“General Harrison of Opelika, was a descendant of the original Virginia Harrison family which emigrated from England to the Old Dominion. This family included two presidents of the United States as and was conspicuous in laying the foundation stones of the state on the shores of the first English Colony. He was born on the ‘Monteith Plantation,’ near Savannah, Ga. March 19, 1841, and bears his father’s name in full. His father was for many years prominent in Ga. politics, serving many sessions in the legislature of that state from Chatham Co. During the war between the states, the elder Harrison commanded a brigade of state troops and after the war, was chosen a member of the constitutional convention of Georgia.
General George Paul Harrison was classically trained in the famous academies of Savannah and later at the Georgia Military Institute at Marietta; graduated in 1861 with a degree of A.B. and C. E. as the first honor man of his class. He was scarcely twenty at the outbreak of the war, and on Jan.3, 1861, he shared in the seizure by the state of Ga. of Fort Pulaski. He enrolled in the service of the state and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the First Regiment of Ga. Regulars…… not quite 23 years old when he received his commission as a brigadier general….While in camp, General Harrison applied himself to the study of the law. After the close of the war he moved to Alabama, resided first at Auburn, and later Opelika.
He was elected commandant of the Alabama University, retired from that position, and made commandant at the state agricultural college at Auburn. After one year, he resigned and devoted himself to his law practice. He served the public as a delegate to the Alabama Constitutional Conventions of 1875 and 1901; as state senator from 1878 to 1884; and1901 –1902; elected a representative in Congress from the 3rd district in1894 and 1896. In 1899 he was elected Major General of the Alabama Division of United Confederate Veterans and served the United Confederate Veterans for many years…..
He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South; married (1) in 1863 to Mary F. Drake, who died in June 1884, daughter of John C. and May A. Drake of Ga. (2) in 1886 to Mattie C. Ligon, who died August 22, 1892, daughter of Gov. Robert F. Ligon of Alabama (3) in November, 1896 to Fannie Louise Witherspoon, daughter of Hamilton and Nancy Witherspoon of Coldstream, S. C. who died in September, 1900 (4) on November 20, 1901, at La Grange, Ga. to Sara Katherine Nunnaly, daughter of GUSTAVUS ALONZO and Mary (BRISCOE) Nunnaly, of that place. Children by first marriage; (1) deceased; (2) MAMIE Harrison, first honor graduate of the Wesleyan female college; by fourth marriage, (1) George P. Harrison., Jr.
Bro. Harrison was initiated in Auburn Lodge No. 76 on Sep. 28, 1865, passed Oct. 3, 1865 and raised Oct. 5, 1865. He demitted from this Lodge on May 6, 1881 affiliated with Opelika Lodge No. 395; demitted Feb. 16, 1882 to become a Charter Member and first Worshipful Master of Lee Lodge No. 454. In the Grand Lodge of Alabama he was elected Junior Grand Warden December 4, 1889, regularly advanced and was elected Most Worshipful Grand Master Dec. 5, 1894 and again in 1895. He was appointed a Member of the Committee on Masonic Jurisprudence in 1896 and was appointed Chairman of that Committee in 1901, serving as such until his death July 17, 1922.”