Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Eddie Aquilea "Rip" Harbor

Known as "Granddaddy Harbor" to my father, Rip was officially a great-uncle rather than a grandfather. However, since Rip raised my grandmother, Pearl Cofield, from the age of about six years old when she and her siblings were orphaned, he was more grandfather than uncle to my father and the other Cofield cousins. Rip was the son of Talmon Harbor and Martha Ann Evans. Because of the Evans connection, Rip was even more than great-uncle or grandfather. He was my daddy's third cousin!

Rip was his nickname. He might have been called E. A. by some folks, but I doubt he was called Eddie or Aquilea. Even his son, also named Aquilea, was called 'A'.

Rip was married to LouVannah Cofield, daughter of Sam and Zilphia Cofield of the Shottsville community over in Marion County, Alabama. They married about 1901 or 1902, and had only the one son although they raised the three orphaned daughters of Vannah's brother John Richard Cofield.

Although primarily a farmer, Rip was also a photographer. Prior to his marriage to Vannah, he traveled to Arkansas and Texas as an apprentice to professional photographer. In the 1900 census, he can be found living in Benton, Arkansas and working as a photographer. Most of the photographs of the Itawamba County family of Harbors that appeared in the book "Harbors in America" were made by Rip and his instructor.

While at the state archives this week, I came across a mention of Rip in an October 1902 edition of the Fulton Herald newspaper.

"Mr. A. E. Harbor of Tremont was an esteemed visitor Tuesday. He has been taking photographs near here."

I wonder if the photograph shown above was a self-portrait.

Eddie Aquilea "Rip" Harbor, born March 8, 1877, died June 1943, buried Mt. Pleasant Methodist Cemetery near Tremont.

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