Lake County Ohio GenWeb

Colonel Alexander Harper 1744-1798

From A Record of the Revolutionary Soldiers buried in Lake County, Ohio, New Connecticut Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, Painesville, Ohio, 1902.

Typed and submitted by Becky Falin, 1996.

Alexander Harper was born in Middletown, Connecticut in 1744. In the year 1770 he took a patent of a large tract of land and moved to Harpersfield, Delaware County, in the state of New York.

In 1777 he received a captain's commission in a regiment of rangers commanded by Col. John Harper, the regiment having been raised by the direction of Gov. Clinton. He was afterwards promoted to the rank of colonel, and served with distinction in the War of the Revolution.

On June 28, 1798 he removed with his family to what is now Harpersfield, Ashtabula County, Ohio, and settled there, dying on the tenth of September of the same year. This section of the country was then a wilderness, and Col. Harper gave the township of Harpersfield the name which is has since borne.

It is said that soon after landing he placed his staff in the ground and dedicated a portion of land as a cemetery, and he himself was the first to be buried there; he being the first white person buried in the Western Reserve, whose grave can be identified. An appropriate mounument bearing an inscription with the name and date of birth and death, and recounting the virtues of the pioneer and patriot still marks the spot. This cemetery is on the county line at Unionville village.

A biography of this distinguished citizen and some of his first descendants may be found in an interesting history of Harpersfield, written by Mrs. Malvina Sherwood, dedicated to the Hon. Elisha Whittlesey, and recorded in the records of the Ashtabula Historical and Philosophical Society by the celebrated penman, the late Platt R. Spencer.

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Last updated 3 Apr 2002

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