Curtis Samuel Harper
   1915-1995 
   Curtis grew up on our families farm where he learned the art of curing and smoking meat. Curtis helped on the farm until World War II when he and his wife Thelma move to Illinois to work for Shell Oil making aviation fuel for the war effort. When the war ended Curtis moved back to his home town of Clinton, KY and bought a farm of his own where he raised crops, livestock and did custom meat cutting and curing. He had a friend that worked on the railroad who would take Curtis's hams up and down the tracks as he traveled. So "Harper's" hams gained quite a reputation in the area. After much encourgement from friends and family Curtis put a sign along Hwy. 51 that ran in front of his house. It simply said "Country Hams for sale." So in 1952 Harper's Country Hams was born. Since Curtis had gone through the Great Depression and WWII he always looked to reuse things and save money where he could. When he needed vats to put his hams and salt cure in he went down to the local funeral home and picked up some shipping crates that caskets had come in. Next he needed a smokehouse so he convert a two seater outhouse into a great little smokehouse. From those humble beginnings the business continued to grow and in 1968 Curtis's son Gary came back from the army and joined the business. At that time the company became a federally inspected meat plant. Things went along well until a fire in 1978 destored most of the plant. Curtis and Gary soon rebuilt and were back in the full swing in about a year. Over the years our hams have won many awards for they great taste and appearance. We won the Kentucky State Fair Grand Championship Ham in 1970,1985,1987,1995,1997, and 2002. These hams were auctioned off for charity with $90,630 being the highest price received for the ham in 1997. Curtis would be proud of how we carry on his tradition of hard work, quality products, and above all great taste.

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