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 Alfred William Harper

Alfred William Harper

London, City of London, Greater London, England
Death 3 May 1907 (aged 53)
Pleasant Grove, Utah County, Utah, USA
Burial Pleasant Grove, Utah County, Utah, USA
Plot B-28-007-02
Memorial ID 37964 · View Source
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Son of Benjamin Harper and Elizabeth Phipps Brand

1m- husband of Mary Melissa Walker, married 18 Sep 1876 in Salt Lake City, Salt LAke, Utah, USA

2m- husband of Mary M. Hay, 10 June 1903 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, USA

He was the third son of Benjamin and Elizabeth Phipps Brand Harper.

His childhood was spent in England. The Gospel was brought to their family when his mother was converted and baptized by missionaries. Alfred was five years old at that time.

His oldest brother was first sent to Utah. Two years later, June 30, 1868, the rest of the family set sail from Liverpool, England, on the steamship Minneota which was the first ship to bring L.D.S. emigrants across the Atlantic. They arrived in New York, July 12, 1868. They traveled from New York to Laramie City arriving there July 22. They arrived in Salt Lake City Aug 19, 1868 and were again reunited with their oldest brother.

The family went to Pleasant Grove, Utah Co., Utah Aug 20, 19868 and purchased a farm. Alfred worked on the farm with his parents and also hauled log from Aerican Fork Canyon.

Alfred was a self-educated man. He had a large library filled with books on every subject. Although his formal education constisted of only six weeks, all his life he studied for two or three hours every evening, regardless of what time he finished his work. He worked hard and was able to get a team of horses, stable, and harness. All these were destroyed by a fire just before he was married.

He bought a tract of land south of Pleasant Grove ( now known as Lindon). He cleared the land of sagebrush to begin his own farming, for now he had found the girl whom he wished to marry. On Sept 18, 1875 he married Mary Melissa Walker in the Salt Lake City Endowmnet House. They moved on his farm and lived in a tent for a few weeks while he built their home. He did all the work on the home himself. He hauled limestone rock from American Fork Canyon, hewed and layed the rock, and did all the carpentery work. The home was contisted of five rooms. It was this same house in which they raised their family. Later six additional rooms were added.

Alfred would work on his farm in the summer, but during the winter months, he worked in a store. A few years later he was employed as manager of the George Lowe Implement Co. at Plesant Grove. He also took care of his farm, working mornings and nights before and after the work at the store. His farm buildings, his home and his yard and always well kept. He was energetic and handy in all kinds of work. When being complicated upon his accomplishments, he often commented, "Jack of all trades". He hauled his fruit to Salt Lake in a wagon. He would leave before daybreak and return late at night the third day. each return was like a happy Christmas for his children, he would always bring boxes of things which could only be bought in the city.

On March 10,1900 Melissa, his wife passed away. The baby boy, Seth Roy Walker Harper born to her also passed away shortly afterward. The baby was buried in his mother's arm in the Plesant Grove Cemetery.

On June 10, 1903, Alfred married Mary M. Hay, daughter of Robert and Ann McRae Hay. On Oct 15, 1904, a daughter Sarah was born to them. Three days later his second wife died and he was again left alone to raise his family.
The family life was that of harmony and devotion to one another. Alfred did all he could for his family to make up for thier loss. He encouraged his family his family to bring their friends home. He always made a special effort to make them welcome, many large parties wer held at their home. He taught his family the Gospel, they had family prayers, he always isisted that above all, his children would tell the truth. Alfred was always sincere in his religion, he spent his life in service to the Church. He fulfilled two home missions and one foreign mission. He served on a mission to New Zealand from May 1885 to 1888. He held the office of Seventy in the Priesthood at the time of his death., was also active in civic affairs. In 1890 a brass band was organized in Plesant Grove, known as the Pleasant Grove Silver Band. He was appointed leader. The band members would come to his home to practice.
Once he read in the paper where a home had burned, leaving the family with five children destitute. Although the people were strangers to him, he took a white top buggy full of groceries, clothing, and bedding to them. He never told his family or anyone of this. They knew because of the lady introduced herself to them and told them the incident years after Alfred died.

Always he kept secret any favor he did for people; we learned it after his death from the people he helped.

His hobby was flowers--from the early crocus peeping out of the almost melted snow to the late chrysantemum of the fall. The deep house windows were full of flowers, two rooms were a winter hot-bed, and he also had a nursery. He would rise early in the morning, sometimes at four, to work in his flowers before he began his work.

Perhaps most of his happiness with his flowers were deprived from the happiness and joy they would give to other people. friends and children were always seen leaving his home with a large bouquet of flowers which he had picked for them. On Memorial Day, flowers, mostly snowballs and peonies, were hauled away from his home by the basket and tub full. Buggies would be lined the length of the lawn waiting their turn. He never accepted a penny for a flower in his life.

He died May 3, 1907 and was buried in the Pleasant Grove Cemetery by his two wives.




  • Maintained by: SRBentz
  • Originally Created by: Utah State Historical Society
  • Added: 2 Feb 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 37964
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Alfred William Harper (12 Aug 1853–3 May 1907), Find A Grave Memorial no. 37964, citing Pleasant Grove City Cemetery, Pleasant Grove, Utah County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by SRBentz (contributor 47051679) .