Harper Texas in the Texas Hill Country.

   

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Harper Texas History

The community of Harper is located on U.S. Highway 290. Harper is 23 west of Fredericksburg in Gillespie County. The location of present day Harper was first settled by the Matthew Taylor and Eli McDonald in 1863 with their families. A historical marker shows the site of the McDonald massacre of August 1864. Two members of the McDonald family were killed by Kiowa Indians. A young mother and four children were captured and an elderly aunt escaped.

The first post office was established in 1883 by George Franklin Harper. The town was named for him. Harper celebrated its centennial in 1963. More than 15,000 visitors attended the festivities.

In 1985, Harper had six churches, a fire department and ambulance service, a public school, and growing residential subdivisions.

As of 1982 Harper had the oldest bank still operating in Gillespie County.

The population was 383 in 1982 and 1990. By 2000, however, it had grown to 1,006.

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