama.

William J. Harris
William Julius Harris.jpg
United States Senator
from Georgia
In office
March 4, 1919 – April 18, 1932
Preceded byThomas W. Hardwick
Succeeded byJohn S. Cohen
Personal details
William Julius Harris

(1868-02-03)February 3, 1868
Cedartown, Georgia
DiedApril 18, 1932(1932-04-18) (aged 64)
Washington, D.C.
Political partyDemocratic

Early lifeEdit

Harris was born in Cedartown in Polk County, Georgia, and attended the common schools and graduated from the University of Georgia at Athens in 1890.

He married Julia Knox Hull Wheeler (November 27, 1870 - January 6, 1959), daughter of Joseph Wheeler.[1]

He engaged in the general insurance business and banking at Cedartown, and served as private secretary to U.S. Senator Alexander S. Clay from 1904 to 1909. He was then a member of the Georgia Senate in 1911 and 1912. From 1913 to 1915 he was Director of the United States Census Bureau; in 1915 he resigned to become a member of the Federal Trade Commission. Harris was Acting Secretary of the Department of Commerce from 1913 to 1915 and a member of the Federal Trade Commission 1915-1918, when he resigned to become a candidate for the U.S. Senate. He was chairman of the commission 1917-1918. In 1918, he was elected as a Democrat to the Senate, and reelected in 1924 and 1930; his service was from March 4, 1919 until his death. While in the Senate, Harris was a member of the National Forest Reservation Commission from 1929 to 1932. He died of a heart attack in Washington, D.C., and funeral services were held in the Chamber of the United States Senate. His interment was in Greenwood Cemetery in Cedartown.

After Harris' death in 1932, the governor of Georgia, Richard Russell, Jr., declared a special election for September of that year to fill the vacant seat. Russell also declared himself a candidate and went on to win the election to replace Harris.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Julia Knox Hull Wheeler Harris". Find a Grave. Retrieved 2 September 2016.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Edward Dana Durand
Director of the United States Census Bureau
1913 – 1915
Succeeded by
Samuel Lyle Rogers
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Thomas W. Hardwick
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Georgia
Served alongside: M. Hoke Smith, Thomas E. Watson, Rebecca Latimer Felton and Walter F. George
Succeeded by
John S. Cohen