1st Battalion 22nd Infantry
Private William "Frank" Harper
Company C 22nd Infantry 1897-1900
William F. Harper was enlisted
in the United States Army on April 25, 1897* at Fort Crook,
by 1st Lieutenant Herman Hall who at the time was the Regimental Adjutant of the 22nd Infantry.
Harper was assigned to Company C
of the 1st Battalion 22nd US Infantry on April 25, 1897
at Fort Crook and served with the 22nd in Cuba during the Spanish-American War.
Upon return from Cuba with his
Regiment he was admitted sick in hospital at Camp Wikoff, New
on August 25, 1898 according to the Return of the 22nd Infantry for the month of August 1898.
The Returns of the Regiment for the months of September, October and November 1898
record him as being on furlough at Dallas, Texas from August 25 - November 3, 1898.
He also served with the 22nd in
the Philippine Islands during the Philippine Insurrection
and was discharged from his enlistment upon expiration of service at San Isidro
on the Island of Luzon in the Philippines on April 24, 1900.
The following information is taken from his Recruitment Card:
Declaration of Recruit
The United States of America
State of Nebraska
City or Town of Fort Crook, Neb.
I William F. Harper, born in Coffee Co. in the State of Alabama,
aged 24 years and six months, and by occupation a Laborer, DO HEREBY ACKNOWLEDGE
I, William F. Harper, desiring to enlist in the Army of the United States for the term of three years,
do declare that I have neither wife nor child; that I am of the legal age to enlist,
and believe myself to be physically qualified to perform the duties of an able-bodied soldier;
and I do further declare that I am of good habits and character in all respects,
and have never been discharged from the United States service (Army or Navy)
or any other service on account of disability, or through sentence of either civil or military court,
nor discharged from any service civil or military, except with good character,
and for the reasons given by me to the recruiting officer prior to this enlistment
and that I am a citizen of the United States.
Given at Fort Crook, Nebraska this 23rd day of April 1897. *
Signed William F. Harper
Witness: Herman Hall, 1st. Lieut. 22nd Infantry (His enlistment officer)
Assigned to Company C, 22nd Regiment of Infantry, U.S. Army
* * This date is
given on Harper's enlistment record as April 25, 1897 and in the
Return of the 22nd Infantry
for the month of April 1897 as April 23, 1897.
Private William F. (Frank) Harper, Fort Crook, Nebraska
In the photo Pvt Harper is wearing the standard
uniform of a US Infantryman of his day.
The dark blue sack coat and sky blue trousers were worn from about 1872 until the turn of the century.
His cap is the 1895 model forage cap, worn from 1895-1902.
The insignia on his cap is crossed muskets, with the number 22 above and the letter C below,
indicating Company C 22nd Infantry.
His waist belt is the Mills cartridge belt, used from the 1870's until 1910.
The color of his Mills belt is blue.
His rifle is the caliber .30 (either Model 1892 or 1896), also known as the 30-40 Krag.
The following information is taken from William F. Harper's Discharge Paper:
William F. Harper
Enlisted: April 25, 1897
Co. C 22nd Infantry Fort Crook, Nebraska for 3 years
Blue Eyes, Dark Brown Hair, Fair Complexion, Five feet 8 1/2 inches
Born: October 18, 1872, Coffee County, Alabama age 24
Residence: Peru, Nebraska
Furloughed: September 5, 1898
Honorable discharge: April 24, 1900 with the rank of Private, at San Isidro, Philippine Islands
Reason for Discharge: Expired Term of Enlistment
Also discharged the same day as Pvt Harper were:
Hagen, William , enlisted April 26 1897 Ft. Crook, Neb. Co. D 22nd Infantry
Harrington, Patrick, enlisted April 30, 1897 Ft. Crook, Neb. Co. D 22nd Infantry (previously discharged 4/29/1897; reinlisted) born in Ireland
All three were discharged on April 24, 1900 from San Isidro, PI due to expiration of term of service.
The following biographical information comes from Vanessa Burzynski, the great-great niece of Frank Harper:
William F. Harper was better
known as "Frank".
His parents were Joseph William Harper and Bedy Jane Kierce.
Bedy Jane Kierce was the sister of my gg-grandfather Henry
Kierce who fought in the Civil War with the 63rd Alabama Infantry.
William Harper was born in Alabama. According to his military records he was born in Coffee County, Alabama.
I found his family listed in the 1880 Census in Covington County,
Alabama where the Kierce family lived from about 1860.
1880 Census Heltons,Covington,Alabama
J. W. HARPER age 33 AL AL AL
B. J. HARPER age 30 GA SC SC
W. F. HARPER age 10 AL AL GA
A. J. HARPER age 8 AL AL GA
A. C. HARPER age 6 AL AL GA
Moses HARPER age 4 AL AL GA
His father died sometime before 1900. After his father died the family moved to Texas
to be near Bedy Jane's brother Moses Kierce who lived in Alvord, Texas in Wise County and sent them money for the trip.
After William Frank Harper (went by the name Frank) was discharged from the Army
he married Jewell Alexander of Oklahoma around 1903.
They were found living in Beaver County, Oklahoma in the 1910 census.
1910 Census Bever County, Oklahoma (Elmwood Twp.)
William F. Harper age 38 AL married 6 years
Jewel Harper age 28 TX married 6 years
Earnest Alexander age 17 brother in law OK
Family history tells us Frank Harper died in 1915 of Kidney Failure
and is buried somewhere near Kingsville, Texas where he owned a cotton farm.
His wife Jewell remarried several times after his death, once to his cousin Zebadee Kierce.
She died in 1976 in Elk City, Oklahoma and is buried in Sayer, Oklahoma.
A Harper descendent, 90 year old Oliver Cleo Harper,
youngest son of Frank's brother Aaron Curtis Harper, remembers stories of him
and that his wife Jewell and his mother Bedy Jane shared his pension pay after his death.
William F. Harper died in Kingsville, Texas in 1915.
Grave marker for William Frank Harper
Photo by Sandra K. from the Find A Grave website
The website is grateful to Vanessa Kierce Burzynski for the photo of Frank Harper and much of the above information.
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