THE HARPER FAMILY NEWSLETTER
Editor - Marsha L. Fuller
ITEMS OF INTEREST
* As usual, I have to ask everyone's forgiveness for not answering your letters in a timely fashion. I never seem to have enough time! If you've been waiting for an answer to a question, I'm sorry, and I'll try to get a letter in the mail to you as soon as possible.
* I also have to ask everyone's indulgence in copying the photographs that you've been kind enough to lend me. It seems that I don't have all the special equipment I need to properly copy these old photographs, and have to find someone to borrow it from. I hope to have that completed by early summer and will return everyone's photos as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience!
* Discovery of the Bat Cave - No, we haven't found Bruce Wayne's secret hideout...but, in History of Pendleton County (1910), Oren F. Morton said that Jacob Harper "was a great hunter and trapper. He and his sons made [gun]powder...pedaling the same [for] 50 cents a pound." The salt petre cave where Jacob Harper made his gunpowder is still in existence and was pointed out to me last summer in the Harman Hills near Seneca Rocks, in Pendleton County. It is presently fenced in and protected by the Federal Government because an endangered species of long-eared bats lives here. This site will be on the list of places to see during the 2000 Harper Reunion.
* Regarding the question of the name of Philip Harper Jr.'s wife, family legend has long said that she was a Moser and that her first name was Mahala. Muriel G. Hart of Hendersonville, North Carolina points out that Anna Maria Moser was a member of Philip's confirmation class. It could easily be that Mahala was mistaken for Anna Maria.
* The Board of Directors of the Harper Cemetery Association has set up a special fund for the maintenance of the cemetery which is known as the Moses Harper Cemetery on the Blake Hedrick farm across from the 4-U Restaurant near Seneca Rocks, West Virginia. Among others, Jacob Harper (son of Philip Harper the Pioneer) is buried there. Several years ago, members of the Board met to pace off the boundaries of the cemetery; they then arranged to have it fenced in. However, over the years, the gravestones have fallen over and need to be reset in their proper places. We also need to look at establishing a perpetual care fund for this cemetery so that mowing and trimming can take place in the summer and repairs can be made when needed. If you can contribute to this project, make sure to write "Moses Harper Cemetery" on your checks and send to the Harper Cemetery Association.
* Apologies are in order to Joyce Harper Bassler of Laguna Hills, California - in last year's newsletter, I incorrectly identified her as "Jackie"...in TWO places. She and her twin sister, Janet, are the daughters of Earl C. Harper, son of Seymour Harper (5th Child). Mea culpa!
* From June Harrison Reed, West Hollywood, California comes a story about some of The 20 Children:
"Regarding the time Aunt Lizzie [Elizabeth Harper Cooper] was with us in Texas. I believe I told you my Father always had railroad passes not only on the Western Maryland Railroad but received courtesy passes on other railroads. When we went to Texas we left Cumberland on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. My Mother [Delphia Harper Harrison] invited Aunt Lizzie so, with my sisters, we were a group of 5. We made the trip in the summer of 1923 and I have many pictures of the trip and also our visit to the Alamo in San Antonio. My Mother had to be vaccinated before going - this was needed to get into Texas (imagine it really was a completely different time) and I remember the vaccination did not take and became infected and she was really sick most of the trip. However, she never complained, she was a very special lady. We were truly blest to have her for our Mother. Aunt Lizzie got car sick, at one time, after riding on a seat that had been turned so that 2 seats faced each other - she was riding backwards. I remember my Mother made matching dresses for Ruth and me. I was 8, Ruth 11 and Millie was 14. We had berths in the sleeping car. I brought back a cotton plant to show my teacher and class, cotton before it was picked. It was quite an experience and I remember we left Cumberland in the evening and the train passed our house on Beall Street and some friends were waiting to see the train and waved as we went by. Uncle Pete [Harper] had a thatch roof covered building, open sides and it was a place to go from the heat. He grew water melons as well as cotton and we would go there and have lots of cold water melons. We all enjoyed the trip!"
* Delphia Harper Harrison (20th Child) didn't meet her brother, Albert (4th Child), for the first time until she was 16 years old. Albert and his wife had left West Virginia at an early age and hadn't been back to visit for all those years.
* Jeff Carr has suggested that an account be set up to collect money to hire a researcher in Germany so that we can trace the parents of Jacob Harper and Philip Harper the Pioneers over there. If you think this would be a worthwhile pursuit, let me know and we can discuss ways to fund it in next year's newsletter.
* Susan McDonald Harper's sister, Elmira McDonald Cooper was nicknamed "Aunt Duck."
* Charlotte Harper Gibson, granddaughter of Walter Harper (15th Child), published a wonderful book on the Harper family in November 1995. She has kindly granted permission to reprint the memories she gathered of Jacob C. and Susan McDonald Harper:
"Their house consisted of eleven rooms. Six upstairs and five downstairs. There was a hall upstairs and one downstairs. Also, there were two pantries plus a porch and a fruit cellar under the house. People traveling through from Pendleton to Randolph County would often stay overnight as they traveled by horse wagon, or horse and buggy. No one was turned away. At times Susan would be returning home alone after dark, in a buggy. A panther would scream on one mountain and another panther would scream from a mountain opposite. The horse would be badly frightened, but Susan was always able to control the horse and arrive home safely. (The world 'panther' was often used in West Virginia. Many people thought they were mountain lions, while others swore they were black and were real panthers. There were many sightings of the 'black' mountain lion. Perhaps, the panther Susan was referring to was black and perhaps it was not, but they were dangerous. "Millie Harrison Gardner spent a lot of time with her Great-Grandma Susan. Millie says her eyes were blue and that she was a very kind person whom everyone admired, respected and loved. Millie also says Great-Grandma was very intelligent. "The Harper Family Newsletter" is published once a year by: The Harper Cemetery Association HC 66 Box 64, Dryfork, WV 26263 Editor - Marsha L. Fuller P.O. Box 3623, Hagerstown, MD 21742 firstname.lastname@example.org "Millie was a beautician. She washed and cared for Susan's hair many times. She remembers brushing her Grandma Susan's hair. She says her hair was like silk. She parted it in the middle and pulled it back in a bun. Her hair was shoulder length. Millie loved to sit on Grandma's lap and to sleep with her as Grandma would tell stories to her. Grandma had a little drink of brandy every day for medicinal purposes. She also rubbed snuff. When she dressed, her apron was put on last. She always wore an apron. She had a big pocket in it where she kept her snuff and comb or brush. She kept her apron pocket closed with a big safety pin. Her horse was 'Nellie.' She rode sidesaddle. She rode nearly every day when she lived on the farm. She could also hook the horse to a buggy by herself. "She would tell about the time Grandpa came courting and caught her barefoot. She was upset about it. She said he never made arrangements ahead of time to come courting, he just showed up and she would have preferred knowing ahead of time. "When someone asked her in the 1920's or early 30's what she would do in 'this day and age with 20 children' and she remarked, 'I could do it again.'"
* Thanks to the generosity of my uncle, Dale Boyce Fuller of Cumberland, Maryland, we now have a Harper Family homepage on the Internet. The address is: http://www.fred.net/mfuller Anyone wishing me to post a query about Harper ancestors on this homepage can write to me or email me.
* Last summer, while visiting in Harman, West Virginia, someone mentioned to me that Sylvie Harper had some old Harper photographs. I went down to look at them and, lo and behold, the very first photo I set my eyes on was a baby picture of my father that I had never seen before!
* I am compiling information on the source of each piece of documentation we have on all descendants of Philip Harper the Pioneer and Jacob Harper the Pioneer up until 1900. (After that date, sources can be pretty easily found.) If you have anything you would like to contribute, please send it to me. Examples of information that would be useful to future generations are: photocopies of Harper Family Bibles which list birth, marriage and death dates; photographs prior to 1925; family stories; stories of Harpers from old county histories, etc.
* Bill Painter told me a story that his father used to tell him about Jacob C. Harper's older brother, Moses Harper, Jr., known as "Mosie." The story goes that Mosie was sitting out on the fence during a thunderstorm. Lightening was crackling all around him. He must have been feeling really arrogant that day because he looked up at the heavens and called out, "Give Mosie a little crack if you think you can." The next moment a lightening bolt hit him, picking him up off the fence and knocking him clear across the field. This story is supported by a memory that Kent Fuller had of his grandmother (Elizabeth Harper Cooper, 16th Child) telling him that one of her uncles was hit by lightening.
* Another story from Bill Painter is about Jacob C. Harper's father, Moses Harper, Sen., who was a neighbor of Aaron Boggs. The little ditty goes:
"Hell and damnation,
All around the plantation,
Aaron Boggs's dogs,
Is on Mosie Harper's hogs."
* Danny Moore has family group sheets on his line which he will make available to anyone else who is interested. He descends from the daughter of Jacob Harper & Margaret Simmons, Sarah Margaret Harper, who married George Teter, Jr. and moved to Indiana. Contact: Daniel Moore, 1309 Harb St., Corning, AR 72422.
* Kent Fuller remembers hearing the story of a time when Jacob C. Harper, a devout Democrat, ran into a neighbor the morning after an election which the Republicans had won. The neighbor, trying to taunt Jacob C., said, "Why do you have such a long face?" Jacob C. replied, "I'll match faces with you anytime."
* I discovered some information on our Civil War Harpers during a trip to the George Tyler Moore Center for Civil War Studies in Shepherdstown, WV.
Prisoners of War and State, Etc. "Office Commissary-General of Prisoners, Detroit, July 11, 1862. Hon. E.M. Stanton, Secretary of War, Washington, DC. Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith petitions with letters from the provost-marshal-general at Wheeling, Va., in favor of Sylvanus Harper, Jacob Phares, Solomon Hedrick, Copeland Thompson, James Bennett, Isaac Hinckle, Laban Teter, Joseph Lantz, John W. Dolly and George Bennett, prisoners of war, at Wheeling, Va. I have heretofore referred other petitions in favor of most of these men to the Department. Major Darr after looking carefully into these cases recommends that they be released on taking the oath of allegiance and giving bonds for good behavior, which recommendation is approved by Governor Peirpoint. From what appears in these papers and in statements made to me by Mr. Abram Hinckle, one of the petitioners, I respectfully recommend that these men be released on the terms suggested by Major Darr. Very respectfully, your obedient servant, W. Hoffman, Colonel Third Infantry, Commissary-General of Prisoners"
"Office Commissary-General of Prisoners, Detroit, Mich., August 7, 1862. Capt. H.M. Lazelle, Eighth U.S. Infantry, Columbus, Ohio: Your letter of the 4th instant with its inclosures is received. I am pleased to learn that everything is going on satisfactorily at Camp Chase...Sylvanus Harper is reported paroled though he was released by order of the Secretary of War. For the present you need take no further steps in relation to the paroled prisoners in Columbus. After the exchange of prisoners takes place a better system will be established. As no account of disbursement of the prisoners' fund is rendered I suppose it is all on hand. Impress it on the colonel that he is responsible for the proper expenditure of this fund. I believe I have mentioned to you that vegetables, and for those who are destitute of money small articles for repairing clothing and shoes, writing appear, tobacco, pipes, &c., may be purchased in moderate quantities when the fund will admit of it. A liberal supply of vegetables should be allowed. The prisoners' share of the hospital fund for July must be determined by the number of s____ hospitals. Your presence in Columbus will probably be necessary making arrangements for the exchange of prisoners and I wish you remain there for the present. Very respectfully, your obedient servant, W. Hoffman, Colonel Third Infantry, Commissary-General of Prisoners" [Sylvanus Harper was the son of Nicholas Harper & Sarah Henkle, grandson of Jacob Harper and Margaret Simmons.]
((((((((((((((((((((( LOST AND FOUND ((((
Query: If anyone knows how Samuel Harper (married Mary Nelson) is related, please contact: Helen Fest, 406 Forest Dr., Bridgeport, WV 26330, <UJNE12B@prodigy.com>
Query: Does anyone know how Charles Webster Harper, born 1869 in Pendleton County, is related? It may be that his father was a Harper but was not married to his mother. Contact: Charles A. Harper, P.O. Box 487, Lutherville, MD 21094.
Query: Do you know the whereabouts of the Writings of Dr. Eli Akim Harper of San Diego, California. Dr. Harper wrote about the Harper family in the 1870's. Contact: Marsha L. Fuller
Query: Where is the diary of Ezekiel "Zeke" Harper which is excerpted in History of Tucker County? Contact: Marsha L. Fuller
Query: Does anyone know the whereabouts of the descendants of Rosie Harper and John Painter? How about their Family Bible? Contact: Marsha L. Fuller
* From Wilma "Toni" Lund comes this story about her father Whitney Montoney (son of Virginia Harper, 19th Child): "When Uncle Hayward and Dad talked and reminisced (I wish I had a tape of that conversation) they talked about the pet groundhog they had as kids. Dad had found it as a baby and it became quite a family pet. The boys would sneak it into the house in bad weather. One time it cut its own throat trying to get in through a broken window, but it survived. Grandma (Virginia) would find it in drawers and cupboards. They had it for a few years. One day Grandma got tired of it and told the boys to take it with them when they went after the cows and put it in a groundhog hole somewhere. The boys did just that. When they returned, Grandma said, "I thought I told you to take that groundhog with you today." They responded, "We did!" The groundhog had beat them home."
* It is told that Jacob C. Harper went into town one day to buy his son a straw hat. Liking the hat in the store, Jacob C. asked the merchant if he had any more hats like it. The merchant, obviously not knowing how many children Jacob C. had, asked him how many hats he needed. Jacob C. said, "Thirteen." The merchant, disbelieving that he had thirteen sons, replied, "If you bring 13 boys in here and line them up, I'll GIVE them each a straw hat!" Jacob C. went home and got the boys, and the merchant had to make good on his word.
* Check with your brothers and sisters, children and grandchildren to see if they received the 1997 and 1998 newsletter. If not, please send me their addresses. Even if they don't seem interested now, we'd like to keep them on the mailing list so we don't lose track of them. You never know when someone's interest may re-awaken.
* If anyone has a Family Bible for any Harpers born before 1900, PLEASE photocopy the family births, deaths and marriages and send it to me. Thanks!
Change of Address Don't forget to send your new address to the Editor if you move!
(* The eldest child of Jacob and Margaret Simmons Harper was Sarah Margaret Harper who married George Teter, Jr. and moved to Indiana. I am told that Sarah and George's three youngest sons, Ebal, Asa and Mahlon, each received 160 acres of land and founded the community of Tetersburg, Indiana. Their eldest son, Eber, kept a journal which is excerpted below, through the courtesy of Daniel Moore, Corning, Arkansas:
Editor's Note: I have copied the following exactly as it was written with no attempt to correct the spelling or punctuation.
Diary of Eber Teter, Senior
(August 30, 1832, Eber Teter's journey written by himself)
"On the 28th day of August 1832, I left Ambrose Phares' and traveled 7 miles to my father's. On the 29th day, I left with a heavy heart leaving all my affectionate friends behind not without tears. And went on my journey to Joseph Walker's on Allegane about 16 miles; and on the 30th I went about 4 miles to Jess Dreegar, on the dry fork, or to a place called the seat of the government. On the 31st I was to meet Joseph Walker at Ruben Teter's, as he had agreed the day before to go with me on my journey, but failed in going or doing as he had promised, seeming to turn against me. Receiving advice to return, then throwing myself into the hands of a faithful Creator, I went on 20 miles to Mr. Pickney, feeling somewhat tired, and being bit by a dog lightly. On the 1st of September, I went on to George Teter's and Abraham Day's, and found them all well. On the 29th I went to Jacob Teter's about three miles and to Solomon Yegers to a meeting. And, to Joseph Teter's and found them all well, and corn crops looked but indifferent here. On the 30th I went to Joseph Teter's in Harrison County, being 26 miles, and found them well. Corn crops looked tolerable well but is very backward. I continued there on the 4th and got my shirt washed, and on the 5th I started from there through Clarksburg and from there to a Mr. Jones', on Middlebourne, through a very hilly country. In the evening I felt quite weary and traveling seemed very lonesome being by myself. On the 6th day I continued through the hills slowly observing the country. The climate seemed to be better than the soil; corn looks tolerable well, some of it is forward enough. The country is well timbered with oak and some of the best pine I most ever saw. "I came to a widow, by the name of Mae Gregory on Borme Creek and stayed all night. On the 7th I went on through a very poor looking country to the Ohio River, and crossed to Marietta, which made a distance of 94 miles from Joseph Teter's. Went on two miles farther up the Wisgun and stayed all night. Corn looks well and the soil appears tolerably good along the bottom; the high land is thin and in a general way sandy. Some places along the Wisgun there is some time stone banks with small spots of good land. After I left the main river, I travelled through a hilly country. The land looks tolerably thin, though it produces well; the soil in some places looks red, and the timber in general is white oak, and black oak; and in some places on the high hills chestnut oak. There is a quantity of hickory, and wood land sells for $1.25 per acre. - The rest of this excerpt is in The Complete Harper Family History Prior to 1900.
Internet If you're on the Internet and want to communicate with me (I answer much faster than letters), try: email@example.com
* Unfortunately, I will no longer be able to do Update Kits every year. Working full-time just doesn't leave me enough hours in the day to do everything, so all new information and research findings will go into The Complete Harper Family History Prior to 1900. This is the completely revised version of The Harper Family History 1713-1995. Thanks to the generosity of The Harper Cemetery Association, this book will be available in print on an on-going basis. I hope to have this book completed by mid-summer. (I'm taking my time with it to make sure that everything known about our family is in it.) For those of you who have already sent in your checks, I have deposited the money into the Harper account and your book will be mailed to you just as soon as it comes off the press. The purchase price is $36.25 (includes insured postage and handling). Maryland residents add $1.82 tax.
* A word about copyright laws: In last year's newsletter, I talked a little about copyright laws. It seems that some people are offended that Harper family research is not available for copying and sharing, but there are several good reasons why I copyright all of my Harper work. One of these is that, as I do new research which changes my previous conclusions about Harper names, dates and places, I know where the old information has been distributed to, and I can contact people to correct it. If items are photocopied and shared, or displayed on the Internet in places I don't know about, this erroneous information can be passed around for years to come and can "pollute" other people's genealogy databases terribly. An example of "polluting" genealogy databases is the Mormon IGI file that's available through Family History Libraries. Back in the 1950's, someone erroneously listed the Jacob and Margaret Simmons Harper family as having its last child born when Margaret was 56 years old! (Now, I'm all for hardy pioneer women....but this is taking it too far!) This family file has been copied over and over for years, and has polluted many a good database. To sum up, anyone who is interested in researching our family: can surf to the Harper Family Homepage on the Internet where the most up-to-date information is displayed; order The Complete Harper Family History Prior to 1900; and attend the Harper Family Reunions held every year at the Buzz Harper Farm in Harman, West Virginia.
* As you remember, the Harper Cemetery Association paid for copies of The Harper Family History to be donated to various libraries. Cousin Ted McDonald made the official presentation to the Pendleton County Library in August 1997, an event which was covered by the local newspaper. There was a photograph of Ted and Charlie Bates, the librarian, with an accompanying article about the Harper Cemetery Association.
(((((((((((((((((((( In the interest of putting people in touch with each other who are following the same branches of our family, I'll be hapy to publish names and addresses for each branch. If you're interested in being on the list in next year's newsletter, drop me a line.
Working on Philip Harper, Jr. (Son of Philip Harper the Pioneer) is:
Muriel G. Hart, 749 Zelda Ct., Hendersonville, NC 28792 Jeannette Simkins, 1016 Lauren Ln., Goose Creek, SC 29445 Ted McDonald, HC 66, Box 45 G, Dryfork, WV 26263 ((((((((((((((((((((
CHANGES IN OUR FAMILY TREE
BIRTHS: (((( The Stork has been very busy in the Harper Family this year: ( Mark & Judy Kelly Fuller announce the birth of their third child and first son, Camden Scott Fuller, on June 26, 1997 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. ( Abigail Claire Lockwood was born on May 22, 1996 to Kevin and Stefaney Lockwood - descendants of Peter Harper (3rd Child). ( Danny and Karen Moore of Jonesboro, Arkansas proudly announce the birth of their first child, Jacob Daniel Moore on Nov. 15, 1996.
MARRIAGES: (((( Three descendants of Walter Harper (15th Child) were married during 1996: ( Melissa Carrie Evans to Clinton Randolph Dean II on April 27, 1996 at Red House, Maryland. ( Bryan Westley Evans to Terri Mischelle Kincaid at Boomer, West Virginia on August 3, 1996. ( Roxanne Kelly Evans to Robert F. Wilson, Jr. on November 23, 1996 at Davis, West Virginia.
SORROWS: (((( The Harper family suffered many losses this year:
* Don Harper Carr, grandson of George Harper (9th Child), passed away on March 24, 1997. He was an aeronautical engineer, a teacher, and Superintendent of Schools in Doddridge and Tucker Counties, West Virginia. He is survived by wife, Carolsue, and children, Nancy Jo, James, John and Jeffrey.
* Herbert H. Lockwood, grandson of Peter Harper (3rd Child) passed away on May 12, 1997 in Albion, Nebraska. He is survived by his wife, Goldie, and his children, Eugene, Deanna, Sharon, and six grandchildren.
* William McKinley "Bill" Painter died on January 1, 1998 at the age of 97 years. He is survived by his wife, Martha, children and grandchildren. Bill gave us many stories about the early Harpers. In the words of Ted McDonald, "A precious window to the past has now been closed to us."
* My uncle, Kent Blair Fuller, grandson of Elizabeth Harper, (16th Child) died on December 19, 1997 in Cumberland, Maryland. He is survived by wife, Mary Ann, daughter, Julie, and son, Jason.
* Jackie Benson Blatterman, passed away on June 28, 1997. She is survived by her husband, Louis, and four children. I had the good fortune to visit with Jackie on my trip to California last January; she was a lovely lady!
* Jackie's mother, Elma Lawrence Hatch (daughter of Mary Harper, 7th Child), also left us this year. Elma died in California on December 28, 1997 at the age of 92 years. She had been in a nursing home for about eight months.
Harper Pioneer Reunion in 2000!
Celebrating 250 Years of Harpers in America Friday, August 11, 2000 - Sunday, August 13, 2000
Countdown: Only 2 more years!
The official travel agency for the 2000 Reunion is The Cruise Company, a full-service travel agency owned by Julie Fuller. She can be reached at: The Cruise Company, 13106 Winchester Rd. LaVale, MD 21502, (800)420-7245 firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is the proposed schedule for the 2000 Reunion:
Friday Banquet; Harper memorabilia display; Old-Fashioned Square Dance Saturday Guided Bus Tour of Harper sites, including Harper cemeteries, with an evening meal around the campfire and hayrides Sunday Church Services in historic church; picnic lunch at Harper Pavilion; tour of Jacob C. Harper homeplace and Cemetery
We will visit the original homestead of the Harper pioneers and see the site of the home where Philip and Anna Elizabeth Harper raised their family.
There are many things to do in this part of the country, so plan to come for a week or so. There are: Libraries and courthouses for Harper research Civil War camps and battlefields Dolly Sods - federally designated wilderness Seneca Rocks - rock climbing schools Blackwater Falls Backpacking, hiking, caving, canoe and kayaking Walking tours Golf Smokehole Caverns and Seneca Caverns Horse riding and biking Historic sights Augusta Heritage Workshops at D & E College
For more information on area activities, contact Tucker County Convention and Visitor's Bureau (800)782-2775, and Randolph County Tourism (800)422-3304.
Copyright 1998 Marsha L. Fuller All Rights Reserved.
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