Harristown is a residential suburb of Toowoomba, generally three km south-west of the CBD. Reputedly, Harristown was named after the Brisbane businessman, George Harris, who had a cotton processing plant near Harrisville, Ipswich, c1862.
Originally in Drayton Shire, Harristown was on the outer margin of Toowoomba when the first Harristown Estate subdivision was released in 1902. The No 2 Estate followed in 1910, which coincided with the formation of a local school building committee. In the following year Harristown State primary school opened. Settlement was rapid: by 1914 the school, built for 100 pupils, had an enrolment of 192.
In addition to the school, Harristown had a railway station, and an Anglican church and public hall along Buckland Street. The railway station, which opened in 1915, was on the connecting line from Toowoomba to Wyreema. The station closed in 1993.
The suburb developed considerably in the period after World War II. A Catholic secondary college opened in 1946. Harristown State high school followed nine years later and two primary schools, St Anthony's Catholic and Concordia State were opened in 1954 and 1964. Harristown State High is one of Queensland's ten largest.
Some of Harristown's rural connections with Drayton continue. The metropolitan Drayton and Toowoomba cemetery is on the main road to Millmerran, and there are an abattoir and saleyards near the railway line.
The census populations of Harristown have been:
I. Broom, ed, Harristown Primary School, 1911-1986: 75th anniversary souvenir brochure, Harristown: The School, 1986