Biography of Charles I. Harpst
Humboldt County, CA Biographies





CHARLES I. HARPST. - One of the well known lumbermen of Humboldt county, and one who has been very actively associated with the development of the lumber industry in this section of the state, is Charles I. Harpst, who at present is engaged in farming, and owns a handsome place. adjoining Arcata on the west, where he makes his home. He has been associated with the lumbering business since coming to California in 1882, until within the past few years, when he retired from active participation in commercial lines, and took up farming. He has been interested in various well known lumber companies in the county. In his business undertakings he has always been very successful, and throughout the county he is known as a man of reliability and integrity of character.

Mr. Harpst is a native of Ohio, having been born in Hancock county, twelve miles from the town of Findlay, on his father's farm, May 29, 1861. His father was Edward Harpst, a native of Pennsylvania, born in York county, March 28, 1822, and died October 19, 1908. He lived with his parents in York county until he was eight years of age, when they removed to Franklin county, Ohio. Here he attended school for a short time, but spent the greater part of his time working on the farm. For a few years he followed the carpenter's trade, and later as a farmer he was very successful. In 1894 he made a trip to California to visit his son and other relatives here, remaining for a year. Hem returned to Ohio and resided there until the time of his death. The mother of the present worthy citizen of Arcata was Sarah N. (Brown) Harpst, a native of Pennsylvania, born April 5, 1822. She was the eldest child in the family, and was married in Franklin county, Ohio, early in 1850. She became the mother of six children, four of whom are living at the present time, two residing in California and two in Ohio. The mother is 'still living.

The early life of Charles I. Harpist was spent on his father's farm in Hancock county, Ohio. He attended school in his district until he was nineteen, assisting in the meantime with the farm work, and remaining at home until he came to California in October, 1882. He came direct to Humboldt county, where he had relatives living, and soon after his arrival he went to work for a relative in the Harpst & Spring shingle mill. Within a short time he was advanced to the position of foreman of the mill, which position he held until 1886. At that time he took charge of a dairy ranch for this same company, occupying this position for some four years. In 1900 he gave up the care of the dairy farm to engage in business with the new company known as the Union Shingle Manufacturing Company. Mr. Harpst was manager of this company continuously until it closed down in 1911, having worked up all the available timber. During this time he was also interested in the Bayside Lumber Company, being one of the original board of directors, and continuing in this capacity as long as he retained his interests in the company. He sold his interests in the Bayside Lumber Company four years ago. Another of the industries in which he has been interested and to which he has given material support is the Devlin Tannery Company of Arcata, of which he is a stockholder and a director.

In all his business undertakings Mr. Harpst has been unusually successful, and he has displayed quite marked ability as a business manager. Since he retired from active business pursuits, Mr. Harpst has taken up general farming. In November, 1909, he removed with his family to the home place of thirty eight acres, all improved land, adjoining Arcata, and here he has resided since. He is especially well informed on all the details of farming, this having been the training of his boyhood, and his earliest business ventures having been in this field, so has met with his customary success in this last undertaking.

The marriage of Mr. Harpst took place in Arcata, July 16, 1895, uniting him with Miss Nora Seaver, a native of Shelter Cove, Humboldt county, Cal. She is the daughter of Daniel A. and Anna (Briggs) Seaver, pioneers of California. Her father came to the coast by way of the Isthmus of Panama in the early mining excitement, and located in Humboldt county, where he resided for many years. Mrs. Harpst is the mother of one child, a son, Charles W. Harpst.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Harpst are well known socially in Arcata, where they have a wide circle of friends. Mr. Harpist is prominent in fraternal circles, having been made a Mason in Arcata Lodge No. 106, F. & A. M., of which he is a past master; he is also a member of Humboldt Chapter No. 52, R. A. M., and of Eureka Commandery No. 35, K. T.; also of Oakland Consistory and Islam Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. He is also a member of Anniversary Lodge No. 85, I. O. O. F., Arcata, of which he is past grand. Politically he is a Progressive Republican, but locally he is an independent voter, preferring to support the men whom he deems best fitted for the various offices.

From:
History of Humboldt County, California
With a Biographical Sketches
History by Leigh H. Irving
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1915


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