DOCTOR M. HOWARD, figuring prominently in business affairs in Mineral Wells, where he is now engaged in merchandising and banking, was born in Randolph county, North Carolina, in 1850, his parents being D. H. and Hannah L. (Moffitt) Howard. Both were natives of North Carolina and are now deceased. The father was a farmer and tanner and in later life he conducted an extensive business, especially in the days before railroad building, when buying and selling was all done by local traders from wagons. It was in this way that the trading instinct in Mr. Howard was developed, for when not more than eleven years of age he traveled around the country in a wagon with his father selling various commodities to the settlers. He came to Texas in 1876 and for a short time resided in Cooke county, after which he removed to Tarrant county. In 1877 he started westward with the intention of going to the Black Hills, for that was the year of the gold excitement there, but when he arrived at Fort Griffin in Shackelford county he decided that he had had all of the “west” that he wanted and after remaining at Fort Griffin for a short time he returned to Fort Worth, Texas. Later he went to Wise county and at the little town of Andyville established a small store. In 1881 he came to Mineral Wells, in Palo Pinto county. This place was then only a few tents and there were two or three box-like shacks. At that time, however, what was known as the Lynch well, the forerunner of their mineral medicinal waters that have made the city of Mineral Wells such a well known resort, had been discovered by J. H. Lynch. In 1882 he began business here with almost nothing, having a small store, which, however, through his capable management and untiring industry has been developed into the largest and most prominent mercantile establishment in Palo Pinto county. It is a department store, containing dry goods, clothing, groceries, shoes, and other commodities, and on the second floor a wholesale business is carried on. Mr. Howard has erected a large substantial brick building and occupies the entire structure with his extensive line of goods. His daughter, Mrs. Bessie Howard Taylor, an accomplished young business woman, is manager of the store. He is to-day a wealthy man, but is modest and unpretentious. He was one of the founders of the bank of Mineral Wells in 1890 and has continuously served as its president.
Mr. Howard gives his political allegiance to the Democracy and fraternally is connected with the Masonic and Knights of Pythias lodges. What Mr. Howard has accomplished in the world of commerce cannot adequately be told in words. It is not asserting too much to say that he possesses, aside from mercantile foresight and sagacity, the happy faculty of reading and judging men and unusual powers of organization and executive ability and yet if one was to seek in his career the causes that have led to his success they will be found along the lines of well-tried and old-time maxims. Honesty and fair dealing, promptness and fidelity, all of these are strictly enhanced and adhered to. He is always just and fair with his employe[e]s and appreciates faithfulness on their part. He stands today as an honest, upright, self-made man, and a progressive merchant and banker.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 249-250.