Harper is a census-designated place (CDP), located 23 miles (37 km) west of Fredericksburg on U.S. Highway 290, in Gillespie County, in the U.S. stateof Texas. The population was 1,192 at the 2010 census.
On December 15, 1847, a petition was submitted to create Gillespie County. In 1848, the legislature formed Gillespie County from Bexar and Traviscounties.
While the signers were overwhelmingly German immigrants, names also on the petition were Castillo, Pena, Munos, and a handful of non-German Anglo names.
The first white settlers were the families of Eli McDonald and Matthew Taylor in 1863. A historical marker just south of U.S. Highway 290 commemorates the McDonald massacre of August 1864. This incident involved the killing of two family members and the kidnapping of five more by Kiowa Indians.
A post office was established in 1883 by George Franklin Harper, for whom the town was named. By 1985, the town served a large ranching area and had six churches, fire department and ambulance services, a public school, and growing residential subdivisions. The population of the area exceeded 1,000 by 2000.