Mr. I.T. Harper was born across the river from Smithville between
San Marcos and Center River in a small Black community of ten or
twelve houses called Jetty Creek on April 13, 1911. Both his
grandparents and parents were farmers in the area.
Mr. Harper worked on the MK &T in 1933 or 1934. He was part of the "extra gang" of workers on the railroad. His specific job was to keep the engine running all night until the regular crew came back in the morning. To do this he had to drive each evening from Smithville to Hempstead where he boarded the train for the night. He "pulled in at 4:00pm and stayed on until the next morning."