Cornelius H. Howard biography

CORNELIUS H. HOWARD, who figures as one of the leading stock farmers of Montague County, Texas, was born in Johnson county, Tennessee, September 5, 1865, son of James C. and Susan (Shawn) Howard, both natives of Tennessee. Samuel Howard, the grandfather of Cornelius H., also born in Tennessee, was the son of a native of Ireland who had emigrated to this country and pioneered in Tennessee. Samuel Howard was a soldier in the war of 1812. By occupation he was a farmer and an iron worker, and also owned a ran a saw mill. He was a Union man and during the war of the Rebellion had to ride in the mountains for safety. Both armies foraged his estate, destroying his property and by fire and theft, and he found his fortunes sadly depleted when the war was over. He owned only one slave and to him he gave a farm. For many years Samuel Howard was a deacon in the Primitive Baptist church. His children, ten in number, were as follows: Mary, James C., William, Rachael, David, Sarah, Matilda, Samuel, Barbara, and Joseph. James C. Howard spent his boyhood days assisting his father on the farm and in the mill and iron works, and also carried the mail horseback, his father having mail contracts. After his marriage he settled on a farm his father furnished him, and was engaged in farming and running a foundry and was prospering when the war came on. During the war he took government contracts and was detailed, with thirty men, as manager of his own foundry, the supplies from which went to the Confederacy. When his resources were exhausted and he failed, he was ordered to the front, and was being marched away when he made his escape. He remained with the Federal army for protection until the close of the war, and never took up arms on either side. After the close of hostilities he returned home to find devastation on every hand. He resumed farming and remained in Tennessee until 1869, when he sold out for what he could get and gave the proceeds to friends who had helped him in time of need, and he rigged up a two-horse team and moved to Davis county, Indiana. There he rented a farm. Four years later, in 1873, he moved to Texas, and located in Red River valley above Spanish Fort, where he continued farming on rented land and improved a farm, and later he purchased his sons’s interest, and remained at the homestead during the rest of his life, surrounded by comfort and plenty in his old age, the result of his years of toil. He died in December, 1891. He was a man of sterling worth and in the several communities in which he lived he enjoyed the confidence and respect of all who knew him. His widow is living at the writing, on the homestead, which is in charge of her son John. She is a daughter of Isaac Shawn, of German descent, by occupation a farmer, and religiously a Baptist, who spent his life in Tennessee. His children were Adam, Peter, Betty, William, Caleb, Susan, Alexander, Catherine, Albert and Rebecca. James C. and Susan Howard had ten children, namely: Mollie, wife of C. Holt of Montague county; Mrs. Elizabeth Humphrey; Isaac H., a prominent farmer; Samuel E., a well-known stock farmer; Mrs. Emmer Utley; Noah J., also engaged in the stock business; Albert C., who died at the age of twenty-two years; Cornelius H., the direct subject of this review; John C., who was charge of the home farm; and Mrs. Ida Dumford.

Cornelius H. Howard moved with his parents to Indiana and to Texas. His first employment away from home after he was grown was a Henrietta, in a livery stable, where he worked for Mr. Utley. Later he went to Indian Territory. He had bought a few cattle which he took with him, and there commenced the real struggle for himself in 1887. He worked on a ranch for wages for two years, all the time looking after his cattle, and saving his money and adding to their number. At the end of two years he leased some land and did some farming, and in 1891 he married. He remained there until 1901, successfully raising and dealing in cattle, and farming. In 1901 he returned to Texas and located near Spanish Fort in Montague county. His first purchase of land was seven hundred and sixty-one acres, to which he has since added until now he owns one thousand and four acres. He has remodeled and erected buildings, including a large and comfortable residence; has planted an orchard, etc., and made various other improvements, and has one hundred and forty acres under cultivation, most of it rented. He raises stock now not only on his farm but also grazes cattle in the territory. His whole attention has been given to farming and stock raising, and he has never aspired to anything in the way of politics or public life. He casts his franchise with the Democrat party, and he and his wife worship at the Methodist church, of which they are worthy members.

Mr. Howard married, in 1891, Miss Anna E. Lovett, who was born in Texas, daughter of Taylor and Betty (Cox) Lovett, now residents of Oklahoma, her father a native of Mississippi and her mother of Texas. Mrs. Howard is the eldest of seven children, the others being Robert E., Laura, Andrew, Julia, Cloud and Elsa. The children of Cornelius H. and Anna E. Howard are: Bertha, born Nov. 3, 1891; Osa, September 15, 1893; Albert, December 2, 1895; Valentine,February 14, 1898; William, September 15, 1901; and Leska, November 3, 1903. They lost one child, Ida, the fourth born, at the age of one year.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. I, pp. 661-662.