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Below is a family biography included in the book,  Biographical Souvenir of the Counties of Buffalo, Kearney, Phelps, Harlan and Franklin, Nebraska published in 1890 by F. A. Battey & Company.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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CHARLES L. HARPSTER was one of the early pioneers of Hamilton county, Nebr., having come from Ohio early in the seventies. He is a native of Ross county, Ohio, and was born February 10, 1846. His parents were both natives of Ohio. His father, Rudolph Harpster, was a farmer and died in 1853. His mother’s maiden name was Lydia M. Cartright. She was a devoted member of the United Brethren church, and lived a life consistent with her profession, dying in 1863.

Charles L. Harpster, the subject of this sketch, was obliged to go out and work to support his widowed mother when he was only nine years old. He learned a valuable lesson of self dependence early in life, and although he was denied the privilege of special school advantages, he has managed to gain a large fund of practical information.

Mr. Harpster was only eighteen years of age when he enlisted, February 15, 1864, in Company M, First Ohio cavalry, and served with credit to himself till the close of the great civil conflict. He went through the Atlanta campaign, belonged to the famous Wilson raiders and was in many exciting skirmishes. He participated in the engagement at Montgomery, Selma and Plantersville, Ala., and also at Columbus and Macon, Ga. He was an active participant in the Kilpatrick raid about Atlanta. During the fight at Lovejoy station he had a mule shot from under him, and a bullet hole put through his hat. He was mustered out at Hilton Head, S. C., September 13, 1865, and received his discharge at Columbus, Ohio, on the twenty-seventh of the month. Although suffering from illness incurred during his service in the army, he has never drawn a pension.

October 20, 1872, Mr. Harpster took up a homestead claim in Hamilton county, Nebr., and next came to Phelps county, February 5, 1883, and purchased a farm in Union township where he now lives. He belongs to the G. A. R., and is an efficient member of the Farmers’ Alliance and Patrons of Husbandry. He organized Union township in 1886 and named it. He also organized the school district in which he lives. He has always taken an active part in every progressive movement, and generally makes a success of what he undertakes. He has one hundred and sixty acres of splendid land which he is improving as rapidly as his means will allow. In politics he is strictly independent, for he seldom takes sides with either of the old parties, but is generally found advocating reform measures. In all local matters he supports good men regardless of their politics. He has been assessor of his township, but has never aspired to any office.

Mr. Harpster was married December 27, 1873, to Miss Minerva Harpster, who is a native of Ross county, Ohio. To this union have been born seven children — Lesley L., Cora F., Cecil W., Effie M., Flossie B., Annabel R. and Merle I.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the book, Biographical Souvenir of the Counties of Buffalo, Kearney, Phelps, Harlan and Franklin, Nebraska published in 1890 by F. A. Battey & Company. 

View additional Phelps County, Nebraska family biographies here: Phelps County, Nebraska Biographies

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