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Harper family papers

Identifier: L090

Scope and Contents

This collection contains correspondence, legal papers, receipts, photographs, and other papers of the Harper family ranging from 1827 to 1942. A prayer book carried by John Harper during the U.S. Civil War is included in the collection. There are also newspaper clipping and family history notes which include information such as death dates of family members.

There are also two folders of oversized correspondence and indentures ranging from 1837 to 1858 (OB071).


  • 1827-1942


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

Henry B. Harper was the son of Samuel Harper. He married Matilda Swearingen, and at some point between 1840 and 1850 the family moved to Indiana. Henry and Matilda Harper had thirteen children: Thomas, Samuel, Hannah, Louisa, Sarah Ann, George, Allen, James, John, Rebekah Jane, Henry, and a child that died in infancy, James.

Harper was a solider in the 37th Indiana Regiment serving in Tennessee. He married Julia A. Fall in 1864 and maintained a farm in Sharpsville, Indiana. They had nine children, five daughters and four sons. He died of complications November 15, 1915.

Louisa Harper married Charles Nettleton and lived in Minnesota for many years as farmers. Thomas Harper became a farmer, and Samuel Harper studied medicine at least briefly. John Harper was a political leader in Ripley County, Indiana and became the postmaster at Versailles.

Sources: 1840 United States Federal Census Record. Accessed May 23, 2007. 1850 United States Federal Census Record. Accessed May 23, 2007. 1860 United States Federal Census Record. Accessed May 23, 2007. 1870 United States Federal Census Record. Accessed May 23, 2007. 1880 United States Federal Census Record. Accessed May 23, 2007. Indiana Marriage Collection, 1800-1941. Accessed May 23, 2007.


0.4 Cubic Feet (1 manuscript box, 2 oversize folders)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Mrs. Oren Foster during 1955.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing and finding aid completed by Ruth Light during May 2007. Finding aid revised by Brittany Kropf on 2015/11/06. EAD finding aid revised on 2021/09/29 by Lauren Patton.
Harper family papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.