Harper, Iowa Centennial
                  1879-1979
                         NOT TOO BIG. . . BUT NOT TOO LITTLE

GRAND LODGE OF IOWA A. F. & A. M.

Archimedes Lodge No. 291

Masonic Order

 

Archimedes lodge was dispensed June 28, 1870 and chartered June 7, 1871. The meetings were held on Saturday, on or before the full moon. The charter members were: Wm. Keeley, Wm. Hughes, M. B. Walsh, L. B. Gilbert, Levi Whistler, E. J. Rosencrans, John Kilmer, Casper Klett, James Chesney, M. A. Hulse, T. T. Keeley, Ed Martin, J. F. Richardson, Robert Martin, and M. R. McCreary. Peter Besser, Peter Leninger, and H. L. Salisbury later joined.

 

The charter was revoked June 4, 1873.

 

 

ST. ANDREW'S SOCIETY

 

This organization was formed in November, 1875. The society flourished from the beginning and did good work in the Community. These people were of Scotch origin and settled for the most part in the Northern part of Lafayette township. They formed a committee to make drafts of a Constitution and by-laws for the society. Their first meeting was held February 7, 1876 with 27 members present.

 

 

"BLUE RIBBON CLUB"

 

Very little could be found about this organization except it started in March 1880, and in 1881 it reorganized under feminine government with Miss Emma Keely president and Miss Callie Cleveland Secretary.

 

"JOLLY CLUB"

 

This club was organized in October 1897. It was a secret society of women. Mrs. A. L. Bower composed a cute poem called the "Jolly Club" for a Jolly Club contest sponsored by the club president. There were other entries. In one article the "Jolly Club" ask for anyone wishing a sewing machine, knitting machine or talking machine to address the Club as they could furnish.

 

 

HARPER PACE SETTERS 4-H CLUB

 

Along about 1965 a group of Harper girls from the Parochial school decided they would like to organize a 4-H Club. They needed a leader, and Mrs. Rose Conkity gladly helped them out in getting started.

 

A meeting was held with Mr. David Pace of the Keokuk County Extension office, on October 23, 1965, at which time their organization was formed, being called "Pace Setters". They were 14 members strong with their officers as follows: President, Catherine Altenhofen; Vice President, Donna White: Secretary & Treasurer, Kathleen Gretter; Historian, Karen Peiffer; Reporter, Cheryl White. Mrs. Virgil Smith was their project leader and Barbara Gretter their Junior leader.

 

The Club progressed very well through 1966 with an award being won in the National Poster contest.

 

In 1967 two new project leaders were added, Mrs. Robert White and Mrs. William Besser Jr. Clothing was the project this year, also shade trees suitable for Iowa, and entomology.

 

In 1968 another change was made in the leadership. Mrs. William Besser Jr. became the new leader, with Mrs. Paul Jaeger the project leader. The club flourished, earning many blue ribbons and receiving honors.

 

In 1969 Kathleen Gretter was chosen to take the National Citizenship short course in Washington D. C. The God and Country Award was won by Sarah Linder. Becky Besser won blue ribbons at the State Fair in 1971 and 1972 in Entomology.

 

The girls also took much interest in their community. They went Christmas caroling, took candy and cookies to the shut-ins, made tray favors for the residents of the County Home and always entertained their Mothers for Mother's Day. The Harper "Pace Setters" was disbanded in 1975.

 

 

CUB SCOUTS

 

Pack 54 Den 2 As early as 1968 and possibly earlier, Harper had a Cub Scout organization. The "Cub Scouts" were sponsored by the Brotherhood of the United Presbyterian Church. The ages for this group of boys was 8, 9 & 10. There were many members over the years the organization was in Harper. There were also several Den Mothers. The Scouts were inolved (sic) in several projects and adventures, such as: Pine Wood Derby, Pack Olympics, Blue & Gold Banquet and Bicycle Rodeo. In May 1971, the Scouts group disbanded in Harper.

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