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



1876—July 1, Mr. Leslie Disney and Miss Delia Hogan were married at the home of the bride's mother, June 27, 1876.

1876—Sept. Dr. Richardson of Harper returned after a 2 week trip in search of his horse and buggy stolen about 2 weeks ago. He found the horse in Milwaukee and the buggy in St. Paul.

1876—Nov., These men are running on the Harper ticket: Wm. Keely-J. P., W. C. Rosencrans- Assessor, P. Hartman-Trustee, E. L. Manifee-Supt. of roads, G. W. Bradley-Constable. Constable (sic).

1876—Dec., Harper voted to incorporate. The vote stood 27 for and 30 against. No Go!

1876—Dec., The Christmas Tree at the Methodist Church in Harper was a success. Hosting the event was H. Salisbury.

1877—April, The Harper School gave an exibition (sic) at Striegel's Hall last Sat. eve. The Harper Brass Band lent assistance. Teachers were Mr. J. E. Brolliar and Miss Morris.

1877—March 8, shipments from Harper: hogs—19 cars, cattle—7 cars, wheat—4 cars, corn—5 cars, rye—1 car, oats—1 car, horses—1 car.

1877—Aug., Honorable B. A. Cleveland of Harper is spoken favorably by Rep. friends as a proper person to bestow Senatorial honors. His name was presented as a candidate for the senate.

1877—Oct. 27, Entertainment at Harper was well attended. The "Baby Show" was one of the most taking. Mrs. Dan Hoffman's boy of Harper won 2nd.

1879—May 17, The Harper Mill is now in the Height of it's glory.

1881—Feb., Ad: We have a speedy and positive cure for Catarrah, Diptheria, Canker mouth, and headache in Shiloh's Catarrii Remedy. A nasal injector free with each bottle. Use it if you desire good health and Sweet breath. Price 50¢ Sold by McFarlane & Wright and E. C. Vittetoe, Harper, Iowa. (Next: Game Laws of Iowa—1881. Next page. )



The following is a summary of the game laws of this state. Prairie Chickens may be shot from August 15-December 1, Woodcock from July 10 - Jan. 1, Ruffled Grouse, Wild Turkey and Quail, Oct. 1 - Jan. 1, Deer and Elk, Sept. 1 - Jan. 1, wild fowls Aug. 15 - May 1.

No more than 25 head of each Grouse, Woodcock or Quail to be killed in one day by any one person. Five days allowed after close of the season begins in which to dispose of game. Trapping, snaring and netting the above birds is forbidden. Shipping out of state is prohibited.


1887—June 3, The Catholic young ladies of Harper will give a Strawberry and ice cream Festival next Thursday. The proceeds to be used to buy badly needed new seats for the church. Everyone come and have a good time. We hope the young men will all come and leave their bottles at home— just once. A later article stated this event cleared $90.30.

1889—Oct., The Farmers Insurance Co. will hold their annual meeting in Harper this year.

1889—The east & west ends of Harper started to play a baseball game last Sunday, in the 1st inning, Frank Besser while sliding into home base, caught his foot and threw his ankle out of place. The boys carried him downtown and got it fixed up.

1889—August, The Alta (Eagle) is taking well in Harper.

1890—August, There is talk of organizing a Literary Society in Harper.

1890—Sept., Harper Literary Society meeting at Furgusons Hall.

1890—April, Scotland Christain Eneavor Society succeeded in getting quite a number of joiners Sunday.

1891—Jacob Hammen opened a lumber yard.

1893—Jan., Dr. Gilbert is our city liveryman.

1893—Feb., M. J. Clarahan, our Postmaster, has purchased the George Klett Hotel.

1893—May, State Bank of Harper was in- corporated.

1893—May, Jake Sigler has a new barbershop in Charles White's Billiard Hall.

1893—May, Ben Grove has a new restaurant.

1893—June, The city sewer is in on Main & Hutchinson streets. Baker is doing the work.

1893—July, Baker's Music Hall.

1893—July, Aerial Quartet, Cora and Clara Newhouse, Dora and Laura Kilmer gave a concert at Baker's Hall.

1893—Aug. Rev. Gregg preached a good sermon at the Methodist Church.

1893—Nov., Burglary at Harper: Vittitoe & Besser Drug was robbed of $600.00 worth of watches and jewelry. About $600.00 worth of clothing was taken from the clothing store of Henry Striegel.

1893—Miss Effie Akey and Miss Minnie Whistler are school teachers.

1893—Nov., The R. R. is building a huge well at the stock yards at Harper. At least 65 feet deep and 8 feet across.

1894—Dec., Nick Baker is enlarging the Livery Stable.

1896—Dec., Harper derives revenue of $25.00 a month each from its 3 saloons. They have built waterworks (of the windmill variety) and will put in street lamps soon, and otherwise fix up the town.

1904—Stores in Harper: State Bank, Nick Sondag, Michael Pauly, C. O. Grimes, Salm & Son, Sondag Bros.

1905—Dec. Special sale: 1 Top Buggy—$59.00; 1 Carriage—$96.00; 1 Bettendorf Steel Gear Wagon—$30.00; 1 set buggy harness complete—$16.00; 500 rods hog fence—23¢ per rod; Sondag Bros., Harper.

1905—Dec. John Newhouse is having Will Menifee and Ed Clarahan work for him on the Poultry Line.


1905—Dr. Grimes family went to Rose Hill and ran kerplunk into Scarlet fever, lots worse than at Harper.

1906—Mrs. Isabella Mary Bower died Tues. Jan. 2.

1906—Ves Striegel assessor at Harper.

1906—Dance at Striegel's Hall.

1906—Section foreman, Wm. Crooks has a 4 men crew: Pete, John and Steve Ruplinger and John Hammen.

1906—March St. Catherine's Literary Society was formed at St. Elizabeth.

1906—Card Club "Euchere" at Harper. Members include: Nick Besser, John Holzworth, Mike Clarahan, Jacob Hueberger, Ves Striegel, Henry Striegel, A. C. Striegel, August Salm, Henry Holzworth, Mr. Hogan and their wives. No doubt many more.

1906—Oct. John Ludwig is getting cement sidewalks and there are several others to follow. Henry Striegel is doing the work.

1906—Levi Bower is now running his own meat shop.

1906—Rev. J. F. Robertson is the Methodist Minister.

1906—July, SISTERS MARRY BROTHERS: Theresa & Carolina Conrad married John & Bernard Pauly.







Friday July 27, 1906  
Grand Carnival Parade 10: 00 A. M.
assemble at park 11: 00 A. M.
selection by the band  
song by Glee Club  
Dinner 12: 00
assemble at park 1: 00 P. M.
selection by the band  
song by Glee Club  
Address Thos. Geneva
selection by Glee Club  
selection by M. & O. Orchestra  
Ball Game, Harper Vs. Sigourney 3: 00 P. M.
ladies nail driving contest lst-$1.00, 2nd-50¢
boys pie eating contest 1st 50¢
fat men's race (200 lbs. & over) lst-$2. 00,
  2nd-$1. 00


* * * * *


Saturday July 28, 1906  
Carnival Parade 10: 00 A. M.
assemble at park 11: 00 A. M.
selection by the band  
selection by Glee Club  
Dinner 12: 00
march to the park 1: 00 P. M.
selection by the band  
selection by Glee Club  
Address J. F. Lacey
selection by Glee Club  
music by band  
selection by M. & O. Orchestra  
music by Glee Club  
Baseball: Harper Vs. Keota  
pony race, 1/4 mile, not over 14 1/2 hands high  
100 yd. foot race lst-$3.00, 2nd-$2.00
wheelbarrow race 1st-$1.00, 2nd 50¢
sack race 1st-$1.00, 2nd-50¢


The approximate place of the Park was where Williams Gun Store is located.


1915—Feb., Many people attended the Prelenten Party at Striegels Hall.

1915—April 20, Mahannah & Ogels three piece orchestra will play at Harper.

1915—May 20, Harper Dry Goods & Grocery bought by Joe Ludwig Sr.

1915—June 17, Commencement exercises of St. Elizabeth's at Striegel's Hall.

1915—Nov. Box Supper given at the Harper Public School, Friday night.

1916—Jan. 28, Peter Rettler, Harper, told us that he served as a soldier under German Kaiser Wilhelm from 1886 until he was proclaimed emperor in 1888. He was his personal guard. At this time Wilhelm was called a Brigadier General.

1921—June 30, St Elizabeth's, Harper, St. Peter & Paul, Clear Creek, and St. Mary's, Keota, loaded and shipped two cars of corn from Harper and Keota to relieve the starving in Germany, Austria and Poland.

1922—Feb. 16, The K. of C. young men put on a minstrel show called The "Sunnyside Troopers."

1922—Mar. 7, John Ludwig died at age 80 years. He was in the furniture and Undertaking business for 45 years.

1922—Highway #2: Governor Kendall and members of the Highway commission visited Keota, June 21, to get firsthand information on the proposed routings of the Great White Way through the county. Short talks were made in favor of keeping "White Way" through Harper and Keota, but nothing definite was decided.

1925-1926-1927, Leo Rettler, son of Pete Rettler of Harper, won the Keokuk County Husker contest three years in a row. Leo's Daughter Mrs. Milo (JoAnne) Miller was presented a plaque for this honor at the Living History Farm in Des Moines by Mr. Herb Plambeck on October 1977.

1926—Our new agent, Mr. Acheson and family have moved here and are living in Sam Engham's house.

1926—Elmer Schrader sold 80 acres of land to John Seiwert for $275.00 per acre. This is one of the best improved farms in the area.

1926—July, Vincent Jaeger. has a new Hupmobile 6, and drove it home from Des Moines.

1926—Indoor movies at the old K. of C. Hall. Managers: Charles & Julie Norgan.

1926—John Crooks, Assessor at Harper. Carpenters at Harper are Joe Hipp and John Ludwig.

1926—Closing out sale on the Henry Stein farm, formerly known as the "old Ben Korf Farm."

1930—Dec. King Cole players will present weekly shows at the Marquette Hall.

1931—March 5, The booster station, to be erected by the pipeline company has definitely located just south of Harper. A 40 acre tract, known as the Boss farm, adjoining St. Elizabeth's cemetery was purchased yesterday.

1931—March 12, General contract for erection of Continental Construction Company's booster station at Harper for the 24" natural gas pipeline extending from Texas Panhandle to Chicago was awarded to Lanning Construction Co., Kansas City, Missouri. Price: Over $200,000. This in- cludes erection of compressor station, auxiliary building, storage warehouse, shops, garages, ten cottages, water tower, laying 8 miles of pipe of various sizes and unloading and placing of station equipment. Work will start at once and at peak of construction over 300 men will be on Lanning payroll at Harper. Local labor will be given preference whenever possible.

1931—Skating rink west of Sondag Grocery Store on the vacant lot.

1932—Christmas, MUDDY! Go by horseback or walk.

1936—January 23, BLIZZARD & COLD PARALYZES IOWA! The worst storm in 50 years with an average temperature of 25-30 below zero and 8-10" snow.

1936—Beware of the "Cinch Bugs" waiting for the 1936 crop.

1939—Highway #2 is to miss Keota and Harper, so 60 businessmen and farmers went to Sigourney and conferred with the County Board to see about getting it back. It was a stormy conference.

1940—Jan. Knights of Columbus had their 30th anniversary banquet. There were 26 initiated. Grand Knight was Raymond Peiffer.

1940—Jan. 13 & 14th Worst storm since 1936!

1944—Keokuk County is 100 years old. Not much celebrating. War time.

1944—Mobile Library at the Harper Post Office.

1958—Katherine Clarahan managed this after Post Office hours.

1959-1944—August, Kathleen & Arlene Flander entered the WAVES. Their sister Bernice is a Cor- poral in the U. S. Army.

1944—Rev. Father Kleinfelder celebrated his 25th year in the priesthood at St. Peter & Paul's at Clear Creek.

1944—Bethel Church celebrated their 100th anniversary.

1947—September 20, A cavein (sic) occured at Natural gas in Harper. Dean Altenhofen, Harper, Richard Benge, Keota, and Russell Whetstine were rushed to the Keokuk County Hospital in Sigourney. Dean Altenhofen was critically injured and died that evening at 9:00. As of March 1979, this is the only accidental death ever to occur at Natural Gas in Harper.

1948—Outdoor movies at the vacant lot west of K. Of C. Hall. Years before they were shown west of Sondag's Grocery Store.

1950—Jan. 15, Knights of Columbus, Windthorst Council No. 1457 had their 40th anniversary banquet. Floyd Merz was the Grand Knight.

1950—Sept. Lt. John Linnenkamp, son of Raymond and Marjorie Linnenkamp was killed in action. He is the first boy from Keokuk County to be killed in the Korean War.

1952-1956—A band called the Rangeriders with Bob Miller, lead Guitarist, Gerald Hahn, Gerald Keiffer, Gerald Becker and Evert Pilkington had their own radio show on KMCD in Fairfield. They also played for various dances and made numerous appearances on Jerry Smith's T. V. show.

1957—Jean Smith, 1953 graduate of St. Elizabeth has joined the staff of "Between the Lines", the natural gas company newspaper.

1957—Vernon Fleming, son of the V. J. Fleming's died suddenly July 18 of Infectious Hepatitis. He was working for Natural Gas and a student at Coe College. He was a member of the Methodist Church.

1958—The St. Elizabeth seniors toured the Fort Madison Penitentiary and the Shaffer Pen Co. for their class trip. They were: Mary Ellen Berg, Larry Striegel, Donald Aller, Denny Miller, Dean Horras, Cletus Wehr, Karen Keller, Liz Merz, and Cheryl Leinen.

1958—Clear Creek celebrates their 100th anniversary this year.

1959—Milo Miller I, Bonnie Conklin, Sheryl Ott, Robert Gann, Bryan and Bonita Crooks are taking dance lessons at Washington and perform at various functions locally and have entered several contests.

1960—Jan. 10, Knights of Columbus, Windthorst Council No. 1457 had their 50th anniver- sary banquet. Walter Greiner is the Grand Knight.

1962-1964—Kenneth Conklin, during Vietnam War, served with the "Green Beret" Division.

1963—Out of 2, 700 students from Iowa, John Wehr, Mary Kathleen Hammes, and John Besser placed 1st, 2nd and third respectively in the annual mathematics contest. Sister Domitilla was their math teacher.

1963—Nov. 22 President John F. Kennedy was assassinated today in Dallas, Texas. The country is in a state of shock and mourning the loss of this fine man, our President.

1964—Oct. 20, Herbert Hoover, the only man from Iowa to become President of the U. S. died today. He was from West Branch, Iowa.

1965—March 16 & 17, Happy St. Patricks Day! 12" of snow and 70 m. p. h. winds.

1966—May, Little Jonny Aller, not yet 2 yr. old was attacked and bitten by a rabid skunk that wondered up to the house. He will immediately start taking the required 14 anti-rabies vaccine shots.

1969—July 20, After a successful launch from Cape Kennedy, Apollo 11 will land on the moon today with 3 men aboard.

1969—Keokuk County is 125 years old!

1969—Sept., Harper Compressor Station received a Worthington M. L. 16 6, 350 horsepower en- gine weighting 310, 000 lbs. It came by rail car to Keota, and a Nebraska firm moved it here to Harper.

1969—Dec., U. S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Gary Conrad received the Bronze Star Medal at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona for meritorious service while engaged against Viet Cong Forces. The presentation was made by Col. Catledge, Commander.

1970—Jan. 25, Knights of Columbus, Windthorst Council No. 1457 had their 60th anniversary banquet. James Greene was Grand Knight.

1973—April 9, Surprise! 18 inches of snow and 65 M. P. H. winds.

1974—Aug. Laverne Redlinger, rural Harper won 1st place at the Iowa State Fair Demolition Derby contest.

1974—Aug. 9, Richard M. Nixon resigned as President of the United States today. Gerald R. Ford will become our new President.

1975—A group of young married couples play volleyball on Thursday nights at the Marquette Hall in Harper.

1975—We have skating at the K. of C. Hall on Friday nights during the winter months for all children free of charge.

1975—Aug., Gary De Wolf, son of Mr. & Mrs. Harold De Wolf of Harper won 1st place in the Demolition Derby at the Iowa State Fair.

1978—Nov. 25, Mr. & Mrs. Paul Jaeger celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary with a dance at the K. of C. Hall.

1978—Sept. 30 & Oct. 1, a Retreat for all high school students was held at the K. of C. Hall Saturday & Sunday. There was a good turnout.

1979—Friday, March 9 markets: Cattle—$70.00 hwt. Hogs—$51.00 hwt. corn—$2.05 bu. beans—$6. 90 bu.

1979—some current grocery store prices: cocoa—1 lb. $3.79, bread—75¢, milk—$1.70 gal., sugar—10 lb. $2.30, flour—5 lb. 72¢, "pop"—30-50¢ a can, coffee—2 lb. $4.29.

1979—favorite "junk" foods: Pepsi cola, pop rocks or cosmic candy, pizza, Big Mac, Twinkies, Ho-Ho's, Hot Tamales (candy), Bubbleyum, Snickers, Pop-tarts, Doritos and the immortal "french fry."

1979—favorite toys & games: electronic games, Bert & Ernie (anything), Snoopy (anything), superballs, Nerf toys, Star Wars (anything), motorcycles, tricycles, bicycles, jacks, dolls that do nearly anything, Slime and the reknowned "Frisbee."

1979—some favorite T. V. shows: "Charlie's Angels", "Little House on the Prairie", "Delta House", "Starsky & Hutch", "Happy Days", "Laverne & Shirley", "Mash", and the new hit "Mork & Mindy", Na Noo, Na Noo! For the small frys there's: "Sesame Street", "Mr. Rodgers", "Electric Company", Captain Kangaroo" and "Floppy."

1979—New fashion trends: Women: 4" heels, hats, long dresses, narrow legged pants, vests, scarves, chains, cotton anything and the belted blazer. Men: 3 piece suit, white shirt & tie, boots, down-filled vests, jeans and hats. Teenagers: JEANS! JEANS! JEANS!

1979—Fuel— UP!

1979—March 4. Knights of Columbus, Windthorst Council No. 1457 had a banquet to welcome the new members and their wives. Norbert Flander is the Grand Knight at this time, 22 were initiated.

1979—The Altar & Rosary are having a St. Patricks Day Dance Sat. March 17 at the K. of C. Hall.

1979—March 11. Youth Rally held at the Marquette Hall in Harper for all high school students. Fr. McAleer was in charge.

1979—March 13. This is how it was! Last of 4 meetings by the committee in charge of compiling this Harper Centennial History Book will be held at Virginia Gann's. We have had a lot of fun, but "Wow, what a relief it is!"


The 1970 Census of Harper is 173.






January started with one of the worst blizzards in history for Keokuk County. It will be remembered and talked about for many years to come. Most people who remembered the 1936 blizzard say this has surpassed it.


As of March 5, according to our Official Weather Observer, Mrs. Grace Sanderson of Sigourney, Iowa, we have had 74 inches of snow in our area. We had 18 days of below zero weather in January, with 24 below zero the coldest. February 9 had a record low of 24 below zero. Snow removal equipment has been kept busy keeping highways and rural roads open. In many instances bulldozers were brought in to move the huge drifts from rural gravel roads. Many of the roads were and still are opened to one lane only, as there is nowhere to push the "white stuff", piled 10 ft. high in some places. People living on East-West roads have had the worst drifting problems. There are many rural areas where you can walk over the fence top, without having ever set foot on the fence itself. Farmers spent whole days just "digging out", only to get up the next day and have it all to do over. Just feeding and caring for the livestock has been a major effort, as some were stranded in fields of deep snow not accessible to the farmer. National Guard helicopters came in and "dropped" hay and feed in some areas.


In town children and adults both spent much time scooping sidewalks and driveways. Snow was piled high everywhere in sight. Just getting uptown for mail or groceries could be a task that required careful footing and strategy. The man from Iowa Southern who reads the meters in Harper wore snow shoes to get around from house to house. School was cancelled several days, and was even held on a Saturday to help make up the missed days. A new Emergency Bus Route was put into action so that the school children could be bussed to school safely on bad days or right after a snow.


On the "lighter side", was the storm from a childs viewpoint. To them it was just GREAT, snowmobiling, sledding, skiing, snowmen, snow-angels, snow anything, they loved it. For the very small just plain eating it, throwing it or falling in it was the greatest thing to them since the first time they discovered "Bert and Ernie" on Sesame Street. The adults, well, they also ate it, threw it, and in some cases fell in it, but their reactions were mixed, some good, some bad, some unprintable.



The picture of 2 year old Donna Lea Aller, daughter of Donald and Beth Ann Aller shows the snow piled over 7 feet high, The picture was taken on the Harper-Keota gravel road in front of where the Marvin Hammen family lives.

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