History: Charles Benjamin Harper

His parents (Benjamin Harper, Jr. and Elizabeth Phipps Brand) left England on Tuesday, June 30, 1868, arrived in New York July 12, and in Pleasant Grove on August 20, 1868. They went to Lindon and made their home there. Charles (Charles Benjamin Harper) went to live with them, boarding himself. During the summer of ‘69, he farmed on shares for Mr. Wooley. That fall in October, he went to Eagle Valley, Nevada to help run a shingle mill. At that time Eagle Valley was supposed to be within the boundaries of Utah. He returned in February 1870 and in the same month, shortly after his return, he became engaged to Harriet Gibbons. 

That same month he met with an accident from which he never fully recovered. In company with Joseph Olpin, he went to Grove Creek to chop balsam logs. There he was caught in a snow slide, which pinned him against a tree. The tree probably saved his life, but his knee was twisted and as a result, he walked the rest of his life with a decided limp which grew worse as he grew older. 

On December 11, 1871 he and Harriet Gibbons were married in the Endowment House by Joseph Fielding Smith, who later became the President of the Church. They were accompanied by their mothers (Elizabeth Phipps and Sarah Wild Cole) and the entire trip was made by horse and wagon. 

They settled in a small rock house on property which he had bought on Locust Avenue. In this house were born six of their nine children (Charles Benjamin, Jr., Sarah Elizabeth, Jacob Ray, Harriet Rosabell, Abraham Lee, Grace Viola, Margaret Rose, Clifton Hyrum and Florence Thora Harper). In 1885 he built a large home just south of his first home on the same property. Here he lived until his death.

On May 10, 1895 he left on a mission to his native country where he served until 1898. All this time his wife supported the family and kept him on his mission through hard work.

His life in the church and community was most active. He served for many years as secretary of the Sunday School before the ward was divided. At various times he served as City Councilman, Justice of the Peace, member of the school board which was instrumental in securing a high school building for Pleasant Grove, and as president of the Pleasant Grove Canning Company. At the time of his death he was a High Priest.

His wife died on October 30, 1922 after a lingering illness. During the later years of his life he devoted himself to the care of his nursery and to the enjoyment of his hobbies; chief of which were his flowers, a notable library, and a fine shell collection.

He died very suddenly at his home of a heart attack on Sunday morning, October 29, 1933, less than one month before his eighty-fifth birthday.

-The End-

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