The Harper twins, as teens, in a 1952 photo.
Antioch Colony is a rural African-American community founded in eastern Hays County in 1871. The Harper family was one of those first settlers in the 1870s. Their descendants, Winnie Harper Moyer and her twin sister Minnie Harper, are the subjects of the latest “Voices of Hays County” series, the oral history project sponsored by the Hays County Historical Commission (HCHC).
A free video screening of the Harper’s documentary will be presented at 6 p.m at the Driftwood Community Center on June 4. The Driftwood Community Center is located at the intersection of FM 150 and CR 170 (Elder Hill Road), behind the Methodist church.
Winnie and Minnie grew up in the Antioch Colony. They worked, in their childhood days, on their father’s farm. George Harper farmed cotton, cane and vegetables. All of his sons and daughters helped out with the chores. The women share their memories of those days and reflect on growing up in Hays County during the oral history.
Antioch Colony was a thriving farming community throughout the 1930s and 1940s, but in the late 1950s, residents were leaving in search of better jobs. The area was in danger of becoming a ghost town. Winnie Harper Moyer moved back to the area in the 1970s and served to spearhead a revival of Antioch Colony. Currently, 20 families live in the colony, all descendants of the early settlers of the area.
The HCHC video documentary is the eighth in the “Voices of Hays County” series. The interview with the Harper sisters was conducted by Jim Cullen, with Bonnie Eissler as the sound technician and Richard Kidd filming and editing.