ALVARADO HOWARD

& THE HOWARD FAMILY

BIOGRAPHY

AS RECORDED IN:

COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF 
TOLLAND AND WINDHAM COUNTIES CONNECTICUT.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF PROMINENT AND REPRESENTATIVE  CITIZENS AND OF MANY OF THE EARLY SETTLED FAMILIES
PUBLISHER: J.H.BEERS & CO., CHICAGO; 1903     P.  1192

ALVARADO HOWARD.  Perhaps no family in the State of Connecticut owns a clearer or more direct ancestry than does that of Howard, and certainly no family has been more prominent in the various walks of life, its present representative, Alvarado Howard, an honorable citizen of Stafford, Tolland county, being one of the leading members of both public and social circles in his county.

The Howard family traces its line of descent from Thomas Howard, of the ducal house of Norfolk, England, Earl of Arundel and Surrey.  At his death in 1646 his personal estate was divided between his eldest son, Sir Henry, and his second son, who was Sir William, Viscount of Stafford, the younger son receiving but a small amount of property.  This was Thomas Howard (2), and in 1660 he with other sons of ducal houses, started for the new World, in search perhaps of adventure and the fortunes supposed to be awaiting all across the Atlantic.  They reached Saybrook from Norwich, England, and soon after their arrival joined a party consisting of Rev. Jonas Fitch, Thomas Bingham, Robert Allyn, John Mason and others and accompanied them from Saybrook to a tract of land which was located twenty-five miles to the northeast.  In the previous year this same party had visited the desired tract, purchased and surveyed it, taking in a body nine miles square, and then they had returned to Saybrook, leaving several members on the new territory to remain until their arrangements could be perfected for their final settlement there.  These settlers warmly welcomed the immigrants and they located permanently upon the nine mile tract, now the city of Norwich, Connecticut.

In January, 1666,  (I)   Thomas Howard (2), the great-great-great-great grandfather of Alvarado Howard, was unite in wedlock to Mary Hollman, and their children were:  Mary, Sarah, Martha, Thomas and Benjamin.

(II)          Benjamin Howard, son of Thomas (2), was born in June, 1675, and to his marriage two sons were born, Thomas (3) and Benjamin.

(III)       Thomas Howard (3), was born in July, 1702, and married in Mansfield, Conn., his wife's name being Sarah.  The children born to them were:  Benjamin, Thomas, Joseph, Eunice, Martha, Mary, Eleazer, Nathan and William.

(IV)       Thomas Howard (4), was born in January, 1729, in Saybrook, Conn., and died in May, 1810, in Windsor, which now is Ellington.  From Saybrook, Mr. Howard moved to Mansfield, Conn., and there became a large landowner, at one time having a single tract which contained 700 acres.  Later he invested largely in land in Sturbridge, Mass., having made the discovery that lead mines could be profitably worked there, and finally absorbed almost all of the land in that locality.  Later he sold his interests and realized 7,200 pound from this valuable mineral land.  He then retired to Windsor, now Ellington, to pass the remainder of his life, free from business care.  April 11, 1757, he was married to Mary Pember, and their children were:  Irene, Phebe, Lydia, Joseph, Joseph (2), Lucy, Andrew, Pember, Thomas, Eleazer and Eleazer (2).

(V)         Pember Howard, son of Thomas (4), was born Sept. 8, 1767, in Windsor, Conn., and died Feb. 3, 1841, in Westfield, Mass.  Mr. Howard inherited a part of his father's business capacity and became an extensive farmer and large cattle dealer, buying his herds in the West and bringing them for sale to the East.  He was married Jan. 8, 1795, to Betsey Orcutt, and then settled in West Springfield, Mass., where he engaged in agricultural pursuits and became a prominent citizen.  Their children were:  Betsey, born Dec. 11, 1795, deceased Dec. 28, 1878;  Pember, Jr., born Jan. 10, 1798, deceased Nov. 14, 1878;  Prosper, born Jan. 3, 1800;  Lucy, born March 24, 1802, deceased March 24, 1878;  Nathan, born July 4, 1804, deceased May 23, 1883;  Mary, born July 10, 1806, deceased Dec. 5, 1870;  Asa, born Oct. 4, 1808, deceased Jan. 4, 1875;  Eleazer, born Sept. 13, 1810, deceased Oct. 4, 1890;  Lydia, born March 5, 1814; and Amasa, born July 21, 1816, deceased Oct. 23, 1847.

(VI)       Nathan Howard, the father of Alvarado, was born July 4, 1804, in West Springfield, Mass., and early in life learned the trade of wheelwright and architect.  His natural ability as a mathematician particularly fitted him for this work, and he engaged in building and contracting for a number of years.  The last twenty-five years of his useful and busy life were spent as designer and general supervisor of construction for the Thorndike Company, the large cotton manufacturers of Palmer, Mass., who employed at that time over 1,000 hands in their mills.  His death occurred at Palmer, May 23, 1883, after a short illness, his life having been a remarkably healthy one.  For some years prior to his decease, he had lived retired from activity.  During this time, however, he kept his active mind employed in the settling up of estates and in appraising property.

Nathan Howard was always a man who was intelligently interested in public affairs, and was an active politician, although never a seeker for office.  In his earlier years he was a Whig, later joined the Know-Nothing party, and in 1854 identified himself with the Republican party.  He served in Palmer as selectman during the Civil war, and was on the school board for a number of years, declining almost all of the other local offices.  From West Springfield he went to Belchertown when he was but a small boy, in 1811, and remained employed on the home farm until 1821, at which time he removed to Bondville and took charge of the lumber interest of the Bond & Merrick Co., where he remained until the panic of 1837, when he removed to his farm in Palmer, which he had purchased a few years previously.  There he built a modern house and introduced into it a "Franklin stove," this being an innovation, and the first one in that locality.

In 1840, Mr. Howard exchanged his farm for one in the south part of the town, and in 1843, he removed to Monson, in order to take charge of the re-modeling of the O.W. Porter factory there; in 1845 he again changed his residence, to Thorndike, in the town of Palmer, where he was placed in charge of the building of the company's new mill and tenement houses, and there he remained, as above stated, for twenty-five years, in charge of important departments.  He was fond of recalling his old instructor, Capt. Braman, of Belchertown, a master workman who had a wide reputation in his day.

In his early years Mr. Howard became connected with the Congregational Church, but later attended the Methodist Church, that being the religious body to which his wife belonged.  Mr. Howard was man of great physical strength and manly development, and in his younger days was known as an athlete.

As to the respect and esteem in which he was held by his fellow-citizens, we can do no better than to quote from a timely and sympathetic article in the Springfield Republican, in its issue following his death:  "Mr. Howard was a rare specimen of sturdy, New England manhood.  Thirty-eight years of his life were identified with the growth and interests of Thorndike, and fully fifty years with the town at large.  His brains and hands shaped much of the village development.  Since 1845, every resident manager of the great interests of the Thorndike Manufacturing Company, has looked to him for advice in many matters, and found rare wisdom and judgement.  Town-wise, he was well known, as his name often appears on the town records in an official relation.  He never sought office, but when once a trust was placed in his hands, it was wisely handled and faithfully carried out.  A man of strong convictions and few words, what he did was done from the highest motives and with strongest purpose."

On April 5, 1827, Nathan Howard was united in matrimony to Miss Amanda Ruby, who was born Oct. 24, 1802, a daughter of Thomas and Betsy (Fuller) Ruby, of Union, Conn.  Her death took place in Thorndike, Mass., April 28, 1873.  The children born to Nathan Howard and his wife were nine in number:  (1) Sanford, who was born March 21, 1828, in Belchertown, died Dec. 1, 1859.  He was married Oct. 24, 1848, to Charlotte Tupper, of Monson, Mass., and he started in life as a machinist and weaver, and was later given charge of the cotton mills in Plymouth, Conn., as superintendent.  Still later he returned to Monson, Mass., studied medicine and became a successful physician in Thorndike, Mass.  James Erigene, his son, is an authority on testing the strength of metals and munitions of war, and has charge of the Government testing grounds at Watertown, Mass., being a practical mechanical and civil engineer, obtaining a part of his education and experience in Europe, and he is also author of several valuable works in his line.  (2) Emily, born Aug. 8, 1829, died July 27, 1831.  (3) Emily (2), born July 3, 1831, was married April 29, 1852, to George Waterman Fuller, of Palmer, Mass., a successful farmer and large tobacco grower.  She died in Deerfield, Mass., in July, 1901, leaving these children, George W., Sadie A., Andrew W. and Emelie H.  (4) Annis Ursula, born Aug. 6, 1833, was married to Anson A. Dorman, of Belchertown, Mass., and their daughter is Cora A.  (5) Emerancy, who was born Nov. 13, 1835, married Nathaniel P. Braman, Jr., who is now retired and a resident of South Florida.  Formerly he had charge of the "stocking" department of the Winchester Rifle works in New Haven.  (6) Eliza Rubie, who was born June 23, 1837, was married May 29, 1859, to William D. Heald, of Stafford, and their children are:  Anna S., Charles H., William H., and Bertha L.  (7) James Gilbert, who was born March 8, 1840, died May 23, 1851.  (8) Betsey Ann, who was born Sept. 10, 1842, died Sept. 1, 1843.  (9) Alvarado, was born Feb. 2, 1845, in Monson, Massachusetts.

Although born in Monson, Mr. Howard's early education was obtained in Palmer, Mass., whither his parents had removed when he was but two months old.  Finishing the public school course in Palmer he began preparation for entrance into the Rensselaer Polytechnic School, but ill health and impaired hearing compelled him to resign his cherished plans, when about eighteen years of age.  He had hoped to study civil and mechanical engineering, his tastes being very pronounced in that direction.

Mr. Howard then entered the repair department of the Thorndike Company, giving up all hope of preferment in other lines on account of his continued delicate health; he remained under his father for the next four years, before deciding to prepare himself as a cotton superintendent.  With this end in view, he returned to his books and took a business and commercial course in Burnham's Business College, graduating with honors.  Soon several positions were at his disposal, which he declined and in the fall of 1866 he came to Stafford, still looking for the right place.

Mr. Howard was not idle by any means, for he comes from stock that has been noted for activity, and during his first winter there he taught school in "Village Hill," passing the two following years assisting his brother-in-law, William D. Heald, in his drug business.  In the fall of 1867, with Mr. George M. Ives, he engaged in the Granite Mill Company, assisting in the work of getting the books and accounts of the company arranged to date.  This was not entirely new business, as his work in assisting the Internal Revenue collector, G.H. Baker, with his books and later in the local savings bank, had been highly commended.  Before three days has passed, Mr. Ives offered Mr. Howard the position of bookkeeper, paymaster and superintendent.  The most flattering offer was accepted, and in this association he remained for the succeeding seven years.  During that time he was frequently promoted, his interests were considered, and his work appreciated, and although other mills offered him various positions he remained with Mr. Ives until ill health compelled him to resign his pleasant and profitable connection.  During these years the business increased in volume, the plant engaging in the manufacture of all kinds of cotton fabrics, and when Mr. Howard was compelled to resign, in 1875, it was on as sound a basis as any plant in New England.

Mr. Howard then became treasurer of the Savings Bank of Stafford Springs, and in 1891 was made one of the directors.  His sound financial methods made him a desirable assistant in the organizing of the First National Bank, of Stafford Springs, and he was one of its first directors.  During 1881-82-83 he had charge of the financial department in the Mineral Springs Manufacturing Company, all of these trusts having been administered with dispatch, judgement and efficiency.

A staunch Republican, Mr. Howard has filled most acceptably many of the local offices and with distinction represented the town in the Legislature, on several important committees, in 1874.  For several terms he has served as burgess and was warden for several years, notably during the time of the memorable floods of 1877.  For several years his time was given to the duties of the assessor's office and for a number of terms he has been justice of the peace.  During a long period he has been acting school visitor, has served as collector of town and school taxes, was active in the consolidation of the school system of the town, was also instrumental in the incorporation of the borough, was its first clerk and treasurer, for two years, and has been identified with its growth and the growth of its institutions, as an officer, and also as an adviser.  His interest has always been active, and he has contributed liberally of his time and means.  He was very much interested and most active in the formation and organization of the Stafford Springs Cemetery Association.

Another project of public benefit to which Mr. Howard has lent interest, was the formation of the Stafford Springs Library and Reading Room Association, the first business meeting being held in his home in 1873, when he was elected the first president.  In 1876 the association was re-organized, under the laws of the State, as "The Stafford Library Association," and Mr. Howard continued to act as its president, taking a deep interest in its improvement and scope.  He also has consented for several years to act as its secretary and treasurer.

Mr. Howard was married Oct. 9, 1869, to Mill Julia Huldah Holcomb, who was a daughter of Charles and Mary (Byrne) Holcomb, a native of New Hartford, Litchfield Co., Conn.  To this union have been born these children:  Elizabeth R.,  who was born June 11, 1871, and died Dec. 17, 1878;  Mary, who was born May 19, 1881, and died April 19, 1889; and Holcomb R., born July 19, 1877.  The last named became a pupil in the public schools of Stafford, finishing the course there with great credit.  Then he became well and favorably known in athletic circles, notably, as a long distance bicycle rider.  He entered his father's office, but in August, 1899, went to Appleton City, Mo., as local manager for the Trustee's Land Company, and there he had a hotel, opera house, a number of stores and residences and several farms under his management.  In 1901 he was made an alderman in that city and was prominently identified with the interests of that locality.  He resigned his position to enter the employ of the American Car and Foundry Co., at Madison, Ill.  On Aug. 23, 1899, Mr. Holcomb Howard was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Fairman Sprague, of Stafford, who was a daughter of Dr. and Mary (Fairman) Sprague.

In I.O.O.F. circles Mr. Howard has long been prominent and is well known in this connection over the State.  He was a charter member of Waseon Lodge, No. 32, I.O.O.F., and he was the first Noble Grand of the Lodge, for two terms, and has served as trustee ever since its organization.  Mr. Howard was also Deputy-Grand of the district during two terms.  Also he is prominently connected with the order of Daughters of Rebekah, which is an auxiliary to the I.O.O.F. organization, of Rockville, Connecticut.

From his youth Mr. Howard has been connected with the Methodist Church and has been liberal and generous in his contributions for the support of its charities and mission work.  For a long period he has been one of the trustees of the Stafford Springs Church, and is most highly valued in this office.

Scarcely any public enterprise or educational movement in his locality has been developed or brought to completion without the active assistance of Alvarado Howard, and the citizens feel their indebtedness and are not slow in testifying their appreciation.  One of the movements which Mr. Howard favored, was that of providing two voting districts, this being a most desirable arrangement for public convenience.  In every relation of life he has stood before his fellow citizens as a man of care and thoughtfulness for others, and has exhibited those qualities which the world likes to attribute to descendants of noble blood.

Reproduced by:

Linda D. Pingel

 

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