William A. Harper, Civil War Veteran

Story furnished by Clarence Crocker

In his research, Mr. Crocker has found information about one of Glendale's Civil War veterans.

Mr. William A. Harper, one of Glendale’s oldest residents, passed away at his home on Sunday August 5, 1917 following a week of illness. He was seventy two years of age. Unfortunately, I have been unable to identify his parents. Mr. Harper had served as a soldier for the four years of the Civil War and was a faithful member of the Glendale Baptist Church. He had been a leading member of the building committee in the construction of the second church building which was built in 1910. 

The 1870 Federal census showed that William at age 25 had married a lady by the name of Emily, age 22 and that they had one child, John at age of 2 months.

The 1900 Federal census showed that William and his wife had been married 30 years and gave the following family data;

    William A. Harper, born January, 1845

    Emily wife, born March, 1847

    Laura daughter, born May 1872

    Lula daughter, born May 1878

    Alonzo son, born January 1887.

Records show that Alice Harper born in 1880 (whom I personally knew) was also the child of William and Emily Harper. She and John had apparently married and moved out from the family when the 1900 census was taken.

Miss Lula Harper died in the early morning of August 13, 1904 at the home of her parents in Glendale where she had been living. She was 26 years of age and had been ill for more than a year. Her obituary stated that she was well known in the community. “She had suffered for a long time but bore it uncomplainingly and with remarkable bravery for one so young”.

Her funeral service was held in the Glendale Baptist Church with interment following in the Glendale Community Cemetery. The Rev. T. H. Harrison, Pastor of the Church, officiated at the services.

A news article published in the Spartanburg Herald on Sunday morning August 12, 1917, stated that William had lived most of his life at Glendale and had endeared himself to a large circle of friends. Funeral services were held in the Glendale Baptist Church on Monday August 6, 1917 with interment following in the Glendale Community Cemetery.

His survivors were listed as his wife, Emily; four children, John and Alonzo Harper of Spartanburg, S. C., Mrs. A. B. (Laura Harper) Phillips of Spartanburg and Mrs. Alonzo (Alice Harper) Gault of Glendale; one sister, Mrs. Bates and several grandchildren.

Newspaper articles and obituaries courtesy of Spartanburg County Library.

Editors Note: According to the National Park Service Civil War Soldiers Data Base, there was a South Carolina soldier named William A. Harper in the Confederate army. While we can't be certain it is the man described above, but it probably is. He is listed as being a Private in the 1st Regiment, South Carolina Rifles (Orr's) and the 1st Regiment South Carolina Infantry, (McCreary's) (1st Provisional Army.) After fighting for four years, this unit surrendered at Appomattox on April 9, 1865.

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