SAMUEL THOMAS HOWARD of Hereford, is known all over the state as well as in other parts of the country as an exponent of high-class farming. During the twenty years that he has been in Texas and in this line of business he has done so much as any other man to raise the standards of excellence in cattle, and has thus contributed inestimable value to the great industry for which Texas is most famous. A man of first-class business ability, with positive views and high principles in business, politics and state affairs, Mr. Howard has throughout his career been an “influence” for pure government and wholesome social progress.
A native of Monroe county, East Tennessee, where he was born August 24, 1842, he was the son of a thrifty farmer, Cornelius L. Howard, who was born in east Tennessee and died in Monroe county in 1874. His mother, Laura Elizabeth (Douthitt) Howard, was a daughter of the Rev. Dr. Samuel Douthitt, a pioneer Methodist minister in east Tennessee, of prominent family connections, and widely known for his beneficence and his indefatigable industry in his Master’s vineyard. He was an associate of the celebrated “Parson” Brownlow and other noted characters who gave the definitive stamp of their high convictions and moral worth to early Tennessee.
From rearing on the Monroe county farm, Mr. Howard, when a young man, went into merchandising, grain trade and steam boating at Loudon, Tennessee, and for several years enjoyed a successful business career. In 1882 he came out to Texas, and, locating at Weatherford in Parker county, went into the sheep business incidentally raising hogs, cattle, etc. This was a very profitable enterprise until one disastrous year in the sheep business swept all away until he literally had almost nothing left but “a cow and a calf.” From the bedrock of experience, energy and integrity, he began, not the least discouraged or dismayed, the task of building up again. Coming to Hardeman county in northwest Texas in 1892, he started a small business in registered Jerseys, and in this line, continually expanding, he has gained his monumental success. He was among the pioneers in this state to import and breed, on a systematic and extensive scale, thoroughbred Jerseys, and to such men belongs the credit for grading up the cattle in this state to a higher standard. Such was his success that his was, again and again, the winning herd at the state fair at Dallas and at the fine stock shows at Fort Worth and San Antonio. Four of his Jersey heifers were sold to C. I. Hood, of Lowell, Massachusetts, for twelve hundred dollars. He sold out his entire Jersey herd in 1896 and then went into the registered Hereford business at Quanah in Hardeman county, where he had the same success with his Herefords as with the Jerseys, and his Herefords likewise took the first prizes at cattle shows of the state. After continuing this enterprise for five years he sold his herd to Colonel Burt Burnett, of Fort Worth, and Colonel C. C. Slaughter, of Dallas.
In 1901 Mr. Howard came out to the high plains country and bought land in Deaf Smith county, northwest of Hereford, where he now owns thirty-two sections, twenty thousand four hundred and eighty-eight acres, land which lies in a particularly advantageous part of the county and possesses peculiar superiority in soil and water. About three hundred acres are devoted to raising rough feed, such as Kaffir corn, Milo maize, etc. for stock. He has a herd of some of the finest cattle to be found in the Panhandle, and all of pure breeds. In the spring of 1904 his steers sold for higher prices than anybody else’s in this country.
Mr. Howard affiliates with the Masonic order, and he and his wife are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian church. Mr. Howard takes just pride in his fine family of young men and women who are growing up to fill worthy places in the work of the world. He was married in Monroe county, Tennessee, to Miss Isadora Kimbrough, and they had twelve children, namely: Cornelius L., deceased; Myra E., Mrs. Alice A. Lee, Rev. John K., Samuel T., Jr., Hugh, Horace, Annie Lee, deceased; Luella, Earl, deceased; Rhome and Willie.
Rev. John K. Howard has had an especially creditable career for a young man. He was splendidly educated, having studied four years at Trinity University at Waxahachie, where for each of these four years he took the highest honors of his class; this was followed by three years spent in the university at Lebanon, Tennessee, where also he three times took the highest honors. He further distinguished himself as a student at the Union Theological Seminary at New York, where he prepared for the ministry. After traveling through Europe and the Holy Land he returned and at Jackson, Tennessee, took charge of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, which has a large membership. He remained pastor there until the summer of 1904, when, owing to his untiring devotion to his labors, he was compelled to resign the charge on account of ill health, and he is now living in the state of Washington, being pastor of the Presbyterian church at Garfield.
S. T., Jr., and Horace D., after completing their education, as a matter of choice went onto their father’s ranch, which they have successfully managed for four years.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 170-171.