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Dr. D. W. Howard


Posted By: C. Diamond IAGenWeb volunteer
Date: 1/3/2011 at 10:56:28

Biographical Souvenir of the counties of Delaware and Buchanan.
Chicago: F. A. Battey & Company. 1890.
pp. 543-6.

D. W. HOWARD, M. D. It is a remarkable fact that not many men of a reflective disposition possess to any great extent the ability to govern. Capacity for hard study and critical observation is not often found coupled with superior executive force. There are some individuals, however, in whom these gifts are combined, and such individuals are the most valuable members of society. They hold, as it were, in their own hands the sources of all human endeavor and usefulness--thought and action. They not only think, conceive, devise and plan for others, but when occasion demands they step to the front with a self-consciousness of the divine right to command and put into practical force and execution the thoughts and purposes of their reflective honors; and, as long as the exigencies of the situation continue to demand it, they carry forward hand in hand the double labors of conception and execution, and this, though sometimes rare, in fields where the labors are of a widely diversified nature.

The subject of this sketch is a man who, while trained for the quiet, observant, thoughtful life of one of the learned professions, possesses also in a high degree the genius to command, the ability to execute, the knowledge, the will, the force, to do. He is at once a capable and honored member of an honorable profession and an active, practical man of affairs. The people of Independence and Buchanan county, where he has resided only about seven years, point to him as one of their strongest men, as he certainly is one of their most popular citizens.

D. W. Howard is a native of Morrow county, Ohio, as are also his parents, Joseph and Emeline (Baker) Howard. He is a descendant of two of the early settled families of the Buckeye State, his paternal grandfather, Enoch Howard, and wife moving to Ohio from Masschusetts, their native state, and settling in Morrow county at a very early date, while the maternal grandparents of our subject probably settled there at equally as early a date, although the exact dates have in neither case been preserved. The father, Joseph Howard, was born in 1814, the mother, Emeline Baker, in 1818. These are still living, being residents now of Denver, Colo. They were among the early settlers of Cedar county, Iowa, cornng to this state in 1852. Reared on the farm they spent all their maturer years engaged in farming pursuits and trained their children also to the habits of industry, and usefulness common to farm life, most of them still following agriculture as a means of livelihood. The parents are now living in retirement, having reached that age where their interest in life is fast narrowing to those things only which affect the success and happiness of their children. Of these they have had born to them eight, three of whom died young and five of whom are now living, all grown and most of them are married. These are James D. and Mason W., of Denver, Col.; Minnie, wife of George D. Wilkerson, of Brooklyn, Iowa; Charlotte, a twin of our subject, still unmarried, and Louie, wife of Wesley Myers, of Neola, Nebr.

D. W. Howard, the subject of this notice, was born June 19, 1850. He was but two years old when his parents moved to Iowa and settled in Cedar county. He was reared in that county about five miles from the town of Tipton, growing up on the old home place where his father first settled on moving to the county. His youth was passed amid the scenes and activities common to the time and locality. Of a naturally strong vital temperament, his boyhood was characterized by those invigorating sports more or less of which every boy indulges in, and these, with the more earnest labors which fell to his lot as a farm hand, served to develop for him a vigorous constitution and to supply him with an unfailing source of animal spirits. His early education was not neglected. He attended the district schools of the locality where he grew up and secured a fair amount of training for his years and condition in life. He finished his literary studies in the Iowa State University at Iowa City, and having selected medicine as his profession he there also took part in a lecture course, but quit that institution before he had taken his degrees. He continued his medical studies, however, in the Fifth Street Medical College of Louisville, Ky., where he took one full course of lectures. He then practiced for a while as a first course student in connection with his brother-in-law, Dr. James Andrews, at Genoa, Ottawa county,Ohio, after which he finished his education , graduating from the Hahnemann Medical College of Chicago, having adopted the homeopathic system for practice. He located at once at Davis Junction, Ogle county, Ill., where he soon entered upon a good practice and where he continued to reside till 1883. At that date he moved to Iowa, settling in Independence, Buchanan county, and has lived there since. Dr. Howard is now, and has been since he located in Independence, one of that city’s leading practitioners in medicine, having achieved marked success in his profession and won a just and enviable reputation. It was Dr. Howard’s wish and purpose on entering his profession to give his entire time and attention to it, but in this purpose he has not been entirely successful. Only three years after moving to Independence he was elected mayor of that city, and he has been re-elected every two years since, being the present incumbent of that office.

During his term of service as mayor, many marked changes have been effected in the management of the municipal affairs of the city, and many lasting public improvements have been introduced. The most notable of these improvements are the city water works and the electric light system, both of which were secured mainly through Dr. Howard’s persistent efforts and not without considerable opposition from citizens who, either because they were constitutionally opposed to the introduction of such conveniences or because they were adversely interested in enterprises of a similar nature, fought these vigorously from the beginning. But in addition to securing these needed and beneficent public enterprises, Dr. Howard has given to his fellow-citizens a strong, clean and healthy administration of their public affairs, having infused much life into the general service of the city and raised the grade of efficiency in every department. This labor has been performed by him with much greater ease than it might have been performed by others, simply because of the readiness with which he turns his hand to such things. He has a talent for this kind of work. He takes pride in it. He believes in doing such things well. Eminently a public spirited man himself, he is persistent, not to say aggressive, in his efforts to bring others up to his standard of thinking and acting. And yet he does this in the most effectual manner possible, not to excite needless opposition from others. He is personally one of the most popular men in Buchanan county. He is recognized as one whose friendship and favor are worth having, and these indeed are frequently sought. It is impossible that one of Dr. Howard’s temperament should not have taken an active part in politics. His tastes lead him that way. It has been a constant effort with him to avoid political entanglements and responsibilities which would interfere with the successful prosecution of his professional labors. He has been frequently importuned to run for other offices than that which he now occupies, but with a just pride in his profession and a full sense of its superior claims on him, he has at all times so far successfully resisted these overtures, taking upon his shoulders only so much duty of a public nature as he has felt that he can worthily discharge without robbing his honorable calling of the time and energy which legitimately belong to it.

Dr. Howard has a family consisting of a wife and two children. He married in 1875, in Iowa City, Iowa, taking to wife a young lady of that city, Miss Ella C. Greulich, daughter of John Greulich, then of that place. The issue of this union has been a son and daughter--Charles
Homer and Nellie.

In personal appearance, Dr. Howard is above the average height and weighs two hundred and sixty-five pounds. In manner he is hearty, exceedingly approachable, genial and affable to all, and has the rare and enviable gift of remembering names and faces, and greeting those whom he knows, or has ever met, with a familiarity that is both pleasant and assuring.


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