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Dresden Howard - laid out Winfield (Harpers Ferry)


Posted By: Shary Ferrall (email)
Date: 3/19/2006 at 18:53:43

Dresden Winfield Houston Howard, ex-Senator, Capitalist and Farmer, was born in Dresden, Yates county, New York, on the 3d of November, 1818, of American parents and of English ancestry. In 1821 his parents removed with him to Fort Meigs, Ohio, on the south bank of the Manmee river, where they landed on the 17th of June in that year. In 1823 his father, Edward Howard, removed to Grand Rapids, eighteen miles above Fort Meigs, where he died in 1841. Such education as he received was obtained during a rather brief attendance at the school of the Indian mission, ten miles above Fort Meigs. He worked with his father upon the farm during his youth, but as he grew up he became an Indian trader, and continued in that line of business until he was about thirty years of age. He assisted in the removal of the Pottawatomie and Ottawa Indians from the Manmee to the west of the Mississippi river, and continued to trade there until 1842, when, on the death of his father and brother, he returned to Ohio. After a few return-trips up the Missouri river, he settled down to farming, stock-raising and wool-growing. In 1852 he removed to Allamakee county, Iowa, where he bought of the government a tract of land, upon which he laid out the town of Winfield, now Harper's Ferry, on the west bank of the Mississippi. He returned to Ohio in 1853, where he has been engaged in agricultural pursuits ever since, adding to his business as farmer the work involved in various official positions and numerous enterprises as an energetic capitalist. During the war he was prominently and effectively active. He was appointed by Governor Dennison a member of the State Military Committee, in which position he was continued by Governors Tod and Brough, and throughout the struggle he was busy assisting in organizing regiments and forwarding general military preparations. Politically, he has been a steadfast and consistent Republican. He was the elector from the Tenth Congressional District of Ohio at President Lincoln's first election, and was a delegate at the Baltimore Convention, which nominated Mr. Lincoln for his second term in 1864. In 1870 he was elected a member of the State Board of Equalization. In the fall of 1871 he was elected to the Ohio State Senate, where he served with honor for two years. He is President of the Toledo & Grand Rapids Railroad Company, which road is to be bult from Toledo to Council Bluffs. He is also Treasurer of the Toledo & Southwestern Railroad Company. He is Director of the Commercial National Bank of Toledo, of which institution he is a charter member. He was married, in October, 1843, to Mary Blackwood Copeland, of Delaware county, New York. He has two children, a son and daughter; the son he named after the noted chief and warrior, Osceola, of the Seminoles of Florida, for whose ability he had great respect. He has always been the true friend of the Indian, at whose hands he received many favors and kindnesses during his early life, and in later years had much influence among the aboriginal tribes. President Lincoln, being informed of his disposition and influence with the Indians, and recognizing these qualifications, offered him the Superintendency of the tribes on the Upper Missouri river, but the appointment was declined, as he had never sought or held public position of any kind.

-source: The biographical encyclopœdia of Ohio of the nineteenth century: Cincinnati and Philadelphia,: Galaxy publishing company, 1876; pg 382

-transcribed for Allamakee co. IAGenWeb by S. Ferrall


Allamakee Biographies maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
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