WILLIAM E. HARPER, recorder of Clarke County, was born in Kosciusko County, Indiana, near the city of Warsaw, November 9, 1844. He was the third of seven children, four of whom are now living. The father, James Harper, is a native of Indiana. The mother, Delilah (Mason) Harper, was also a native of Indiana. They immigrated to Clarke County in 1857, and settled n a farm, where they remained many years. They then moved to Osceola, where they still reside. William E. passed his boyhood on a farm, and received such educational advantages as the common schools of that day afforded. At the outbreak of the civil war, when he was but eighteen years of age, he entered the service as a private soldier, enlisting in Company D, Eighth Regiment, Iowa Cavalry, and served faithfully two years in the Western army. He took an active part in the Atlanta campaign with his regiment, also in the last campaign of the war; he with his regiment in 1865 was with General Wilson’s cavalry corps when they made their famous raid toward Mobile, Selma, Tuskaloosa and other points, after which he returned to Georgia, where he was mustered out August 13, 1865. After being honorably discharged, Mr. Harper returned to Clarke County, and engaged in agricultural pursuits. September 26, 1865, he married Miss Emarilla, daughter of G. N. Tillotson, of Clarke County. They have two children – Levi S. and Addie L. In 1873 Mr. Harper left the farm and moved to the city where he accepted a clerkship in a store. In 1882 he was the Republican nominee for county recorder, and was elected by a large majority. So well did he discharge the duties of his office, that in 1884 he was re-elected. Mr. Harper is a member of the Knights of Pythias and of the Grand Army of the Republic. He is well known, and by his genial manner has won many friends.
SOURCE: Biographical and Historical Record of Clarke County, Iowa, Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1886 p. 323