William Howes

William Howes

Among the pioneers of Allamakee county is William Howes, who is prominent in the agricultural history of this section and now has valuable farming interests in French Creek township. He has not only been an interested witness of the changes that have taken place here as primitive conditions have given way to the onward march of civilization but has been an active and cooperant factor in bringing about that transformation and laying the foundation for the civilization that is enjoyed by the present generation. Born in New York state in 1842, he is a son of Thomas and Phoebe (Harrington) Howes, natives of England, who crossed the Atlantic to the United States in the early ‘30s. The father was a mechanic by trade and worked along that line while moving westward. During his career he lived in Syracuse and Buffalo, New York, coming subsequently to Chicago and Amboy, Illinois, and in 1859 to Allamakee county, Iowa, where he located on four hundred acres of land which he had entered from the government in 1835. He later bought an additional four hundred acres. On this farm he built the first frame building to be erected in French Creek township, but the management of his farm was soon turned over to his son William, while the father remained actively engaged at his trade. He was highly respected in his locality and passed away at the age of seventy, his wife being eighty years of age at the time of her death. In their family were four sons and two daughters: William, of this review; John, who makes his home with a son-in-law in Union City township, Allamakee county; E. H., of North Dakota; Ruth, who makes her home with her brother, E. H.; and two who died in infancy.

William Howes received his education by attending the public schools in the different places where his parents resided and was seventeen years of age when the family came to Allamakee county, assuming at that time the management of the father’s farm. He later came into possession of four hundred and sixteen acres of the land and here he has since made his home, engaged in general farming. He has placed substantial buildings upon the land and his residence is comfortable and commodious. The latest machinery can be found upon the place in order to facilitate the labor and improve the yield of his acres. He has become recognized as one of the foremost agriculturists of his section and his success is the more creditable as it has been largely brought about by his own labors and entirely unaided.

In Waukon, Iowa, Mr. Howes was united in marriage to Miss Catherine Mockley, a native of Elgin, Illinois, who passed away about five years ago. She bore her husband twelve children: William and John, of Makee township; Josie of Union City township; James and Edward, of Waukon; Margaret, Helen, Albert and Cecilia, at home; Mary, of Winnipeg, Manitoba; and Catherine and Thomas, deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Howes are members of the Catholic church and politically he has long voted the democratic ticket, although he supported the Taft administration at the last election. He has been prominent in public life having served as township trustee, road supervisor and school director. He enjoys the full confidence and esteem of all who know him and, while he has attained prosperity for himself, has been a serviceable factor in promoting agricultural interests and making Allamakee county what it is today-one of the success is but ambition’s answer and that honesty, industry and energy lead to the goal. He has ever been public-spirited and has given evidence of that characteristic while holding official positions, in which capacities he has ever labored for progress and advance. Every worthy enterprise finds in him a champion and the interest of French Creek township and Allamakee county have profited by his labors.

-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Diana Diedrich

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