WILLIAM R. HOWARD, M. D. A physician and surgeon of distinction at Fort Worth, where he has been engaged in successful practice nearly twenty years and, like the city which is his home, has in this time risen to foremost rank in northern Texas, Dr. W. R. Howard was born in Fulton county, Arkansas, September 13, 1848, being a son of Isaac and Esther (Hampton) Howard. The family is of old and distinguished New England stock, going back in direct line to Isaac Howard who, as the first American representative of the name, left England and took up his residence on this side of the Atlantic during the colonial days. The progenitor settled in Rhode Island, and that famous little commonwealth has been the home of seven successive generations of this family. There Dr. Howard’s father was born and an uncle of the former was for fifty consecutive terms a member of the Rhode Island legislature, while in equally honorable ways other members of the family have pursued their different careers. Dr. Howard’s mother, who was born in middle Tennessee, December 10, 1825, and, at the age of eighty years, is still living in Marionville, Missouri, is a member of the illustrious Hampton family, made so, among others, by Wade Hampton.
The family home being transferred to Ozark county, Missouri, when the son William was four years old, the latter lived there until he was about fifteen years old, and in the early years of the war accompanied his parents to Marshfield, in the same state. The schools which he had begun to attend during childhood were practically suspended during the Civil conflict, and in order to continue his education from 1863 to 1865, he made his home with his grandparents at Foster, Rhode Island, where he was a student in the public schools. At the close of the war he returned to Marshfield and completed his education in the schools of that place and at Springfield, Missouri. With broad literary knowledge to serve as the foundation upon which to rear the superstructure of professional learning he entered upon the study of medicine in St. Louis Medical College at St. Louis, Missouri, from which he was graduated in the class of 1873.
Beginning his active practice in Taney county, Missouri, where he remained until 1875, in the latter year he came to Texas and was engaged professionally in Hunt county until 1886, since which time he has been a permanent resident of Fort Worth. Ranking among the first not alone as a practitioner, Dr. Howard is also well known to the profession in the state and city in connection with his biological investigations. His years of research along such lines have brought to light much that is recognized as permanent contributions to scientific knowledge, and it is therefore in the realm of discovery as well as that of applied science of discovery as well as that of applied science that his lief work will be held noteworthy. At his residence, 921 Cannon avenue, he has one of the most complete biological and bacteriological laboratories in the country. That his work in this department of science is regarded highly is evident form the fact that he is the present incumbent of the chair of histology, pathology and bacteriology in the medical department of Fort Worth University, and has been a prominent factor in advancing that institution to its present high standard of efficiency. He is also the author of a number of treatises on biographical and bacteriological subjects. As a scientist he has gained a wide reputation, while his large general practice indicates his professional standing.
Fraternally the Doctor is a Mason. His chief relationship, however, is with the societies for the dissemination of knowledge in the line of his profession and for scientific research, belonging to the county, state and North Texas medical associations, to the American Microscopical Society, and is a fellow of the Texas Academy of Science.
Dr. Howard was married in 1873 to Miss Sarah M. Hensley, and they had three children, Isaac, Mrs. Abby Logan and William R., Jr.; the latter died at the age of three and one-half years. Mrs. Howard died in 1882, and the Doctor subsequently married Mrs. Hetty A. Wilson, nee Farmer, who is still living. No children have blessed the union.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas, Vol. II (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), p. 216.