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The Blue Book of Iowa Women A History of Contemporary Women

Compiled by Winona Evans Reeves, 1914.


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Kate Stevens Harpel born Oct. 22, 1867 near Springfield, Ill., is the daughter of Asher M. Stevens and Johanna Chelsey who came to Cerro Gordo county, Ia., in 1868 and settled on a farm which is still in possession of the family.  Her paternal grandmother, Julia Kellog, was a granddaughter of Eliphalet Kellog, an officer in the Revolutionary War.  Mrs. Stevens died in 1878 leaving a family of seven children, the daughter Kate, with an elder sister, did the house work and attended district school.

At the age of 15 she went to Mason City, where in two years she completed a four years course, working for her board and expenses, graduated at the head of her class.  She taught in the Mason City schools until 1887 when she entered Iowa State College, having saved sufficient money to cover a year's expenses.  The other three years she taught during the winter and acted as assistant librarian at the college.  She received the degree of Bachelor of Letters, 1890, ranking second in a class of forty-four.  For one year she was principal of the Webster City High School.  In July, 1892, she was married to Llewellyn V. Harpel, a successful lawyer of Perry, where they lived until 1903, when they moved to Boone, their present home.  For three years she was a member of the school board in Perry.  She studied medicine in Drake University, receiving her degree in 1903, since which time she has been a successful practitioner.  Her only son, Gates Harpel was born in 1893.  She is in religious belief a Universalist and is an efficient club woman.  Through her life no difficulty has ever daunted her; through courage and native ability she has come to success in all she has undertaken.



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