Carroll County Biographies


The community of Mt. Carroll numbers among its citizens a goodly number of retired farmers, who, after laboring worthily and industriously a series of years, are enabled to spend their later days in ease and comfort, surrounded by the good things of life, the reward of their early toil and sacrifices. Prominent among them may be numbered the gentleman with whose name we introduce this sketch, and who owns and occupies an inviting home at the corner of Clay and Washington streets.

Mr. Howell was born in Niagara County, N. Y., Dec. 13, 1806, and lived there until a lad of twelve years. He then removed with his parents to Canada, where he sojourned until reaching his majority, in the meantime acquiring a good practical education in the common school. Soon afterward, leaving the Dominion, he made his way to New York State, where he occupied himself eighteen months; then returning to Canada, lived there on a farm about eighteen years. In this interval he was married, Jan. 3, 1833, to Miss Lucretia C. Morton. This lady was born in Canada, Aug. 6, 1913, and her union with our subject resulted in the birth of eleven children, eight of whom are living. The wife and mother died at their home, Oct. 2, 1863. Their eldest son, William R., is married and the father of two children; he has a ranch near Denver, Colo., where he spends his summers, but at this writing (April, 1889) is at Los Angeles, Cal. Hugh M. is married, has one child, and is a resident of Denver, Colo.; Moses L. also lives there, is married and the father of two children; Adolphus married Amelia Headley, and lives on the old homestead; Sophia (Mrs. Durno) is a resident of California; Adaline married John Keith, of Geneva, Wis., and they have one child; Lucretia married a Mr. De France, of Pennsylvania, and makes her home in Golden City, Colo.; they have three children. Caroline is the wife of William Holland, of California, and they have two children.

In 1846, Mr. Howell, with his family, a wife and six children, set out for the Far West, equipped with two wagons and teams, and taking with him all his worldly possessions. He settled on a tract of new land, embracing 160 acres, on sections 22 and 23, in the central part of Salem Township. He put up a log house, and prepared for the struggle before him. Their household belongings it would take little time to enumerate, and there were many illustrations of the adage that “Necessity is the mother of invention.” For a whole year there was only one chair in the house, and other things were in proportion. Industry, perseverance and economy, in due time, however, bore their legitimate fruits. Mr. Howell first fenced a portion of his land, prepared some of the soil for cultivation, set out an orchard, and gradually began to see his way through. After four or five years the family abandoned the log house for a neat frame dwelling, and other buildings and conveniences were gradually added. Later the dwelling was remodeled and enlarged, and is still in good condition. The farm bears fair comparison with its neighbors. Mr. Howell lived there until March, 1882, when he left it in charge of a renter and removed to town.

Daniel Howell, the father of our subject, was born in New Jersey, and in his journey from his native place to New York State traveled 300 miles on foot by an Indian trail. He was married to Miss Elizabeth E. Averill, and to them there were born two children only--our subject and his sister, Sarah Ann. Daniel Howell departed this life at his home in Canada, eighteen miles from London, in 1834. The mother came with her son to Illinois, and for several years made her home with our subject, but she is now deceased.

Mr. Hugh Howell cast his first Presidential vote for Andrew Jackson, and since that time has given his support to the Democratic party. He has served as Township Collector three terms, was School Director a number of years in his district, and identified himself with the Methodist Episcopal Church many years ago. His accumulations are the result of his own industry, and he is a man honored by his towns-people, and respected by all with whom he has had dealings.

Portraits & Biographical 1899 Pg 899 - Transcribed & Contributed by Byron Davis

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