Harrison, Frank

Frank Harrison, 2004 Inductee

At the time of his death, Mr. Harrison was a most respected elder at Fort McDowell. He was a plaintiff in a historic lawsuit in 1948, Harrison vs. Laveen, that won American Indians the right to vote in Arizona. Though American Indians were granted U.S. citizenship in 1924, Arizona and New Mexico were the only states in which they could not vote. In 1947, Harrison and Harry Austin, both Yavapais from Fort McDowell, had gone to Phoenix to register to vote. Then Maricopy County Recorder Roger G.Laveen refused them. Harrison and Austin, aided by attorneys Lemuel and Ben Matthews and former U.S. Rep. Richard F. Harless, filed suit. The Superior Court turned them down, dismissing the lawsuit. The case was appealed and was eventually successful. In May 1982, Mr. Harrison was honored at a special recognition ceremony by high level state and tribal government officials. See also biographical profile of Harry Austin.