Researching in Harper County, KS
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Harper County is a beautiful part of Kansas located in the southernmost tier of counties about midway between the east and west borders of the State. The county is 30 miles wide from east to west and approximately 26 3/4 miles from north to south. It covers a total of 801 square miles or about 512,640 acres. The county was not settled until 1877. The city of Harper was founded in 1877, Anthony in 1878, and other towns soon thereafter.
The county seat is located in Anthony. Highway 44 is Main St. running east to west. Highway 179 is Jennings St. and runs south from Main St. to Oklahoma. This is the main intersection in this very active and attractive community.
The present County Courthouse was built in 1908. It sets on a city square block at 201 N. Jennings Street, Anthony, KS 67003. It is well worth the trip just to see this well kept lovely statuesque building with its manicured lawn that is among Kansas properties listed on the National and State Registers of the Kansas State Historical Society. The courthouse is handicap accessible. Hours are 8:00 am. to noon and 1:00 pm. to 5:00 pm. Monday thru Friday. Everyone at the Courthouse is friendly and willing to help you in your research.
The Register of Deeds office is on the second floor (basement is the first floor). This office contains:
Copies of these records are $1.00 per page. Certification of Document $1.00.
- Land Deed Records starting with the earliest records of the county, October 1878.
- Military discharge records.
- Old school records dating back to 1879.
- Records of teachers employed (1885 - 1968.
- Diploma examinations (8th grade to 1956), teacher examinations.
- List and location of cemeteries, cemetery deeds, and some burial dates.
- Emuneration Records and Lists of Residents throughout the County.
- Miscellaneous Recorded Records.
The District Court office is located on the 3rd floor. There you will find marriage records with the first marriage dating back to 1878. There are probate records from 1883 and divorce records. You may search for these records on the public computer or someone will assist you. Copies are $.25 per page.
There are two funeral homes in Anthony:
- The Elliott Mortuary is located at 115 S. Bluff. (Phone 620 842 5167). They also have a mortuary in Harper located at1406 Ash on U.S. Highway 160. (Phone 620 896 7616).Their Attica mortuary recently closed. All the records are maintained in Anthony office. Burial records in Anthony date back to 1952, in Harper from 1912 and Attica from 1923.
- The Prairie Rose Funeral Home, Williams Chapel formerly Parsons Funeral Home is located at 602 E. Main (Phone 620 842-5142). Their records date from 1941.
Anthony Public Library
The Anthony Public Library located at 624 E. Main (Phone 620 842 5344) (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. They moved to this new location in November 1995. Hours are:Monday - Thursday 10am to 7pm Friday 10am to 5pm Saturday 1pm to 5pmThe Anthony librarian, Sandy Trotter, is interested in genealogy and is most willing to help you research. There are three old atlases for Harper County, 1886, 1902, 1919. They contain maps of each township and each is marked with the landowners names. They are not indexed, but they contain several pages of pictures of people who were living in the county when the atlas was published. The Harper County Story by Gwendoline and Paul Sanders is available and can be checked out or "interlibrary loaned". The Condensed History of the City of Harper, Kansas, 1877 to 1961, published by DeLuxe Printing Co. is a very good source for the town of Harper and its people. Three books by Louis F. Burns could be helpful; In Kansas Territory 1820 1886, Osage Mission, Baptisms, Marriages and Interments, and Osage Indian Bands and Clans. The 17 volume series of the Forgotten Settlers of Kansas is also in the genealogy section with the other genealogical materials available which includes over 300 books.
A new video series that can be checked out is The Genealogist's Video Research Guide. Part One of this series covers: where to begin, learn what's been done, family memorabilia, the Salt Lake City Family History Library's Family Search computer program (which is now available at the Anthony Library), published histories, using genealogy forms, and note keeping systems. Part Two covers: original sources, U.S. Census records, and probate records. Part Three covers: Land, military, and vital records.The library has access to the FamilySearch website through it's 10 computers that are free for patron use. One of these computers has 2 wide screen monitors attached and is specifically for genealogical research. The FamilySearch website contains:
There is a box in the Anthony Library with several very interesting items. Included are a manila envelope labeled Harper County History, a history of Bluff City, miscellaneous family histories, newspaper clippings, an Anthony High School directory containing names from 1888 - 1974, and various other papers. There is a list of the first settlers of Anthony. There is a cemetery book for Attica, Harper, and Forest Park (Anthony) cemeteries. Another cemetery book contains records for Christian Apostolic, Baird, Bonham, Bluff City (Pleasant Hill), Burchfield, Crisfield, Danville, Devore, Duquoin, Midlothian Episcopalian, German Evangelical, Crystal Springs Mennonite, Ferguson (Pleasant Valley Baptist), Freeport, H & S, Hillsdale, Melvin, Pleasant Valley Mennonite, Spring Grove, Singer, Star Center, and Waldron cemeteries.
- The Ancestral File
Anyone can contribute their pedigrees and family group sheets to this file using a registered genealogical computer software program (for a list of registered programs call 1 800 346 6044), and the instructions available at the library.
- The International Genealogical Index
It's a database of over 80 million entries of births, marriages, deaths and LDS ordinances gathered from genealogists and their family records or from names extracted by trained volunteers from selected sources - church registers, birth and marriage records, probate and census documents from around the world.
- U.S. Social Security Death Index
Includes entries from The U. S . Social Security Death Master File through 1994.
- U.S. Military Index
Lists U.S. military personnel who died in Korea and Vietnam, 1950 1975.
- Family History Library Catalog
A catalog of the holdings of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The library has on microfilm Federal Census for years 1880, 1900, 1920. Also, on microfilm a complete collection of Harper County newspapers. (See list of newspapers with microfilm number)
Anthony Historical Museum
The Historical Museum of Anthony is in the old railroad depot located at 502 W Main Street (Phone 620 842 3852. The Curator Connie Robinson and Assistant Ruth Perry are very knowledgeable with Harper County history and especially Anthony. It would be worth your time to stop by and see the past.
Harper Public Library
The Harper Public Library is at 1002 Oak in the basement of the Harper City Building (Phone 620 896-2959). Hours are:Monday & Wednesday.... 1:30 pm to 8:00 pm Tuesday............... 1:30 pm to 5:30 pm Wednesday............. 9:00 am to 12:00 and 1:30 pm to 8:00 pm Thursday & Friday..... 1:30 pm to 5:30 pm Saturday.............. 9:00 am to 1:00 pmIn addition to a number of general genealogical materials, the Harper Public This Library houses the library of the Harper County Genealogical Society. Some of the materials relate to states other than Kansas. Also, there is information pertaining to the counties that surround Harper County.
Materials relating to Harper County history include:
Family histories relating to Harper County: The Olivers, with related families - Drouhard, Blanchat, Fallot- 1680 - 1978; Domnick - Steiner and Allied Families; Maninger Family History; Come In & Sit A Spell (Ancestors & Descendants of Luella Maria King & Albert James Rymph, pioneers of Harper Co); The Galloway Family; John Frintz; Nelson Singleton; Conrad Hormel Family; Hilbig - Titus Family History; John A. Smith & son Henry Smith 1794 - 1981; The Ancestry of Sherman Bucknum (Bucknum Towns); Family History of William C. Beals; Autobiography of Addison Miller Alexander. John & Lucinda (Hall) White Family.
- Histories of the towns of Harper, Anthony, Attica, and Waldron and information on the towns of Bluff City, Crystal Springs and Freeport.
- The Harper County Story by Gwendoline and Paul Sanders.
- Harper County atlases for the years 1902 and 1919.
- Copy of an 1887 Harper City Directory.
- Information on the English settlement of Runnymede which was located in northern Harper County in the late 1880's.
- On microfilm: Kansas State Censuses (sometimes called agricultural censuses) for Harper County for the years 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915 and 1925.
- Obituaries from the Harper Advocate for the years 1969 - 1979
- List of graduates of Harper High School 1888 - 1974
- List of graduates of Anthony High School 1888 - 1974
In addition, a Harper County Query file is maintained by the genealogical society.
There are also 17 volumes of The Forgotten Settlers of Kansas, published by the Kansas Council of Genealogical Societies, which include pedigree charts of early settlers in Kansas. Some Harper county settlers are among them.
Harper City Historical Museum
Found at the Historical Museum, in Harper at 804 E. 12th are a number of items pertaining to local history. These include:
The museum is open afternoons on weekends during warm weather, other times by appointment (620 896-2304).
- Harper County atlases for 1886,1902 and 1919
- Old school yearbooks, photos and memorabilia
- Harper High School and some rural schools
- Harper telephone books (cover some rural areas)
- Harper County directory 1909 (arranged by townships)
- Record book of Cole Bros. dry goods store, Jan 1912 - March 1914, giving name of customer & purchase
- Many old photos, some identified, some not.
- And much much more.
Register of Deeds Clerk of the District Court Harper County Courthouse Harper County Courthouse 201 N. Jennings 201 N. Jennings Anthony, Ks 67003 Anthony, Ks 67003 620 842 5336 620 842 3721 Elliott Funeral Home Prairie Rose Funeral Home, Williams Chapel 115 S Bluff 602 E Main Anthony, Ks 67003 Anthony, Ks 67003 620 842 5167 620 842 5142 Anthony Public Library Harper Public Library 624 E Main 1002 Oak Anthony, KS 67003 Harper, KS 67058 620 842 5344 620 896 2959 Harper City Historical Museum Anthony City Historical Museum 804 E 12th 502 W Main Harper, KS 67058 Anthony, KS 67003 620 896 2304 620 842 3852 Harper County Genealogical Society 1002 Oak Harper, KS 67058 620 896-2959 If you do not find the family for whom you are searching in Harper County, you might try searching the counties of northern Oklahoma, since many people from Harper County made "The Run " into Oklahoma at the opening of the Cherokee Strip in 1893. There was much crossing back and forth over the state line. Feelfree to copy this article and bring with you to Harper County.
KSGenWeb - Harper County, Kansas
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