Biography of Capt. John Harper
Capt. John Harper was a native of Philadelphia; and followed the sea for many years after he was grown. In 1750 he settled in Alexandria, Va., where he died in his 87th year. He was married twice, and had twenty-nine children, eighteen sons and eleven daughters. Charles, the youngest son by his first wife, married Lucy Smither, who was of Scotch descent, and by her he had two children. He was married the second time to a Miss January, by whom he had nine children. The second son of his last wife, whose name was Charles B., was born in Culpepper Co., Va, in May, 1802. He was married in 1823 to Anna. C. Price, of Pittsylvania Co., Va., and settled in Montgomery Co., Mo., in 1830. He was engaged in merchandising at Danville for five years, and one year on his farm. He brought the first demijohns to Montgomery County, and sold a great many as curiosities, most of the inhabitants having never seen anything of the kind. Soon after his arrival in Montgomery he went over to Callaway County, one day, to get a load of corn, and wore his usual every-day clothes, made of home-spun cloth. On his way back the road led him by a house where Jabe Ham was preaching, and he stopped to hear the sermon. During the services the minister called on the congregation to kneel in prayer, and all knelt except Mr. Harper, who leaned his head upon his hand, and remained in that position. Ham noticed him, and prayed that the Lord would bless “that Virginia man, who had on store clothes, and was afraid or too proud to get down on his knees.” Mr. Harper represented his County four years in the State Senate, and has always been a good citizen. He had eight children.