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County
Gillespie
Region
Hill Country
Population
2010 Census - Unknown
2000 Census - 1006
Nearby
Towns
Harper, Texas
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Harper Texas History:
In 1863, Matthew Taylor and the families of his two sons and his daughter (Gill McDonald) moved from Llano, Texas and built a cabin near the source of the Pedernales River near present day Harper. In August 1864, Matthew and his two sons traveled to Llano to purchase hay. On August 8, Jim Taylor’s wife Gill was attacked by Kiowas and wounded by an arrow. Before she died she warned the others who took refuge in the cabin. The Indians attacked, killing Eli McDonald and capturing Eli’s wife Caroline and their two daughters, and the children of Zed Taylor. Matthew’s wife Hannah took refuge in a cave and escaped injury and capture. The U.S. government later ransomed the captives from a site near Oklahoma. In 1883, George Franklin Harper established the Harper post office. Today Harper is a supply center for area ranchers. Unincorporated Harper is located north of IH-10 on the Pedernales River at the intersections of U.S. 290 and RR 783, 40.5 miles southeast of Junction, 40 miles south of Mason, 62 miles southwest of Llano, 39 miles southwest of Willow City, 101 miles west of Austin, 53 miles west of Johnson City, 37.6 miles west of Stonewall, 23 miles west of Fredericksburg, 67 miles northwest of Blanco, 36.4 miles northwest of Comfort, 52.4 miles northwest of Boerne, 21.5 miles northwest of Kerrville, 30 miles northeast of Hunt, and 65.4 miles northeast of Vanderpool, Texas.
 
McDonald Massacre, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“Pioneer preacher Matthew Taylor and the families of his daughter and two sons moved here in 1863 from their homestead on the Llano River. They built a cabin on this site near the source of the Pedernales River. In August 1864, Matthew and his son Jim returned to the Llano for a load of hay, leaving in charge Eli McDonald, husband of Matthew's daughter Caroline. On August 8, 1864, at a nearby spring, Jim Taylor's wife Gill was surprised by a band of Kiowas and wounded by an arrow. Before she died, she warned the others, who took refuge in the cabin. After a brief fight, the Indians killed Eli McDonald. They captured his wife Caroline and daughters Mahala and Becky Jane, and Alice, James, and Dorcas, children of Matthew's son Zed. Matthew's wife "Aunt Hannah" escaped and hid in a cave in what is now Harper Community Park. Matthew and Jim Taylor discovered the tragedy the next day and sought help from Eli McDonald's nephew Monroe. The two victims of the massacre were buried near Spring Creek, twelve miles east of Harper. "Aunt Hannah" was found and reunited with her husband. the captives wandered as far north as Oklahoma with the Kiowa tribe before they were located and ransomed by the U.S. Government.” From US 290 in Harper take RR 783 0.1 miles south to the right of way.
 
Harper Pioneer Museum: The link was hacked June, 2016
The museum features exhibits depicting the history of Harper, genealogy information, and displays rotating exhibits by local artists. Open April-Oct, Sundays, 2pm-4pm, and on special occasions, and by appointment. Email   
 
Harper Public Library:
The library provides traditional library programs, children, youth and adult programs, summer programs, public access computers with internet connections, and free Wi-Fi. Open Tue-Wed, 9am-6pm; Thu, 9am-8pm; Fri, 10am-5pm; Sat, 10am-4pm; closed Sundays and Mondays. (830) 864-4993. 23247 U.S. 290 West. The library is located in the same building as the Harper Library Resale Shop. Email
 
Annual Harper VFD & EMS BBQ Cook-off Fundraiser, a Saturday in Mid-April:
The event begins at 4pm. BBQ is served at 5pm. Other activities include live music and a silent auction. This event is held at the Volunteer Fire Department at 84 RR 783 North. (830-459-8645.
 
Annual Harper Frontier Day Rodeo and Dance, 1st Weekend in Sept:
Activities at this Labor Day weekend event include a kid’s fishing tournament, kid’s activities, vendors, roping, washers, horseshoes, a BBQ meal, mutton bustin’, calf scramble and a dances. (830) 864-4050. This event is held at the Harper Community (City) Park arena on U.S. 290 North. Email 
 
Annual Harper BBQ Cook-Off, 1st Weekend in Oct:
BBQ categories include brisket, chicken, pork ribs, jackpot beans and jackpot chili. Activities include live music, games, a raffle and vendor booths. BYOB. Parking space is available for self-contained RVs; no hookups. (830) 739-1328. (830) 864-4050. This event is held at Harper Community (City) Park. Email
 
Twin County Dorpers (Sheep):
They raise and sell Dorper breeding stock, and sell lamb cuts. (830) 864-4717. 30881 RR 385, Harper, TX 78631. Email