Posted 6/29/11 (Wed)
Harris Goldsberry, age 96, died Friday, June 24, 2011, at the Wibaux County Nursing Home, where he had been in residence for the past seven weeks. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, June 29, 2011, at 1:00 p.m. in the Medora Community Center, in Medora, N.D. Interment will follow at the Medora Cemetery.
Harris was born to James B. and Suzy (Brown) Goldsberry in Beach, N.D., on March 17, 1915, and lived his entire life along the Little Missouri River in the extreme north end of Billings County. In his youth, Harris, his cousin Bill Goldsberry, and Scott Gore made a little spending money chasing, breaking and selling wild horses. He worked on neighboring ranches and helped out at the family ranch. Harris met Margaret Sullivan, who was a school teacher in the Gorham, N.D., area, and they were married in 1937. The family ranch had been lost to creditors, and Harris bought it back for $1,800.00 from Henry Lehman of Sentinel Butte, N.D. Harris and Margaret raised their three sons and lived on the ranch for the rest of their lives.
Harris was a well-known horse breeder and raised many fine roping horses. He and his sons team roped for many years, with Harris winning multiple state championships. Hereford cattle were the mainstay of the ranching operation, but horses were always Harris’s true passion. He had always said that when he was young, ranchers went broke because they couldn’t feed their cattle, and he wanted to avoid that. Harris made many improvements on the ranch; clearing land and irrigating the river bottoms to grow feed. He was a true outdoorsman. Harris always loved hunting and trapping and accounted for many coyotes over the years. In fact, the birth of his first son was paid for with the money from selling coyote hides.
Although Harris never amassed great wealth in his life, he was rich in the things that truly matter. He lived his life doing the things he loved, surrounded by family and good friends, on the land that he loved. Harris was a good neighbor, a friend to all who knew him and a master storyteller, keeping his audience enthralled for endless hours around the kitchen table. He was honored by being inducted into the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2002, and in his very brief acceptance speech said that it was great to be awarded for doing what he loved to do.
Harris lived a very long and full life, but sorely missed his wife, Margaret, and the many friends who had gone before him.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Margaret (Sullivan) Goldsberry, who died in July of 1988, and all of his siblings, Dr. James Goldsberry, Edith McGill, Pearl Moen, Vernon Goldsberry, and Kenneth Goldsberry.
Harris is survived by his sister-in-law, Fern Goldsberry of Dickinson, N.D.; three sons, Jerry (Marie) of Grassy Butte, N.D., Ron (Karen) of Beach, N.D., and Loren, of Dickinson; also by grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Remembrance and condolences can be shared with the family at: www.silvernal-silhafuneralhome.com.