Charles Alfred Harper, II

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About Charles Alfred Harper, II

Charles Alfred Harper, Jr., second son and fifth child of Charles Alfred Harper and Lavina Dilworth, was born July 23, 1848 at Fort Laramie, Wyoming while the covered wagon caravan waited on the trail during the Mormon migration into the Great Salt Lake Valley.

His boyhood was spend in Holladay, Utah on the family farm and his schooling was received there, what little there was, the boys being put out to work at a very early age then. Charles Jr. was interested in machinery and the care and handling of horses. He learned the trade of a blacksmith as both his father and grandfather had, and he rendered over fifty years of service in that industry.

He married Mary Boyes, daughter of George Boyes and Elizabeth Taylor who was a sister of John Taylor, third president of the Mormon Church. Their marriage occurred in Salt Lake City in 1870. A year later they went into southern Utah to assist in pioneering there. They remained only a short time and returned to Holladay.

About this time the Mormons were establishing a settlement on the Bear River, near the Idaho-Utah border, and Charles Jr. took his small family there to help his brother Harvey in the pioneering efforts.

He returned to Holladay again in 1879 where he spent the remainder of his life. He and his sons were among the first to introduce threshing machines in the Salt Lake Valley. Their first machine was run by horsepower and later models employed steam. They became known for this trade far and wide and their descendants continued in the big machinery business, building a considerable empire throughout Northern Utah.

His beloved wife died in 1910 and a year later he married Ann Elizabeth Boyes Smith. Ann was well known to the Harper family, being the daughter of Mary's much-older half-brother. It was a second marriage for both Charles and Ann, and the two spent about 20 enjoyable years together in retirement until her death in 1931.

The life of Charles Jr., like his father's had been, was typical of pioneering from its start to its close. He died May 9, 1935 on the old homestead where he had grown up and raised his family. He is buried beside the graves of his wives in the Holladay Cemetery.

Written by Norma Harper Morris, a niece

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Charles Alfred Harper, II's Timeline

July 23, 1848
Fort Laramie, WY, USA
December 1, 1872
Age 24
December 7, 1874
Age 26
March 14, 1877
Age 28
June 15, 1881
Age 32
December 27, 1883
Age 35
April 14, 1885
Age 36
June 14, 1887
Age 38
May 29, 1890
Age 41
May 14, 1893
Age 44