Harrismith is a small wheat belt town that has a hotel and small caravan park.
The local economy is based around broad acre farming with sheep and wheat being the main products.
The town is located in the shire of Wickepin. Other towns in the shire include Dudinin, Tincurrin,
Yealering and Toolibin.
The townsite was developed after a railway line was constructed
between Kondinin and Yillimining in 1914.
The proposed name was South Dorakin but this was strongly opposed by locals who suggested the name Harrismith after the first settler in the area
(Harry Smith). The name was approved in 1914 and the townsite gazetted a year later. Research indicates that the first settler in the area was in fact
William (Billy) Smith who took up land in 1868. Where the idea about Harry Smith came from is unclear but there was a town called Harrismith in South
Africa so the origin may lie there instead.
William Justice Smith or Billy as he was known, squatted on land in the area in 1868 and was granted a lease on 40 acres in 1896. He lived there until 1920
when he is said to have moved to Yillimining. In 1926 he is supposed to have gone to Narrogin hospital and after that time there is no
record of him so he may have died.
TALL TALES AND TRUE
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BUILDINGS OF NOTE
State : Wagin
Federal : O'Connor
Postcode : 6361
Local Government : Shire of Wickepin
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