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Rev. WILLIAM HARP ©2008
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Submitted by Ron Sullivan
I, William Harp, son of Martin M. and Sarah A. Harp was born August the 29th, 1848, in Sugarloaf Valley, Sebastian Co., Arkansas 25 miles south of Ft. Smith (near Hartford).
In the spring of 1886, I move to Birds Mills (now Crystal Springs), six miles south of Stonewall (Pontotoc CO., OK) in Chickasaw Nation Indian Territory. No schoolhouse, no church nearer than Stonewall. J.C. Skeen and I built a brush arbor and organized a Sunday school. I was elected as superintendent. Brother Skeen, Sec-Treasurer. We used The American Union Literature which was donated to us. We had an interesting little school in which I enjoyed myself in the services of the Lord.
In the fall of 1890, we moved to White Bead Hill, west of Paulís Valley, (Garvin CO, OK.) six miles. There we found a church and Sunday School. Brother J. R. Florence was the pastor. Wife and I taken active part in the work. Also we had Wednesday night prayer meeting with small attendance. Brother Florence, wife and I had made a covenant to always be there if possible and we were.
In the fall of 1890, Ramsey Hill and I made a trip to the Indian Territory. While at the White Bead Hill I leased a gin and mill from Sam Garvin. When we went back home Charley (my son) and I cut several thousand feet of saw logs in order to pay our debts and get money to move on. I traded my blacksmith tools to a man by the name of Henner to pay part on our moving expenses.
I moved to White Bead Hill and taken charge of the gin and mill. During the summer of 1891, I moved to Purdy and put up a gin and mill for S. J. Garvin. I bought 6 mules from J. S. Walker and 2 wagons I made fine crop in 1892 and 1893. In 1893 I sold over 3,000 bushels of corn, 40 bales of cotton @6 1/4c, corn 18 c. per bu. Hauled some to Duncan, 40 miles for 38 c shucked. I rented a lot of land from H. A. Bell.
In the spring of 1891, we move to Purdy, (Garvin CO. Oklahoma) 28 miles west of Paulís Valley. There we organized a union Sunday School. The school increased in numbers so fast we had no room in the old log schoolhouse. We went to work and built a good frame house 40x60 feet with windows. Miss Opha Burns was sec.-treasurer and I superintendent. We sure had a happy and good Sunday School which continued to increase in membership.
In 1896, I felt the call to preach. The only church near me then was the Methodist Prodestant. I still helt my certificates from the Methodist and church schools so I gained the Methodist Protestant church and made application for license to preach which was given me. I went to work in the Ministerial work at once and preached my first sermon under an arbor 8 miles south of Purdy.
I got a job as head sawer at J. W. Hills saw mill 5 miles west of us. Would walk there and back home and was always on time. I got $2.50 per day. This made us enough to live on. I moved my tools to the mill and put them up in a little shack. I would work when we was not sawing. But not on company time. I demanded cash or something we could eat for my extra work. January 1891, I moved the family near the mill. That year we got all the wild fruit we wanted. We lived just at the foot of the mountains on the north side. Plenty of blackberries, Huckleberries, plums and crab apples and plenty of game.
I run the gin and mill for S. J. Garvin for two years. Then, H. A. Bell (owner of the drugstore in Garvin, OK.) and I bought the gin and mill. We put in a sawmill and shingling machine, but it was a loosing proposition. I had to sell out and sell all my property to pay my debts as I had bought a lot of cotton and hogs and the price of cotton fell to 6 ľ c and hogs to 3 Ĺ c. We sold out to R. H. Mitchell and John Pyburn (mayor of Garvin) in 1896.
OBITUARY OF REV. WILLIAM HARP
The Rev. William Harp, 85 years old, veteran Methodist preacher of Oklahoma, died Monday at 4:10 a.m. at the home of his son, Ben Harp of Celina, Where he had been ill for the past two weeks. Funeral services will be held at the First Methodist Church of Celina Tuesday, at 10 a.m., conducted by the Rev. W. C. Clement and interment will be in the Old Celina Cemetery. Dannel Scott Funeral Home of Sherman is in charge of arrangements.
The Rev. Mr. Harp was born in Sebastian County, Ark. Aug. 29, 1828, the son of Martin Marion Harp and Sarah Ann Bloodworth Harp, with his parents he moved in 1864 to a farm near Springfield Mo. Later he moved to Oklahoma, then known as Indian Territory.
On Dec 11, 1867, he married Miss Nancy Allison, who died in 1884. He then married Miss Betty Dillorth of Arkansas on Dec. 21, 1884.
The Rev. Harp began his preaching career in the protestant Methodist Church near Paulís Valley, Okla. in 1896 at the death of his second wife at Oilton, Ok. On Jan 29, 1931, the preacher came to Sherman TX to reside with his son, Harry Harp, but had been at home with another son, Ben Harp, at Celina TX, since October, 1932.
Surviving are three sons, Charles harp of Norman, ok. Harry Harp of Sherman and Ben Harp of Celina TX, two daughter Mrs. R. H. Mitchell of Childress and Mrs. J. A. Meeks of Tuttle, Ok., and a sister, Mrs. Mary Armour of Oilton, Oklahoma.
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