|Birth: ||Jul. 8, 1917|
|Death: ||Aug. 22, 2010|
Sarah Bruce Harris, 93, passed away at John R. Williamson Hospice House, Sunday, Aug. 22, 2010.
She was born July 8, 1917, the daughter of Roy G. and Vertie M. Bruce in Conway.
She is preceded by her parents; and two sisters, Daisy Broadway and Mary Elizabeth "Libby" Townsend; and her brother, George Bruce.
Mrs. Harris is survived by her husband, Ralph "Rex" Harris of El Dorado, Ark.; two daughters, Renny Mc Govern of Phoenix, Ariz., and Joan Harris, Milton Keynes, England; and her son, Gene Harris (Sandi), of Colorado Springs, Colo.
She is also survived by her nieces, Shirley (Gary) Hegi, El Dorado, and Judi (John) Howell, Hughes Springs, Texas.
Also surviving her are three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Prior to moving to El Dorado 10 years ago, she co-managed for 20 years with her husband, the Heritage Hill Manor in Helena, an assisted living center.
Mrs. Harris was a member of First Baptist Church, in El Dorado.
A graveside service will be held 1 p.m. Wednesday at Oak Grove Cemetery in Conway, with Bro. Ben Early officiating.
Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church, 200 W. Main St., El Dorado, Ark. 71730.
Posted: September 2, 2010 - 5:24pm
By Vivian Lawson Hogue
It was my honor to attend a graveside service recently for a gentle Southern lady whom I had never met, one who was noted for her strong faith and service to others.
Her living family gathered around the family plot, grateful to be shaded by an ancestral magnolia tree on that late-summer day. Her previously interred family members lay about her coffin, her father and mother surely glad to welcome the last sheep into their shelter. Resting with her grandparents and other relatives, including two sisters and a brother, she would complete the circle of a prominent Conway family.
In the past of all of us is the one thing, one person, one event that weaves us out of gold thread and homespun strands into a many-colored tartan. The spinning, then weaving of that cloth will endure because we bestow it, good or bad, knowingly or unknown, by chance or on purpose on future generations. Others beyond us will either continue to wear it proudly, or will store it away and glorify the new generation.
Our city had many prominent men and their families who came here looking for post-Civil War peace and opportunity.
Many of them came with high military rank and a prisoner-of-war experience in the Confederate Army. Some call them "carpetbaggers," those rapscallions who took advantage of the South's unfortunate state of disrepair and depression and came only for financial gain.
However, there is a significant difference between carpetbaggers and Conway's founding fathers. Carpetbaggers would take their money and run. However, Conway would see Yankees and Rebs, such as the "Connecticut Yankee," Asa P. Robinson, Capt. W. W. Martin and Col. George W. Bruce, join to create and develop a parcel of land that became our city.
One of those city-builders, Col. Bruce, was an attorney, as was his son, Roy. Col. Bruce enlisted in the Confederate Army in 1861 and served in the Battles of Savannah, Murphreesboro and the second Battle of Manassas. He was captured and held in a federal prison until the war ended. Afterward, he resumed his practice and eventually moved to Little Rock.
He resided there until the Legislature created Faulkner County and "Conway Station" was established as the county seat. He moved to Conway Station (later Conway) the next day and remained here as an attorney and landowner for the rest of his remaining 46 years.
Bruce was instrumental in procedures that enabled the Hendrix College move to Conway and participated in processes to form Arkansas State Normal School (now the University of Central Arkansas). Bruce Street bears his name. He founded Central Baptist College for Women (now Central Baptist College) in 1892, at which one building is named for him. In fact, he spent so much of his own money to maintain the school that he was eventually brought into financial ruin. His elegant turn-of-the-century home on College Avenue was the first brick two-story home in Conway, but was razed in 1989 due to neglect. Col. Bruce was elected to the State House of Representatives in 1881 and was mayor of Conway from 1917 until his death in November 1919. His 2:30 p.m. funeral was marked by the closing of schools to attend the service, and businesses closing from 3-4 p.m.
Bruce and his wife, Sarah, had nine children. His son, Roy, lived across the street in a home that legend says G. W. built for him as a wedding present. He, his wife, Verdie, and their four children, Daisy, "Libby," George and Sarah, resided there for a time before Roy and Verdie passed away. It has been my home since 1946, and I have always felt a kinship not only with the house, but with the family. Perhaps it was because our family's clan McLaren fought with King Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn in 1314. Perhaps it was merely historic interest. But I had many questions about houses and people through the years, but found no family members to interview as they had passed away or moved.
That quest is not to be completed as the last of the Bruce children has been laid to rest. Mrs. Sarah Bruce Harris, 93, died Aug. 22 and is buried in Conway's historic Oak Grove cemetery. I was compelled to attend the service as surely as if she had been one of my own kin. My strongest regret is that I did not know she only lived a distance of 150 miles away. And now a good bit farther from here to heaven.
Roy George Bruce (1878 - 1930)
Verdie Maddox Bruce (1891 - 1925)
Ralph E. Harris (1920 - 2011)*
Sarah Jane Bruce Harris (1917 - 2010)
George W. Bruce (1925 - 1959)*
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:6
Note: On same stone with Ralph E. Bruce.
Oak Grove Cemetery
Created by: ghost girl
Record added: Nov 24, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 62122301