Following is one of the Biographies and Stories which where gathered by Charles Sumner McKamy in the 1950s for publication in a Crawford County History Book. Unfortunately he passed away before the book was published.

This is the story of the Harper family, of which George W. Harper was the founder of he local branch.

George W. Harper, son of John Dill Harper and Sallie McClain Harper, was born near Richmond, Indiana on September 17, 1837.

George remembered his grandfather, Daniel McClain, who fought in the Revolutionary War under General Francis Marion, and who bore scars received in that conflict. As a child, George listened to his grandfather recount the experiences of the McClain clan during those trying times.

John D. Harper, who, as a young man had come to Indiana from South Carolina, was a miller, and operated a saw and grist mill near Centerville, Indiana, but also farmed and taught school at various times. He was a devout Methodist, and reared his family in a strict and religious home, faithfully adhering to the tenets of the church of his belief.

At the age of sixteen, George became a printers apprentice in the office of the Richmond, Indiana Palladium. After three years spent in learning his trade, he came to Crawford County where he was employed in a printing office at Palestine. Later he moved to Robinson and started a newspaper of his own, the Robinson Gazette, which was Robinson's first paper.

After various changes, the first issue of the Robinson Argus was published on December 12, 1863. Mr. Harper continued to personally publish the Argus until ill health forced him to retire in August 1927, although he continued to occasionally write articles for the paper in which he still owned controlling interest.

Mr. Harper's formal education was limited, but through his extensive reading he was very well informed, especially in the field of politics and current events. He was fond of poetry and classical fiction and possessed a good library of such works with a number of first editions. He was always a close student of the Bible and he felt that "a good name was more to be prized than great riches".

In his youth, George W. Harper was affiliated with the Democratic party, but at the outbreak of the Civil War, he became a staunch member of the Republican party. He served with an Indiana Regiment in the war between the states for a short time only, when he suffered a spinal injury and received a medical discharge from the service.

While a young man, Mr. Harper united with the Christian Church pf which for many years he was an elder and always a faithful member. He was especially active in the Sunday School where at times he served as superintendent. For many years he was a teacher of a Sunday School class by the members of which he was loved and revered.

Ever a faithful worker for the Republican party, the subject of this sketch was elected one of the Presidential Electors for Theodore Roosevelt in 1904.

From early manhood Mr. Harper was a member of the Masonic Lodge and its various branches. He was a Master Mason and a charter Royal Arch Mason. He belonged to the Consistory and was a Knight Templar and a member of the Shrine.

As the population of Robinson and business generally increased, articles were published in the columns of he Argus stressing the need for a modern post office and suggesting a government building for that purpose. Persistent reference to the need eventually awakened sufficient interest with the final result that Robinson acquired the present post office building.

Building and Loan Associations are universally recognized as being of great importance in building up a town. In 1884, Mr. Harper was a leader in the organization of the Crawford County Building and Loan Association, and was elected its first president, retiring from that office in 1895. In 1901, G.W. Harper, W.S. Price, J.S. Abbott and a few others were leaders in organizing the Robinson Building and Loan Association. The above named served as directors with Harper as president, and continued to serve for several years.

From the time he learned to read, G.W. Harper was a great lover of books. He thought that everybody else should be, and that a free library was essential for a good community. When Andrew Carnegie was making donations for library buildings, Mr. Harper decided that this was Robinson's opportunity; so he wrote Mr. Carnegie requesting a grant for a local library. After some correspondence, stipulations were met, and Robinson Township received a gift of $10,000 which made it possible for Robinson to have a public library. Mr. Harper served on the library board until his death.

On September 3, 1928, the long and eventful life of George W. Harper came to an end in his ninety-first year.

Mr. Harper was married twice. He was first married in 1857 to Hannah Amanda Goodwin, who died in 1869. They were parents of four children who lived to maturity: Will G., John, Edgar Poe and Sallie.

Will G., who was associated with his father and brother Paul in the business officially known as The Argus Printing House, Publishers of the Robinson Argus, is deceased. Will was married to Imogene Granger. He was the father of five children: Frank, Anna, Bess, Estelle and Roy. Estelle, Frank and Bess are deceased. Anna and Roy live in Los Angeles, California.

John and Edgar Poe Harper are now living in Lawrenceville, Illinois.

Sallie married T.N. Wilson and spent the last years of her life in Seattle, Washington. She was the mother of seven children, four of whom survive.

In 1871, George W. Harper and Lucy Helen Gatton were married. Lucy Helen, born in Dresden, Ohio in 1848 was the daughter of Isaac and Amanda Spurgeon Gatton. Isaac Gatton, a Civil War veteran served throughout the war with an Ohio regiment. When Lucy Helen was eight years old, the family came from Ohio to make their home in the south part of Crawford County.

To George W. and Lucy Helen Harper were born seven children: Bertha, Lucy, Alice Estelle, George, Clara Lenore, Mary and Paul. Alice Estelle and Clara Lenore died in childhood.

Bertha, is eldest child, married Frank Lesh (now deceased) and resides in Wenatchee, Washington.

Lucy married Harry Olwin and for many years lived in Boulder, Colorado. They had one daughter, Portia, who was married to Homer L. Woodbury. Harry Olwin and Homer Woodbury each died in 1928, and Lucy Harper Olwin died in 1946. Portia Olwin Woodbury lives in Boulder, Colorado.

George McClain Harper, after being graduated from Robinson High School, attended medical college at Indianapolis, Indiana. After his graduation, he practiced his profession at Lawrenceville, St. Marie, Danville and Springfield, all in Illinois. He married Grace Van Eaton and had one son, George Van Eaton Harper of Springfield, Illinois. After the death of Grace, George M. Harper was married to Rose Bloomfield. Dr. Harper died in Springfield in 1939.

Paul B. Harper, for many years prominently identified with the civic life of Robinson, was reared in this city, attended the local elementary and high schools, and for a short time was a teacher in the rural schools of Crawford County.

While a young man, he went to Coalinga, California, where he engaged in business with Mr. Fred Lesh, a brother-in-law. While in Coalinga, he met and married Emily Vige, and in 1911 he brought his young bride back to Robinson to make their home. On his return to Robinson, Paul assisted his father in the operation and management of the Robinson Argus. As years progressed, he assumed increasing responsibility until he eventually became business manager and editor.

Paul assisted in the formation of a partnership, The Argus Printing House, which took over the publishing of The Robinson Argus, and helped to develop a commercial printing operation which was one of the most modern and progressive of any facility of its kind in Southern Illinois.

Paul Harper was keenly interested in the progress of his community, and the welfare of his neighbors and friends. This interest led him into many endeavors for the public good. He served on many civic committees, was an organizer and a past president of the Chamber of Commerce and a member and president of the elementary board of education. He was a member of the World War I draft board, and the World War II selective service board serving Crawford County.

Meanwhile, Paul Harper managed to participate in the fraternal life of his community and of higher jurisdictions. He belonged to several fraternal organizations, but he was most interested in the Masonic Lodge and its branchings, being not only a Master Mason and Royal Arch Mason, but also having attained the Consistory Thirty-second Degree, the Knight Templar Degree, and he was a member of the Shrine.

At the very heights of his interest and activity ill health forced his retirement, and in 1946 he disposed of his interest in the publishing house to Victor L. Smith, and removed to Phoenix, Arizona.

Mary Harper attended and was graduated from the Robinson schools. She continued her education in study with Carnegie College, the University of Colorado and the University of Indiana.

In her teaching career she devoted a total of forty-four years to Illinois schools, thirty-seven of them being in the elementary schools of Robinson.

In 1949, the Robinson Chamber of Commerce at the annual meeting, presented her a plaque stating the appreciation of local citizens for her service to her profession and her wholesome influenece on the lives of the youth of Robinson community.

She is a member of the James Halstead, Sr., Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, tracing her eligibility for membership from her great grandfather, Daniel McClain. In 1956 she was honored by the Chapter by being elected to serve as their regent for the year 1956-57.

Mary Harper, the last local member of the Harper clan, lives in the old family home on South King Street in Robinson.