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

Windthorst Council No. 1457
Harper, Iowa





Knights Of Columbus started January 9, 1910 with 50 charter members. Their meetings were held in the old Striegel building in the upstairs west rooms. This building was located where the new telephone building is. The building was purchased and remodeled in 1930. Lodge rooms and recreation rooms were upstairs, and the dance hall was downstairs. Later on lots west of the old building were purchased, and in 1958 the new hall was built.


There have been 30 Grand Knights since the organization was started, they are: John Striegel, A. C. Striegel, M. T. O'Brien, C. P. Hammes, A. A. Peiffer, L. G. Striegel, Raymond Striegel, Peter Hammes, Raymond Peiffer, L. B. Dempsey, Wm. Besser Sr., A. J. Adam, Harold Perdue, Floyd Merz, Zeno Hammes, Alfred Conrad, Edmond Aller, Donald Leinen, Elmer Peiffer, Walter Greiner, Damian Gent, Frank Seaba, Lowell Striegel, Bernard Peiffer, James Greene, Ivor Koch, Arthur Peiffer, Art Leinen, Delbert Striegel, and Norbert Flander who is the present Grand Knight.


Five members have been delegates to the Supreme Convention, they were: Father Klein- felder, C. P. Hammes, William Besser Sr., L. B. Dempsey, Bernard Peiffer and James Greene.


The Knights of Columbus now has 171 members, 85 associates and 86 Insurance. All of the 50 charter members are deceased except for Ambrose Adam who resides in O'Keene, Oklahoma. Raymond Striegel was our last local charter member, he passed away November 8, 1978.


The Knights Of Columbus is and always has been known as a charitable organization. Some of their efforts are: $1. 00 per member per year for Catholic education; Catholic advertising; Participating in the "Tootsie Roll Drive" for retarded children to which they have collected and donated over $7000.00 in the past five years, donated to all county baseball teams in 1978, donations to the Davenport Diocese Vocational Scholarship Fund, The Devine Word Seminary, The Iowa State Council Scholarship Fund, and the Keokuk County Hospital "Jaws Of Life". The hall is also donated free of charge for neighboring parish activities such as dances, meetings, roller skating, and funerals.


Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus

Father Grothe General Assembly

On February 22, 1915, 15 members went to Davenport and joined the Fourth Degree. On February 13, 1944 another 25 members went to Ottumwa and also joined the Fourth Degree. In 1946 with a lot of hard work, and a lot of corresponding, Sir Knight A. J. Adam, and Sir Knight A. A. Peiffer induced the Supreme Directors to issue a charter for an assembly for the Harper council. On January 26, 1947 the Supreme Directors did sign a charter, and it was presented to our assembly to be known as Father Grothe General Assembly.


Father Grothe General Assembly is composed of the Harper and Washington council, and there are 122 Sir Knights. Mr. Robert Fritz of Brighton is the Faithful Navigator at the present time.




The Altar & Rosary, an organization for the ladies of the parish goes as far as the church.


A charitable organization, they do many worthwhile things for the good of the church. Sponsoring such things as: A Card Party, Spring Breakfast & bake sale, Craft & Bake Sale, and lunch stands at the horse show enables them to help out in various financial ways in the upkeep of the rectory, church & convent. They also help with wedding and funeral dinners when asked.


The 1979 officers are: Audrey Gretter, Evonne Merz. Chairmen; Rose Mae Leinen, Francine Besser, Co-Chairmen. The Altar & Rosary is offering for sale a plate for the 1879-1979 Harper Centennial.




Charter was granted for the Harper lodge October 19, 1876. The charter members were: C. M. Harless, Levi Whistler, John C. Wilson, H. S. Buckley, David H. Greigg, J. C. Greigg, David G. Clyde, Charles S. Holmes and James Dormshy. On June 23, 1927 Harper Lodge No. 353 consolidated with Enterprise Lodge No. 159 of Keota.




In the fall of 1941, the Harper Woman's Club was organized with a roll call of 22 members. We organized too late to become eligible for the Federated Woman's Club's Blue Book for that year, so our Federated membership began in 1942. This was done with the help of the County Chairman, Mrs. Vivian Seibel, of Sigourney.


The 22 eager members were: Mrs. Anna E. Adam Wenker; Mrs. Keith Benz; Mrs. Bruce Bowers; Mrs. John Clarahan; Mrs. Frank Conkity; Mrs. Vernon Fleming; Mrs. Wm. Gilbert; Mrs. Clifford Ludwig; Mrs. Alvin Mattison; Mrs. Orville Miller; Mrs. Martin Oldaker; Mrs. Helen Peiffer; Mrs. I. H. Peiffer; Mrs. George Rettler; Mrs. Art Schulke; Mrs. A. J. Smith; Mrs. Virgil Smith; Mrs. Henry Taintor; Mrs. George White; Mrs. M. M. Whitson; and Mrs. Priscilla White.


The first elected officers were: Mrs. Keith Benz, President; Mrs. Frank Conkity, Vice President; Mrs. Art Schulke, Recording Secretary; Mrs. John Clarahan, Corresponding Secretary; Mrs. Alvin Mattison, Treasurer. The standing committees were: Year Book, Program, Sunshine, Ways & Means, Commission for the Blind, War & Defense, and Library.


Our Flower is the rose; colors are red, white, and blue: and the motto is "Be of Service to the End. "


From the beginning the club has been involved in many projects for the good of the community. In earlier years projects such as: a shower for a foreign bride: a shower for a D. P. family that came to our community; showers for daughters of our club members; sponsoring a traveling library; sending cookies, gifts, and fruit to the Keokuk County Custodial Home; taking part in activities connected with entertainment at Maplewood Manor at Keota; and in recent years; erecting a new flag pole at St. Elizabeth's Parochial School at Harper; annual Thanksgiving boxes to shut-ins; Penny art fund; American Cancer Society; Commission for the blind; Red Cross; International Scholarships; American Lung Association; community service; CARE; addressing envelopes for the Easter Seal Campaign. Our current effort is the Harper Centennial, for which we are compiling the "Harper Centennial History Book", offering for sale pencils with the Woman's Club flower and motto inscribed on them, and tee- shirts, advertising the centennial, for children and adults.


Each year there is a county convention and each town takes their turn alphabetically. Harper sponsored the convention in the club year 1976- 1977.


We had our largest membership of 45 in 1964- 1965, and our smallest membership of 18 in the early 1950's. Our current membership is a very respectable 36, 5 of whom are charter members.


In 1979 our club will celebrate it's 37th anniversary. Our club members for the year 1978- 1979 are: Mrs. P. J. (Pearl) Adam, Mrs. Donald L. (Beth Ann) Aller, Mrs. Carl (Loretta) Beinhart, Mrs. Wm. (Jeannette) Besser Jr., Mrs. Wm. (Madeleine) Besser Sr., Mrs. Irvin (Virginia) Bombei), Mrs. Bruce (Helen) Bowers, Mrs. John (Ellene) Clarahan, Mrs. Richard (Veolet) Clarahan, Mrs. Frank (Rose) Conkity, Mrs. Wayne (Shirley) Conkity, Mrs. Fritz (Jeanette) Conrad, Mrs. Cloyce (Pauline) Crooks, Mrs. Robert (Virginia) Gann, Mrs. Wm. (Audrey) Gretter, Mrs. Robert (Bertha) Gretter, Mrs. Wm. (Viola) Heisdorffer, Mrs. Hollie (Josephine) Helscher, Mrs. Marvin (Betty) Hammen, Mrs. Lloyd (Virginia) Hammes, Mrs. Myron (Elva) Herman, Mrs. Victor (Edna) Holzworth, Mrs. Gale (Marjorie) Hotchkiss, Mrs. Paul (Lee) Jaeger, Mrs. Leon (Rose Mae) Leinen, Mrs. Raymond (Marjorie) Linnen- kamp, Mrs. F. A. (Cora) Mattison, Mrs. Floyd (Marie) Merz, Mrs. Milo (JoAnne) Miller, Mrs. Arthur (Bernadine) Peiffer, Mrs. James (Marcella) Redlinger, Mrs. Virgil (Helen) Smith, Mrs. John (Julie) Smith, Mrs. Cletus (Marjorie) Striegel, Mrs. Wm. (Ellevene) Strohman, Mrs. Robert (Marcella) White.


Back Row: L to R: Beth Aller, Marjorie Hotchkiss, Marjorie Striegel, Marcella White, Bernadine Peiffer, Lee Jaeger, Jeanette Besser and Virginia Gann.

Center Row: Audrey Gretter, Rose Conkity, Loretta Beinhart, Marjorie

Linnenkamp and Helen Bowers.

Front Row: Shirley Conkity, Marcella Redlinger, Edna Holzworth,

Bertha Gretter, Jeanette Conrad and Pauline Crooks.


Our local officers for 1978-1979 are: President, Mrs. Beth Ann Aller: Vice President. Mrs. Jeanette Conrad; Secretary, Mrs. Virginia Gann: Treasurer, Mrs. Pauline Crooks. Our standing committees are: yearbook, program legislative, sunshine. HELP (for bereaved families), ways & means, membership. Commission for the Blind, literature & reading chairman, religious, health, conservation, federation news, subscription, scholarship & loan, and reporter.


The General Federation theme for 1978-1979 is "Evolve. Evaluate, and Emerge, " the symbol is the Butterfly. Keeping this in mind, we should make every effort to stop, turn around and look at ourselves and others, then move on to help our community young and old alike. Our local club theme "We Will Fly" is a reminder to us that we will surge ahead and achieve new goals, and that our organization will progress even more in years to come.





In 1873 when the Methodist Church was established the women of the church organized the Women's Guild. In later years it was called the Ladies Aid.


The written records in existence started in 1937. Reverend Banghart was pastor of the church at that time. The officers of the Guild that year were Mrs. Lenora Acheson, president, Mrs. Bernice Fulton, secretary and treasurer, and Mrs. Banghart was chairman of the program com- mittee. The active members were A. Bote, A. Bowers, M. Yoder, L. Acheson, B. Fulton, C. Mattison, E. Striegel, A. Walton, E. Ludwig, and V. Bollinger.


The purpose of the Guild was to raise money to pay the minister's salary and to assist in the upkeep of the church. A few of the money making projects were ice cream socials, bake sales, and publishing cook books.


The last year of the Ladies Aid was in 1958 when the church was closed.


C. Mattison, J. Lane, A. White, L. Oldaker, E. Ruplinger, G. Clarahan, A. Bowers, M. Yoder,

N. Gilbert, F. Newhouse, P. Clarahan, H. Bowers.





Harper Auxiliary was organized in 1917, with Miss Katharine Clarahan, chairman and Mrs. Maude Baker, secretary & treasurer. A local Harper girl, Dorothy Peiffer McGarry was a Red Cross nurse. She enrolled at Cedar Rapids and was stationed in Ft. Riley in 1919.


Harper did their part by producing 141 knitted garments, 186 hospital garments and 100 housewives. They also sold a quilt for $50.00, each quilt piece of which bore a name at 10 cents per name.


In 1918 when the influenza calamity became alarming in Keokuk County, a special "Influenza Committee" was appointed. Mrs. Marie Vanderlippe, Executive secretary took charge of a large band of volunteer nurses. Scores of lives were probably saved by these volunteers from the inestimable service performed for the citizens of our county. Here again Harper did their part with 3 Harper nurses giving their time unselfishly in this great emergency.

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