Robert Harper Clarkson

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The Rt. Rev. Robert Harper Clarkson

Robert Harper Clarkson (November 19, 1826 – March 10, 1884) was an Episcopal bishop. He was born in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He was ordained deacon on June 18, 1848, and priest on January 5, 1851.

He married Meliora McPherson on May 18, 1849. They had two daughters, Mary and Nellie.[1]

He arrived in Chicago with his new wife at the time of the 1849 Chicago cholera outbreak that killed 678 people. Although some other clergymen fled the city, he stayed and ministered to the sick and buried the dead, until he came down with cholera himself.[2]

He was consecrated Missionary Bishop of Nebraska and Dakota on November 15, 1865.[1]

Clarkson received a B.A. from Pennsylvania College in 1844 and a D.D. from Racine College in 1857 while rector of St. James's Episcopal Church, Chicago, Illinois. He received an LL.D. from the University of Nebraska in 1872.

He helped establish the first Christian missions to the Ponca Indians.[3]

During his time as bishop, he was responsible for building fifty churches in his diocese, and a children's hospital and Trinity Cathedral in Omaha.[2] This Late Gothic Revival cathedral was consecrated on November 15, 1883, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.


  1. ^ a b Morton, Julius Sterling (1906). Illustrated History of Nebraska: A History of Nebraska from the Earliest Explorations of the Trans-Mississippi Region, with Steel Engravings, Photogravures, Copper Plates, Maps, and Tables. Lincoln, Nebraska: Jacob North and Company. pp. 509–513. 
  2. ^ a b Miller, George L. (March 11, 1884). "Bishop Clarkson". Omaha World-Herald. Omaha, Nebraska. Retrieved February 6, 2011. 
  3. ^ Welie, Joseph V. M.; Kissell, Judith Lee (2004). Jesuit Health Sciences and the Promotion of Justice: An Invitation to a Discussion. Marquette University Press. 

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