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Harper County, Kansas

Harper County was founded by H. E. Jessup; John Lamar; M. Devoure; J. B. Glenn; G. M.Goss; S. S. Gideon; and G. W. Francis, and contains the cities of Anthony, Attica, Waldron, Bluff City, Freeport, Danville and Harper.

The county was first organized on August 20, 1873, but was determined fraudulent by the Attorney General as there was no population and the county was disorganized. It was reorganized on August 26, 1878. The story is told that during the fraudulent organization of the county, that early settlers near Bluff Creek counted buffalo bones to represent families, and petitioned for Bluff City to be the temporary county seat on that basis. The county was named for Marion Harper, a sergeant in the Second Kansas Cavalry

The Harper Presbyterian Church, founded in 1877, was the first congregation. The first building was constructed in 1882. There is currently a county fair held in Harper. The first school district was organized on April 14, 1879 in Harper. Previously, a private school had begun in 1877.

Nyle H. Miller, a native of Anthony, was an employee of the Kansas State Historical Society for over 40 years, and director of the Society for nearly thirty years. The author of many books and articles on Kansas history, Miller was a leader in the field of state and local history.

Interesting sites in the county include the Runnymede Church (moved to Harper) and Woschlegel Barn.

For more information see the Harper County website. The Harper County Historical Society has an accumulation of sources and information available. In 1968 it published Gwendoline Paul Sanders book, The Harper County Story.

Entry: Harper County, Kansas

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: February 2010

Date Modified: September 2012

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.