ROBERT A. HARPER, owner of a farm of two hundred and seventy-six acres, in Harrison township, section 23, came to Benton county in 1854, from Switzerland county, Indiana, where he was born in 1851. He is a son of John W. and Jannette (Miller) Harper, the former born in 1817 in Scotland. John Harper lived in his native country until nine years of age, and then came with his parents to the United States; they settled in Pennsylvania, removed to Indiana, returned to Scotland, and again crossed the Atlantic to settle in Indiana, where the father died. John Harper lived in Indiana until 1854 and then came to Iowa and entered one-quarter section of land in Polk township, Benton county. He also purchased two hundred and forty acres of land, and lived in Benton county until his death, in 1893. His wife born in Ohio, in 1820, was a daughter of Daniel and Agnes (Alien) Miller; her parents came from Scotland. She was reared in Indiana, and there married. Mr. Harper and his wife had children as follows: Alexander, deceased, a soldier in the Eighth Iowa, Company D, from Benton county; Daniel M., who died in the army in 1865, in the same company as the preceding; J. W., of Harrison township; Agnes, wife of M. McNie; Robert A.; Belle, wife of S. H. Sefton, of Mount Auburn; William, who died in infancy; and Edward, who also died in infancy.
Robert A. Harper was reared in a log house, and remained on the home farm until two years after his marriage. When twenty-four years of age he married Jane McNie. He received a common school education, and learned the details of farming. In 1878 he purchased one hundred and forty acres of land, to which he has since added. He now has two hundred acres under cultivation, and besides carrying on general farming, breeds Norman horses. In political views he is a Republican, and takes a commendable interest in local affairs. He has served as township trustee and road master. Mr. Harper belongs to the Church of Christ, of Vinton. He now resides in Vinton, and has retired from active life.
Mr. Harper and his wife had children as follows: Grace, wife of John T. Houser, of Ames, Iowa; Wilson R., at home; and David S., who died in infancy. Mr. Harper is well known in the community, and is universally liked and respected.