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John Lawrence Harper


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"Spokane and The Spokane Country - Pictorial and Biographical - Deluxe Supplement." Vol. II. The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1912. (No author listed.) pgs. 216-218.

       BUSINESS interests bring John Lawrence Harper many times to Spokane and have made him a familiar figure among capitalists and leading citizens here. He is manager of the Republic Mines Corporation, the company having its office in the Old National Bank building of Spokane. Washington numbers him among her native sons, his birth having occurred in Goldendale, Klickitat county, August 23, 1873, his parents being Martin V. and Margaret (Johnson) Harper, both of whom are still living. They were pioneers of the northwest, having crossed the plains in 1852 when still in the childhood period of life. The Harper and Johnson families established homes in the vicinity of Olympia and there the youthful days of the parents of John L. Harper were largely passed. His father afterward became a prominent factor in public life and twice represented his district in the territorial legislature. While thus serving he aided in organizing Franklin county, being the leader of the delegation having that object in view. For a long period he was successfully engaged in mining and other frontier pursuits but for the past few years has lived retired-one of the honored pioneer citizens of the state.
       John L. Harper pursued his education in the public schools of Goldendale and Yakima and in the "College of hard Knocks," as he expresses it. He was only fourteen years of age when he began earning his own livelihood. He was very young to shoulder the burdens and responsibilities of life and the lessons which he learned in the school of experience were often difficult ones, but ultimately they were mastered and have since been used to his advantage. He served an apprenticeship in a printing office at Yakima and later as a journeyman printer traveled through western Idaho and Washington and at times conducted newspapers in Oakesdale, Rosalia and Bellingham, Washington. His rise in journalistic circles was but a forecast of what was to come to him in later years in other fields. After seven years' connection with the newspaper business he became actively engaged in mining and since that time has operated largely in Ferry county, although he spent one year in Alaska and has mined all through this section of the United States. He is now the controlling factor in the Republic Mines Corporation, being general manager of the company, which operates the largest mine in the state. He is also general manager of the North Washington Power & Reduction Company and of both companies serves as a director and as chairman of the executive board. He likewise has several other mining interests and, moreover, is vice president and one of the directors of the Ferry County State Bank at Republic.        On the 24th of November, 1896, Mr. Harper was married to Miss Anderson, the only daughter of D. F. Anderson, who was one of the pioneer residents of Whitman county, coming to the northwest from Kansas. He afterward represented that county in the state legislature and is well known by reason of his active support of the wheat-rate legislation secured under the name of the Anderson bill. He was likewise a Civil war veteran.
       Unto Mr. and Mrs. Harper have been born two children, Lawrence Anderson and Evelyn Ora, the elder now five years of age, while the little daughter is in her second year. Mr. Harper gives his political allegiance to the liberal wing of the democratic party and as representative from Ferry county in 1905 was one of the lone democrats in the state legislature during that session. He is interested in the vital questions and problems of the day and keeps well informed on all that pertains to general improvement. At the same time he most capably manages important business interests and is now recognized as one of the leading mining men of the Inland Empire.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton

* * * * Notice: These biographies were transcribed for the Washington Biographies Project. Unless otherwise stated, no further information is available on the individuals featured in the biographies.


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