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Fayette County, Iowa  

 History Directory

Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910

Author: G. Blessin


B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana


Vol. I, Biographical Sketches



~Page 1437~




From a sterling old family of the Keystone state, and he himself a man of many estimable qualities, as his long and useful life in Fayette county will attest, comes William Ezra Howard, one of the comfortably situated farmers of Pleasant Valley township. His birth occurred on October 13, 1849, in Mercer county, Pennsylvania, and he is the son of John and Mary (Alcorn) Howard, both natives of Pennsylvania, in which state they grew to maturity and where they were married in 1840, and farmed there until 1853, when John came to Pleasant Valley township, Fayette county, Iowa, being among the pioneers of this locality. He selected a site for their future home in section 33, built a log cabin and stable and made preparations for his family, whom he had left behind. In 1854 he returned to the East for his family and they soon were engaged in developing their new home in the West. His first land cost him one dollar and twenty-five cents per acres; adding to his first tract, he became the owner of a very valuable place of two hundred and twenty-three acres. He was a hard working man and cleared a great deal, and he became well known among the first settlers here, and was highly respected by all who knew him; he devoted his entire life to farming and was rewarded with success. His death occurred on November 17, 1900, and that his good wife on October 2, 1908; they were a find old couple and reached advanced ages. John Howard was one of the most noted hunters in the state of Iowa in his earlier years. He also frequently went on hunting expeditions in Minnesota. He was a stanch Republican, and his wife was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.


To Mr. And Mrs. Howard the following children were born: Sarah Jane married C.A. Lyon and lives in Knox county, Nebraska; Harvey is deceased; William E., of this review, Lucinda is deceased; Thomas lives in Elgin, Iowa; Elizabeth married M. Stansbury and lives in Sioux City, Iowa; Enos and Inez are twins; the latter died in 1864; Enos married Mahala Connor is farming on part of the old place in Pleasant Valley township and they have the following children: John and Clark, both deceased; Thomas, who married Anna Wilson and lives with his father on the old place, has one son, Archie E.; Inez, the fourth child of Enos Howard and wife, married John Shaffer, of Illyria township; Reuben, the fifth child, is living at home.


William E. Howard, of this review, received only a limited education in the home schools, and he remained on the parental acres until he was twenty-two years of age. In February, 1872, he went to Knox county, Nebraska, and purchased one hundred and sixty acres more. He improved it and lived on the same until 1888, when he sold out and bought a part of his father’s old homestead in Pleasant Valley township, this county. He is now the owner of a very productive, attractive and well managed farm of one hundred and thirty-three acres, he having made all the improvements on same.


While living in Knox county, Nebraska, Mr. Howard was married on April 15, 1877, to Emily M. Burgess, of Winneshiek county, Iowa. She is the daughter of William and Jane (Poole) Burgess, her father being a native of Ireland and her mother of Virginia. They came in an early day to Iowa, later lived for some time in Minnesota, thence moved to Knox county, Nebraska, and from there to Wyoming, where they died.


Seven children have been born to Mr. And Mrs. William Howard, named as follows: Mary J. married Frank Boyle, of Pleasant Valley township, and they have two children, William E. and George H.; Lucinda married George Stansberry, of Illyria township, and they have six children, Grace P., Iva, George, Evelyn, Ezra, Emily E.; John married Elsie Smith and they live in Illyria township and are the parents of two children, John and Ezra C.; William T., of Pleasant Valley township, married Jenette Peterson and they have one son, Charlie; Harvey, a farmer in Illyria township, married Eunice Miller, and they have one child, Leota Malvina; George Enos married Anna May Learn and lives with his father; Frank is also living at home.


Since 1888 William E. Howard has lived on his present place in Pleasant Valley township, carrying on a general farming business in a very successful manner. He is will known as a breeder of Shorthorn cattle, draft horses and Poland-China hogs, all of which find a ready market, owing to their superior quality. Farming has been his life work and he has been amply rewarded.


Politically, he is a Republican, and has held several local offices, including that of school director.



~transcribed for the Fayette Co IAGenWeb Project by Claudia Hamilton Meyer


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