Lee County Biographies



Mrs. Elizabeth Harper, who owns and operates a fine farm of eighty acres on section 29, Viola township, was born in North Carolina, March 12, 1832. She is a daughter of David and Phoebe (Jones) Cox, both of whom died in 1893 and are buried in Earlville, LaSalle County, Illinois.

Mrs. Elizabeth Harper acquired her education in the public schools of Ottawa, Illinois, and laid aside her books at the age of fifteen. She afterward remained at home until her marriage, which occurred about six years thereafter. She wedded Alexander Harper, who was born in Greene County, Illinois, in 1828, a son of Ephraim and Christine (Kessler) Harper, both of whom have passed away and are buried in Whitehall.

Alexander Harper acquired his education in the public schools of Greene County, Illinois, and laid aside his books at the age of twenty. He afterward assisted his parents until 1854 and following his marriage began farming independently. He came to Lee County in 1871 and purchased eighty acres of land on section 29, Viola township, carrying forward the work of cultivating this property along practical lines and making it in the course of time one of the most valuable farms in the township. He continued active in his agricultural pursuits until his death, which occurred in 1900. He was a man of exemplary character and high standards and his passing was widely and deeply regretted.

Mr. and Mars. Harper became the parents of four children. Lillian is the wife of Rufus Johnston, a farmer in Missouri. Annie married Clark Butler, a farmer of Lee County. Jennie married Amzi Van Campen, who died in 1907 and is buried in Spokane, Washington. They had three children, Edith, Arthur and Bessie. Ella, the youngest child of Mr. and Mrs. Harper, died in infancy. Mrs. Harper still retains the homestead and in its cultivation has demonstrated her excellent business ability and enterprise. She has many friends in Lee County to whom her excellent traits of mind and character have greatly endeared her.

Contributed by Martha Fuller - Stevens, Frank E., History of Lee County Illinois,
Vol. II, S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago, 1914, pp. 309-310


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