Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Columns

July 2, 2014

Pat Smith: A new appreciation for the Harper home

Last week I had the opportunity to talk with Dr. Calvin Davis about the Harper home.

As usual, when talking with Davis, I got a new appreciation for a part of Decatur County history.

The James S. Harper home on State Road 3 at Sardinia catches the eye of most of us when we pass it. Descriptions of the home and the man who had it built abound in Decatur County books. The 1882 Atlas of Decatur County has an engraving of the home when it still had the tower on it and one of the inside and outside of the Harper store at Sardinia.

The 19-room brick home was built in 1875 for $18,000 and was, at the time, the largest house in Decatur County. The style of architecture is Italianate. The 1999 Decatur County Interim Report states “The James S. Harper house was rated outstanding in spite of the loss of its tower.” Outstanding indicates that the building has enough historic or architectural significance that it is already listed, or should be considered for individual listing, in the National Register of Historic Places. The Interim Report states that the decorative window hoods and the intricate cornice make it the most impressive structure in town.

Sardinia was laid out in 1865 by prominent local merchant James S. Harper and 15 others. The Interim Report tells the story that the name Sardinia came from a merchant Frank Gaston who gave away sardines as a business promotion. A more detailed story is in the book “From Needmore to Prosperity,” by Ronald L. Baker. In it Baker states that a post office called Sardinia was established May 11, 1850 but there was a community there at one time called Big Creek.

George Cann wrote in his History of Westport that that the store was one of the largest in the state and that he is said to have even sold Threshing machines there. Cann wrote that Harper also opened a branch store about 2 and a quarter miles from Sardinia. The neighborhood came to be known as Harper and the intersection is still known as Sardinia Crossing.

Text Only
Columns
  • Pat Smith: A reader's special note Before beginning this week’s column it must be stressed that I love getting emails from readers, love getting telephone calls from readers and love seeing readers when I’m out and about – especially those who very generously tell me that they read th

    July 24, 2014

  • Spaulding Outdoors: The Inside on Indiana's Outside Early Migratory Bird 2014 Season Dates The 2014 early migratory bird season dates have been submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by the Indiana DNR as listed below. The dates are not final until the USFWS approves them, which typically hap

    July 24, 2014

  • Why incumbents get reelected Incumbents are masters at posing as outsiders, when in fact they are insiders who produce the Congress they disdain. It’s no news that Congress is unpopular. In fact, at times it seems like the only real novelty on Capitol Hill would be a jump in its

    July 24, 2014

  • Lessons from the largely forgotten war As we approach the official date on which the First World War started, July 28, 1914, when the first shots were fired by the Austro-Hungarians who invaded Serbia, it’s appropriate to think about the lessons that catastrophic event has taught us one h

    July 24, 2014

  • Protecting Indiana's agricultural heritage With the 4-H fairs in full swing, I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about agriculture. Since Indiana became a state back in 1816, agriculture has played a vital role in our livelihood. For those who are not from Indiana, our state is practica

    July 22, 2014

  • Improving Indiana's infrastructure It is always a happy time when my family visits, especially to celebrate a wedding. I recently played hostess for my niece and her wedding party when she was looking for somewhere to hold her rehearsal dinner. I absolutely enjoy when family comes to

    July 22, 2014

  • Shining a light on the Federal Reserve If you are like most Americans, you probably have heard of the Federal Reserve. But, you may not know much about what the Fed actually does or the very real ways its decisions impact your day-to-day life. The Federal Reserve was founded by Congress i

    July 22, 2014

  • Expiring term heightens the urgency of lawmaker's mission INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrant

    July 22, 2014

  • fea-gb072214 Spaulding column jpg Spaulding Outdoors: The inside on Indiana's outside Free beginner waterfowl hunting workshopsTwo free waterfowl hunting workshops for beginners will be offered in August and September by the Department of Natural Resources. The focus of the workshops is on hunting Canada geese, although there will be

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thankful for our veterans' sacrifice On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed, giving birth to a new nation. To Great Britain and the rest of the world, the U.S. proclaimed itself the proud home of free people. Since that day, on more than one occasion, this freedom h

    July 17, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.