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


It has been told to us that Father H. Grothe had the first car here at Harper. It was an International with Buggy Wheels. We have two pictures of old cars. About a 1911 car with doors, owner and rider Mike Striegel. The other one we think is a Buick owned by Msgr. N. J. Peiffer, standing beside the car.









The "Western Herald" of South English, Editor and Prop., G. J. Brown, was moved to Harper, August 18, 1877 and ran until March 1, 1878, when it was sold to the Harper Publishing Co. This paper was published until September 6, 1878, discontinued, and the material, repurchased by G. J. Brown, was moved back to South English, Iowa.


In 1893 it is known that the Democrat was the name of Harper's newspaper and D. W. Evans of South English was the Editor. Later on in 1896 the paper was published by W. E. Dodd. He put in a new outfit here. Earlier in 1894 Clarahan & Whistler were Editors and Proprietors, for a short time.



From Harper, Iowa, Democrat

(D. W. Evans Editor, pub. every Fri - $1. 50 per year.)


March 23, 1894 issue

Vittetoe & Besser, window shades, Paint Peiffer Bros., dealers in lumber & hdwe. Mike Pauly, gen. blacksmithing & horse shoer.


Established in Harper in 1873

Nick Kautenberger, Agricultural Implements

C. E. Thomas, M. D., physician & surgeon

Office over city drug store

J. H. B. Striegel, grain dealer

Hogs $5.00                               Oats, per bu., 24¢

Steers, $3-$4                             Butter, per lb, 10¢

Cows, $2-$3                              Eggs, per doz., 8¢

Corn per bu., 27¢

Dr. F. Besser, Veterinary

Office in Vittetoe & Besser Drug Store

City Tonsorial Shop (Milo)

1st door E. Vittetoe & Besser Drug Store


Thomas & Valerius, wallpaper

Greigg & Co., dry goods & groceries

Striegel & Conrad, farm machinery

E. Besser, men's clothing

Peter Wellenstein, Harper, General Mdse.

Cornelis Verwers, watch maker

At Thomas & Valerius


"Those intending to pay their subscription to "The Democrat" in wood are requested to bring said wood in at once."



Sept. 7, 1894

Clarahan & Whistler, Editors & Proprietors, $1. 00 per year


Vittetoe & Besser, drugs

Nick Kautenberger, agr. implements

Salm & Ott, dealers in harness & saddles, trunks & valises, boots, shoe.

Michael Pauly, blacksmithing

City Barber Shop, billiards and pool in conn.,

Chas. White, prop.

Peiffer Bros., sewing machines, pumps

Greigg & Co., dry goods

Dr. F. Besser, veterinary

J. H. B. Striegel, grain dealer

C. E. Thomas, M. D.

Dr. E. W. Gilbert, Vet. Surgeon & Dentist Office at Hospital, Harper

Thomas & Valerius

New Livery & Feed Stable, Harper, Nick Baker, Prop.

Striegel & Conrad, McCormick Harvesting Machine Markets:

Hogs, $5.50

Corn per bu., 50¢

Oats, 30¢

Butter, per lb., 15¢

Eggs, per doz., 12¢




Many Doctors moved in and out of Harper. Here are a few. Dr. J. F. Richardson, M. D. and Surgeon was here in 1875. Dr. Jackson in 1891. Dr. C. E. Thomas, M. D. and Surgeon, 1894, has his office over the City Drug Store. Dr. C. A. Trumbauer-Aug. 1897-1902. Dr. C. O. Grimes came here from Hayesville February 2, 1902 and left here about 1929. Dr. Droz in 1906. Dr. A. W. McDonough, M. D. and Surgeon. 1912. Dr. Frank Adrian, 1915 to 1919. he moved on to Sigourney. Dr. R. S. Brice. 1928, he moved to Keota. Also Dr. Dusenberry, Dr. Payne and I am certain many others.


We know of only 2 D. V. M., Dr. F. Besser and Dr. Gilbert.




The Baden Post Office was relocated at Harper, Sept. 16, 1872. Peter Hartman was the first Postmaster to be appointed at Harper. Since then, there have been 13 Postmasters. The present Post Office was built in 1957 by John W. Miller, now retired.


IOWA CONGRESSMAN Karl M. LeCompe, Corydon, at the podium, spoke at dedication Ceremony for Harper's new post office, which was built between the two

buildings in which it formerly was housed.




The dedication program was sponsored by the business men and Federated Women's Club of Harper members in co-operation with the U. S. Post Office Dept. Harold Lofgreen, Montezuma, Iowa, Postmaster, was chairman. H. H. Holtaus, Davenport, district operations manager for the postal department, gave the address.


Music was provided by the Keota (Iowa) High School Band; invocation by the Rev. M. J. Diamond of St. Elizabeth's Church, Harper; greeting by Mayor Alfred Conrad; and flag raising by the Keota American Legion and V. F. W. color guard.




War Service Assistant (William Besser, Sr.)


Postmasters Appointment
Peter Hartman 9-16-1872
John D. Coffman 4-27-1874
Daniel Rosecrans 5-15-1876
P. P. Scott 1-25-1886
John C. Jackson 3-26-1889
Michael J. Clarahan 9-12-1892
Clara K. Killmer 8- 12-1893
Ammon Batten 4-29-1896
Michael J. Clarahan 10-29-1897
James P. Clarahan 5-4-1914
Katharine A. Clarahan 8-21 -1916
Nick T. Ott 3-1 -1949
John W. Miller 6-14-1950
B. Maxine Hammes 9-16-1972





















Mrs. D. W. Gregory 9-16-1944 to 9-30-1944
12-16-1944 to 12-31-1944
Betty Lou Adam 12-17-1945 to 12-24-1945
12-10-1947 to 12-24-1947
2-1-1948 to 12-31-1948
6-1-1949 to 6-15-1949
12-1-1949 to 6-30-1950
Cloyce I. Crooks 1-1-1946 to 8-24-1947
1-28-1948 to 1-29-1948
Mildred M. Miller 10-1-1950 to 5-1-1972
Trudy J. Miller 9-2-1972 to 5-10-1974
Jeanette Conrad 6-8-1974















First Carrier was George Hammen. He carried mail from the Crestwell P. O. located at the corner, where John Snakenberg now lives.


Route 1 established July 1, 1902


Sylvester J. Striegel. . . . July 1, 1902-Dec. 6, 1902

Eugene Beers. . . . Dec. 7, 1902-Mar. 20, 1904

Harry Clarahan. . . . Mar. 21, 1904-1934

Earl Weidlein. . . . 1934-1940

Richard J. Clarahan (sub). . . . 1940—Nov. 23, 1941

Cletus M. Striegel. . . . Nov. 24, 1941—Nov. 17, 1978

Paul Custer. . . . March 10, 1979


Route 2 established July 1, 1902


Adda Newhouse. . . . July 1, 1902—Feb. 15, 1903

Edward Newhouse. . . . Feb. 16, 1903—July 31, 1903

Frank Helscher. . . . Aug. 1, 1903—Dec. 15, 1903

William Gilbert. . . . Dec. 16, 1903—Nov. 30, 1915


Route discontinued Nov. 30, 1915—Route re-established June 26, 1916


William Gilbert. . . . June 26, 1916—Apr. 15, 1932


Route discontinued April 15, 1932


Route 3 established Aug. 1, 1905. Nov. 30, 1915


John F. Crooks. . . . Aug. 1, 1905—Nov. 30, 1915


Subs on Harper RR Mail Service William Besser Sr. carried full time during World II and Sub for Cletus Striegel from September 9, 1942 to March 8, 1946.



Roy White, Jim Clarahan, Joe Beck, Patrick (Ed) Clarahan, John Clarahan, Fred Wilson, Lester Merz, Willard Sondag, Richard Clarahan, Cletus Berg, Francis Striegel, Victor Weber, Francis J. Clarahan and the present sub Herbert Hammes, since 3-11- 1948.

previous page          index page          next page

These pages were designed and are maintained by IAGenWeb solely for the  use and benefit of the  IAGenWeb Project, a part of the USGenWeb Project.
Copyright © 1997 by IAGenWeb & Other Contributors        
Please read the IAGenWeb Terms, Conditions, & Disclaimer  --all of which apply to Keokuk Co.

Back to top of page                             Return to Keokuk Co. IAGenWeb                             Back to top of page

Photo background collage is made from penny postcards of Keokuk County, donated to the USGenWeb Archives