Harper, Iowa Centennial
                         NOT TOO BIG. . . BUT NOT TOO LITTLE



In the course of compiling the following list, some of whom and others, quite possibly were more famous—more distinguished than others because time has dimmed the memory of their ac-complishments and are no longer well known.


1897—Jake Weibley, a Harper lad, has become a bass singer with great promise. He has studied in the Chicago Conservatory of Music. His voice is very powerful, rich and full.


1906—Jonny Valerius signed as a catcher for The Joliet League Baseball team, drawing a salary of $100. 00 a month.


1906—Nick Ruplinger became Brakeman for the Rock Island Railroad at Valley Junction.


1916—Mrs. Eva Salisbury Barnes' daughter is now a Metropolitan Opera Star. She now sings with Caruso, considered to be the best tenor in the world.


1933—Miss Frances Striegel, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. J. D. Striegel was sent to the Chicago Musical College, where for three years she wore the diamond for proficiency with the piano. She studied two years with Leschetizky at Vienna. She later married Judge Thomas Burke. She passed away 2-6-1933.


Rome, Italy—Edith Mason of Harper sang the title role in "Madame Butterfly" at the Royal Opera. She answered 15 curtain calls. Date unknown.


1932—Audrey Smith won 2nd place in the "Baby Health Contest" at the Iowa State Fair in the 12 to 24 months age.


1935—Three years later Virgilla Smith won 2nd place in the "Baby Health Contest" at the Iowa State Fair also. Both are daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Virgil Smith. Patrick Fitzgerald became President of the Wabash Railroad Company. Leo Clarahan became a Postal Inspector at a distant Large City.


1942-1945—Rev. J. J. Schoenfelder became a great leader during W. W. II in Keokuk County. He was Chairman of the War Finance Committee. He headed several very successful War Loan Drives. Through his leadership many gifts were sent to the service men. He organized the Surgical Dressing Class and held the workshops at his house. The community women folded many thousands of Dressings. Whenever anything was needed done in Keokuk County Father Schoen- felder, aided by others, saw that the job was done. His publicity Chairman was Mrs. Rose Conkity. She and many others assisted him.


1978—Dan (Daniel) Peiffer, son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Peiffer of Harper, played four years of Professional Football, He played one year with the Florida Blazers and three years for the Chicago Bears. Due to continued knee injuries he quit with the advice of his Doctors. Dan, from Harper, Iowa, played football at the Keota Community School, in college-first at Ellsworth Community College, Iowa Falls, and then at Southeast Missouri State, Cape Girardeau before Pro Football.


JOHN BURKE was born where the Natural Gas Compressor Station site is at the present time. The Burke family was Irish and since most of that community was German and he didn't get along with them, they moved to Sec. 30, German Twp. They lost 5 children in 4 weeks with diptheria according to Keokuk County History 1880. These children were buried in the old Baden Cemetery where the Burke family attended church. Later the bodies were removed to a cemetery in Sigourney.


John Burke received his law degree at the University of Iowa at Iowa City and in 1888 went to North Dakota as a penniless young lawyer. He later became a member of the North Dakota legislature, was governor and served as U. S. Treasurer 1913-1921, Wilson Administration.



He was one of North Dakota's most prominent public figures. He was honored with an 8 ft. bronze statue was placed in the state capital at Bismark N. D. The statue stands permanently in the N. D. Memorial Hall. It is a duplicate of the statue that was placed in the National Statuary Hall in Washington D. C.


John Burke visited our community in June 1931. He died in 1933 at the age of 83.


1969—Mrs. Donald Aller and daughter Carrie won first place in the Mother-Daughter Dress Contest at the Keokuk County 125th Centennial. Mrs. Henry Williams was a winner in the Ladies Dress Contest, and Bonita Crooks was a partici- pant in the 100 Year and older Dress Costume Contest.





Victor Holzworth (1866) R. R. 1

Francis W. and Daisy E. Besser (1871) R. R.

Leander Berg (1851) R. R.

Geneva Besser (1865) R. R.

Geneva Besser (1871) R. R.

George W. Baumert (1864) R. R.

Lottie E. Baumert (1873) R. R.

Forrest M. Striegel (1867) R. R.

Cletus J. and Mary Therese Weber (1868) R. R.

J. Anthony and Jane Weber (1853) R. R.

Wilbert Adam (1851) R. R. Harper. (701 W. Keokuk, Keota, la. 52248)

Veolet Clarahan (1865) Box 5. Harper. Purchased in 1978 by Larry Striegel.

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