Guide to the Ruby Lanier Research Collection on the Harper-Rankin Family, 1846-1987, undated

Summary Information

Title: Ruby Lanier Research Collection on the Harper-Rankin Family, 1846-1987, undated
Collection: AC.277
Extent: 0.5 linear feet (1 box)

This collection includes photocopies from the Harper Papers of the Southern Historical Collection, one audiocassette of an 1987 interview with Margaret Harper, and correspondence/articles regarding the history and genealogy of the Harper-Rankin family.

Creator: Lanier, Ruby

Biographical/Historical Note

John C. Bernhardt Sr. is likely the person corresponding with Ruby Lanier on the family history of the Harper-Rankin Family. John Sr. (1906-2003) was the son of John Matthias and Ellen Harper Bernhardt. His father built the famous Green Park Inn of Blowing Rock, North Carolina, and founded the oldest furniture company in the state in 1889 in Lenoir. His grandfather, Major G.W.F. Harper, fought in the Civil War and founded the Bank of Lenoir and the Pioneer Library. John Sr. owned the first automobile in Lenoir, driving it over Staircase Mountain in reverse since Model T fuel ran by gravity from the back seat. He also purchased a white Corvette at 65, 75, 85, and 90 to "avoid being old."

Ruby Jeanne Lanier, Ed.D. is Professor Emerita of History from Appalachian State University.

Scope and Contents

This collection includes correspondence between Ruby Lanier and John C. Bernhardt, Sr. regarding the Harpers and Rankins of Lenoir, North Carolina; copies of excerpts of G.W.F. Harper's diaries along with the key to abbreviations and initials used in them; copy of the Last Will and Testament of Jesse Rankins in 1873 and 1875; copies of gifts/donations to the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; a photocopy of W.H.T. Squires' book, "Who Am I?"; and audiovisual copies (original cassette, user CD and archival CD) of an interview with Margaret Harper of Lenoir, North Carolina about the family history made in 1984.


This materials was filed according to subject/family name. The audiovisual items are filed at the end of the collection.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for use in the Dougherty Reading Room. An appointment for research is recommended. The Dougherty Reading Room is located on the 4th floor of Belk Library in Special Collections.

Acquisitions Information

Ruby Lanier donated this collection to the Special Collections in December, 2005. The accession number is AC.2005.057. The collection was opened to the pubic in March 2006.

Processing Information

Processed by Kathryn Staley, February, 2006; Encoded by Kathryn Staley, February, 2006; Reprocessed by Anita Elliott, January 2014. This collection was reprocessed as part of a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The grant funded extensive processing of the backlog within the W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection between 2012 and 2014.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], AC.277: Ruby Lanier Research Collection on the Harper-Rankin Family, W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, USA.

Container List

  Box Folder

Correspondence re: Genealogy of Bernhardt-Lentz-Warlick Family, 1931-1980, undated 

1 1

Family History of John Christian Bernhardt, regarding Davidson College Alumni, John Matthias Bernhardt, April 1985 

1 2

Key, Abbreviations and Initials used in Major G.W.F. Harper's Diaries, 1846-1921 

1 3

Lanier, Ruby, " 'Heartsease': First Home for Rankins and Harpers -- Restoration and Preservation Project", Drafts and Final Version, undated 

1 4

Last Will and Testament (copy) of Jesse Rankins dated 1873 and 1875, and Correspondence, Ruby Lanier and John C. Bernhardt, 1986-1987 

1 5

Original Doantion to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, by George W. Bernhardt, Lenoir, North Carolina, 1946-1985 

1 6

Photograph and Card, Deteriorating House, Card of Spencer Ainsley, Lenoir, North Carolina, undated 

1 7

Southern Historical Collection at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hil, G.W.F. Harper Papers Donation, by John C. Bernhardt, April 1985 

1 8

Squires, W.H.T., "Who Am I?", Copy of Book, 1926 

1 9

Various Articles and Excerpts used in Lanier's Research, 1862-1987, undated 

1 10
  Box Item

Audiovisual Components, Archival CD, Original Cassette and User CD Copies of Interview with Margaret Harper, Lenoir, North Carolina, July 1984 

1 11-13