This column is part of a feature series which focuses on a different Centre County family each week. Five new columns will be released each month unless some technical difficulty enters the picture.
This column's focus is on HARPSTER. An effort has been made to identify all persons carrying that name in the 1890 U.S. Census, using the Centre County business directory which was formed from a preliminary review of that census before the larger set of 1890 U.S. Census records was destroyed by fire. (Sadly, the postal directory does not typically provide the ages of females, but it's the best record we've got).
One book in the Pennsylvania Room of the Centre County Library in Bellefonte apparently deals with the Harpster family. It is J.O. Harpster's The Harpsters and Their Habitat.
There are 10 different first-name entries for Harpster in John Blair Linn's History of Centre and Clinton County (1883). In addition, there are many references to the name in Beers' Commemorative Biographical Record of Central Pennsylvania (1898).
And, now, your ancestors' HARPSTER neighbors in 1890:
In CENTRE HALL Borough:
Jacob F., 65, blacksmith Catharine Lizzie E. Annie M. Charles F. 17 Claud W. 11 Sarah E.
In FERGUSON Township:Christopher, 66, laborer--Gatesburg Elizabeth Daniel C. 33 Barbara E. Fannie H.--Rock Springs James C. 22 George E., 39, farmer--Penna Furnace Annie E. Maggie C. Isaac, 30, laborer--Gatesburg Ellen Lester Edward C. 1 John A., 37, laborer--Penna Furnace Ida J. Emory B. 3 Ralph H. 2 Maria--Penna Furnace John O. 23 Mary A. Magalina Charles B. 11 Miles, 42, laborer--Penna Furnace Elizabeth Martin G. David P. 16 Joseph H. 13 Susan A. Thomas E. 9 Orie E. 6 Warren W. 4 David 68 William 19 Samuel, 61, laborer--Gatesburg Margaret Jacob 27 Daniel 26 Samuel 24
In HOWARD Towsnhip:George W., 31, laborer--Howard Emma R. Richard T. 4 Sarah C.
In PATTON Township:Alexander, 56, farmer--Benore Edward S. 20 Anna B. Bertha Laura E.
In UNION Township:John E., 25, farmer--Fleming Emma J. Lucinda
In WORTH Township:Joseph S., 47, farmer--Port Matilda Sarah M. Jackson 23 John O. 21 George 19 Lula G. Nancy B. William H. 13 Elizabeth J. Chester A. 8 Simon S. 6 Pearl 4