Wapello County, Iowa


Samuel Houston Harper, of Ottumwa, elected Department Commander of the Grand Army of the Republicin 1905, died suddenly at his home on December 17, 1911, while still actively engaged in public and business life.
Mr. Harper was born at Zanesville, Ohio, on April 23, 1843. At the age of twenty years he came to Iowa riding on horseback from the Mississippi River to Ottumwa. He enlisted as a private in Company B, Thirty-sixth Iowa Infantry, and rose to the rank of captain.
Upon his return home at the close of the war, he began
his career in business in Ottumwa. As a hardware merchant and banker he was unusually successful, and came to be one of the outstanding businessmen of his day. In 1901 he was elected to the State Senate serving in the
Twenty-ninth, Thirtieth, and Thirty-first General Assemblies. In State, as in private and local affairs, he was
always and everywhere an advocate of honest and efficient government.
In the spring of 1911 he was elected Mayor of Ottumwa a position which he filled with honor, dignity, and
efficiency, but only for a brief period of eight months before his final passing.
Throughout the later years of his career Captain Harperdevoted much time and thought to the welfare of theGrand Army of the Republic and his comrades in service. Morally and religiously he stood for the highest and best,
and left the world richer and better than he found it.


The Iowa department of the Grand Army of the Republic, compiled
by Jacob A. Swisher

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