The Harper Family Newsletter


Volume 7                                                  Spring 2002



Items of Interest


I re-printed The Harper Family History 1713 – 1995 in April.  If you are interested in purchasing a copy, please send a check or money order, made out to Marsha Fuller, for $45 (which includes shipping and insurance) to P.O. Box 3623, Hagerstown, MD 21742.  This is not the new book that I’ve been working on – this is a re-print of the original book.

Gravestone Etiquette


      We all know how important it is to preserve aging gravestones for future generations.  Remember not to rub gravestones with stiff-bristled or wire brushes, putty knives, or any metal object in an attempt to clean them or to make them easier to read. 

One trick that really works is to use a mirror to direct bright sunlight diagonally across the face of the gravestone.  This will bring out the writing.

If you have Internet access, you can learn more at:


 “A Favorite Story About the Harpers”

by Charlotte Gibson


      “Walter Harper (15th child) was a buyer and shipper of livestock which he bought in Pendleton and Grant Counties.  Men from those counties drove the stock to the foot of Allegheny Mountain. 

      “Walter’s children would meet them and drive the hogs or turkeys up the mountain and down the other side to their home, and keep them overnight.  The next day they would drive them into Harman – about three miles – where they were loaded into railroad cars and shipped out by train.

      “One night, Walter was returning from a stock buying trip with his relative, “Pa Dove.”  They were going up Allegheny Mountain in Walter’s Model T Ford.  (Unless one was driving in low gear, the lights were very dim.)  Pa Dove said, “Walter, can you see?”  Walter replied that he could.  A little further on, Pa Dove said, “Cut it, Walter!”  Walter ‘cut’ the steering wheel a little too much and…over the hill they went!  A log stopped them.  Next morning, the boys took the horses and hauled the car home.”



“The Harper Family Newsletter”

is published once a year by

The Harper Cemetery Association

HC 66  Box 10 B, Hendricks, WV 26271


Marsha L. Fuller, CGRS, Editor

P.O. Box 3623, Hagerstown, MD  21742






Newsletters sent to the following people were returned with “Forwarding Order Expired”  last year.  Does anyone have current addresses for:  Dr. Wilson G. Harper, Blacksburg, VA


In an effort to save printing and postage costs, we try to send the newsletter by email whenever possible.  Please send me your email addresses.  Do you have a current email address for:

Norma Jean Burkhart

Patty & John Fritz

Jeanne Gilmour

Diane Guerine

Chris Harper, Morgantown

Carney Harper, Milford, NY

Paul R. Harper, Kentucky

Reece Harper, Marietta, Georgia

Willis B. Harper, Jr., Cary, NC

Karen Hinerman, Bethel Park, PA

Arlinda LaRose, Muscatine, Iowa

Gary J. Long, Grove City, Ohio

Nancy Miller, Ashland, Ohio

Karen E. Murphy, Harrisonburg, VA

Ken & Kathy Parker, Florida

Mary Ann McKee Schie

Agnes Sherwood, Kansas

Robert Stevens, III, Las Vegas, NV

Dennis Summerlin, Louisville, CO

Ralph Taylor, Deer Harbor, WA

Mark Stephen Thornberry

Dale Walter, Herndon, VA

Andrew Clegg, Hartwick, NY


2001 Harper Reunion


From Doug Harper of Biloxi, Mississippi, comes a combination of his vacation message and his annual Christmas letter:

“Arrived back in Biloxi last night about 7 p.m. after a wonderful trip.  The only problem is the petrified tail end you get from the 9 and 11 hour flights to and from Egypt on the plane.  All the hotels, planes, boat, tour busses, guides and drivers were excellent.  Security is a big thing for tourists in Egypt.  They claim that half of their annual income comes from tourism.  With the number of groups we saw it seems to be true.  Our flight from Cairo to Luxor was on a 747 which is brought in from the long overseas flights just to handle the peak season of travel. 

“The first nights we spent in Egypt were in a beautiful hotel right down the hill below the largest pyramid in Giza.  Traffic is heavy in Cairo since they say one-third of the population of the country is in that city. 

“We had security guards in each bus.  When we traveled south on the Nile our two groups were the only ones on the boat so we got to know them pretty well on the three-night four-day trip on the boat.  Otherwise we were just passing then in various places. 

“We rode a camel to a monastery ruins for a tour and also rode back on them.  Interesting, but not something that I would like to do very much, if ever again.  We had one late afternoon sail on a felucca (boat with the triangle sail) on the Nile River.

“The end result of the trip was that I gained 3 pounds but it sure feels like more.  Just wanted to let you know that I got back and did not get any Pharaoh curses or anything like that, not even a bug bite or sunburn.     

“The second year of the new century is about over and I sincerely pray that all of you are in good health and looking forward to another great year in 2002. The past year has been a trying one for us all from personal tragedies and then the terrorist attack on

the US in New York and the Pentagon. Maybe the actions that have been taken by President Bush and the US are the ones that will bring a successful  conclusion in 2002 and we can be at peace again.

“My health remains excellent and my 70th birthday was celebrated in fine fashion on a cruise around South America.  I am still healthy enough to give blood today and reached the three gallon level. With that fact and a $1 a cup of coffee can be had.

A good bit of travel was done this year including a 17 day cruise on Holland America Line MS Ryndam from Valpariso, Chile around Cape Horn and ending up in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil over my birthday in November.

“There were three meetings in Louisville, KY for Sons of the American Revolution including the annual Congress.

“I went to Jackson, MS to see the Majesty of Spain exhibit and a stop in Memphis, TN to see "Eternal Egypt" to complete the Egyptian Experience. Of  course there were meetings here in MS for the SAR and of many local organizations. I went to New Orleans to visit a long-time friend that I had not seen  since the early 1960s.   Also flew to San Antonio, TX to visit with Harper cousins that I finally found a few years ago after searching 20 years.

“Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!”


Those of you who knew my Uncle Kent will be interested in this newspaper article:

      “The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science recognized three decades of environmental stewardship in naming the educational center at the Appalachian Laboratory for the late Kent B. Fuller.

"Kent Fuller loved to teach environmental science back in the dark ages when it wasn't the most popular thing to teach," said his friend from youth, Maryland House Speaker Casper Taylor Jr.

“A native of Cumberland, Fuller oversaw the growth of the Appalachian Environmental Laboratory in its formative years, its move to Frostburg State University and the development of the new $18 million University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science facility on Midlothian Road.

“After the lab moved to FSU, Fuller developed Maryland's first wildlife and fisheries degree program, an effort that won an award for innovative academic programs from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

      “Fuller worked with the Department of Natural Resources on efforts to reintroduce wild turkey and black bear to Western Maryland, both of which were successful. Although he did not live to see the current controversy resulting from the growth of the black bear population, Fuller looked on the animal's resurgence as a strong indicator of a healthy environment.

“With the naming of the Kent B. Fuller Education Center at FSU, generations of students and educators will be reminded of Fuller's dedication to Maryland's environment and the state's natural resources.”


Anna May reports that Sylvie Harper’s 94th Birthday Party in Harman was a Huge Success


      “We had a wonderful day for Mom’s birthday party.  It was sunny and warm.  We had the party at the community center and had the women of the church cook the food for us.  The family members brought the desserts.  We were really pleased with the turnout this year – we had over one hundred people.

      “Mom was feeling good, so she enjoyed the day.  She was happy because her younger sister was able to come from Maryland.  She and Mom are the only ones left in the family.

      “We took Mom to the party an hour early so she could talk to some of the people as they came in before the dinner started.  We took her home at 3:00 because she usually takes a nap at that time.  She got lots of birthday cards and is still enjoying them.” 

- Sylvie is the widow of Carney Harper, son of Walter (15th child).




Genealogy is my pastime, I shall not stray,

It maketh me to lie down and examine tombstones

It leadeth me into still courthouses,

It restoreth my Ancestral Knowledge,

It leadeth me in paths of census records and

    passenger lists for my surnames' sake,

Yea, though I walk through the shadows of

    research libraries and microfilms

I shall fear no discouragement,

For a strong urge is within me,

The curiosity and motivation, they comfort me,

It demandeth preparation and storage space for the

    acquisition of countless documents,

It anointest my head with burning midnight oil,

My family group sheets runneth over,

Surely, birth, marriage, and death dates shall

    follow me all the days of my life,

And I shall dwell in the house of a family history seeker



Descendants of Nicholas Harper, son of Philip Harper the Pioneer:

Ø      Dora Dicus,

Ø      Kristie Eberly,





Ø        Nicholas Paul Churchill was born July 27, 1999 to Greg & Beth Churchill.  Greg is the great-grandson of Virginia (Harper) Montoney (19th child).

Ø      Greg & Beth Churchill also had another son, Nathan Danzil Churchill, born July 5, 2001.



Ø      Elaine Tenney, wife of Dalton, and daughter-in-law of Kathleen “Kitty” Wade, passed away on 19 Sep 2001 in Baltimore.

Ø      Carl Harper, brother of Kathleen “Kitty” Wade, died on July 16, 1999 in Grafton, WV at the age of 76 years.

Ø      Virginia Gough Harr, wife of Ole “Pete” Harr, passed away on January 27, 2001 in Ohio.

Ø      Mildred Susan (Harrison) Gardner, granddaughter of Jacob C. & Susan Harper, died on September 29, 2001 in Siloam Springs, Arkansas.  Her sister, June (Harrison) Reed, resides in California.

Ø      Annabelle (Montoney) Burns Boggs, daughter of Virginia Harper (19th Child), passed away on March 26, 2002 in Columbus, Ohio.



Philip Harper the Pioneer







Philip, Jr.




1. Henry

1. Adam

1. Henry


2. George

2. Philip, III

2. Adam


3. Peter

3. Elias

3. Jacob, Jr.



4. Peter

4. Nicholas




5. Moses




6. Leonard






©2002 Marsha L. Fuller, CGRS, All Rights Reserved.



Harper Cemetery Association

HC 66  Box 10 B

Hendricks, WV 26271


March 25, 2002



To: All Harper Descendants

From: Harper Cemetery Association Board of Directors

Subject: 2002 Harper Reunion

Date: Sunday, May 26, 2001


Dear Family and Friends:

     Spring is here and the nice weather is upon us and we are planning for our 2002 Reunion.  The family will gather on Sunday of Memorial Weekend, May 26, 2002, at the Harper Pavilion located on the Harper Farm located 2.2 miles East on US Route 33 from Harman, WV.  Turn in at the Jacob C. Harper Cemetery sign and continue on a gravel road bearing right to the white farmhouse.  The pavilion is located to the right.

     The picnic lunch is a covered dish dinner to begin at 1:00 pm.  Bring your favorite dish and an appetite to join in great fellowship in renewing our family ties.  If you are traveling and cannot fix anything, come anyway.  There is always more food than we can eat from some of the best cooks in the world.  When you arrive, please register and get a name tag and a door prize ticket.  The door prizes have been graciously donated every year by Nela Manning.  If there has been changes in your address or if this is your first time, it is essential to get your complete address recorded.  For those of you with email addresses, the newsletter will be sent electronically in order to cut expenses in postage.  We have a web page that can be accessed at .  Marsha Fuller, a member of the Board of Directors, is maintaining this site and has been responsible for collection of the family history that is present on that site and for the annual newsletter.

     The Board of Directors will meet later in the afternoon to discuss the business of the family.  Donations are accepted for the care and upkeep of the Cemetery, Pavilion, and road.  We are working toward making the Jacob C. Harper Cemetery a perpetual care cemetery with donations going to expenses and investment annuities.  Descendants are encouraged to consider the Cemetery in their estate planning.   If you cannot attend the Reunion and wish to make a donation, you can mail your donation to our treasurer, Eleanor Nestor, at HC 66  Box 10B, Hendricks, WV 26271.

     The weather is always something to think about when coming to the mountains.  We have been fortunate the last two years in having pretty weather, with only a small sprinkle last year.  However, it is sometimes breezy and cool in the pavilion and up at the Cemetery, so bring something warm. 

      We hope to see you there and know that it will be great to visit and get to know all of our family all over again.