JOHN THOMAS HARPER
Throughout his life this gentleman has devoted his energies to agricultural pursuits. He was born in East River township, Hendricks county, Indiana, December 5, 1838, and is a son of Jesse Harper, a pioneer of that state, whose ancestors were among the early settlers of Kentucky. John T. Harper is the youngest in a small family of children and was reared chiefly in Andrew county, Missouri. The district schools afforded him his educational privileges, but his opportunities were extremely limited in that direction. In 1855 he came to Doniphan county and at the age of twenty years he started out upon an independent business career, working as a farm hand by the day or month, and in this way gained the nucleus of his present possessions. During the civil war he aided in the defense of the Union, enlisting in Company I, Seventh Kansas Cavalry. He was mustered in at Leavenworth, traveled over much of the south and was under fire fifty-four times, the principal engagements in which he participated being at Corinth and Tupelo, Mississippi. During the last year of his service the regiment was with General A. J. Smith. In his long, exciting and dangerous service he was never but once wounded and that was a mere flesh wound. Always found at his place of duty, he loyally defended the cause represented by the old flag and his course was marked by a commendable spirit of patriotism.
Soon after his return from the war Mr. Harper purchased a small tract of land of forty acres and engaged in farming. As the years have gone by he has added to his property until he now has one of the most beautiful and fertile quarter-sections of land in his township. This is divided into fields of convenient size by well-kept fences and good harvests follow the planting of spring, bringing to the owner a profitable income.
On the 15th of January, 186o, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Harper and Rachel A. Cowger. In the community they have an extensive circle of friends and are highly esteemed for their sterling worth. In his political belief Mr. Harper clings stanchly to Republican principles and at all times he labors earnestly for its success, believing that it contains the best elements of good government. He is ever true to his duties of citizenship and has been loyal to the welfare of his adopted state, displaying the same patriotic spirit which marked his course when he donned the blue and fought with the Union army to preserve the Union intact.