From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and
Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing
Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 524-525, a reprinted by Stevens
Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County
Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
Jacob Howell is one of the oldest settlers of the county now
living in Bainbridge, he having been born in what is now Woodstock
township, Schuyler county, Illinois, April 23, 1833. His father, John
Howell, was a native of Guilford county, North Carolina, where he was
reared and where he married. He emigrated to Illinois across country
with teams, accompanied by his wife and five children, locating in what
is now Woodstock township. It was a wild and cheerless country, that in
which the pioneer North Carolinian and his family settled. The cry of
the wolves startled the children by night. Deer and turkeys haunted the
big woods. Most of the land was owned by the Government. Neighbors
lived far apart. Yet he went to work with a stout heart upon a tract of
land, sixteen acres of which had been cleared. A log cabin stood upon
the tract and there the subject of this sketch was born. The father
resided there until his death, in August, 1833.
The maiden name of the mother of Jacob Howell was Sarah Manlove,
daughter of William Manlove, born in North Carolina. After the death of
her husband she married a second time, a man named Stephen Frazer. She
died on the home farm in 1842.
But an infant when his father died he was doubly an orphan when
but nine years old. From that time onward the brave and persevering lad
was made to care for himself. He was able to attend the primitive
school of his youth - the conventional log cabin with its splintered
seats and puncheon floors, where, somehow, boys did manage to pick up
knowledge nearly, if not altogether, as good as that of the present
date, when the pupils are given the advantages of culture, aesthetic
furnishings and scientific appliances. He began work upon the farm at
$5 per month, continuing to work out until 1853. In February of that
year he started out with others to make the overland journey with ox
teams to California. It was a perilous undertaking for this
inexperienced lad of less than twenty. The only white settlement
between the Missouri river and California was the Mormon one in Utah,
which report declared was to be nearly as much to be dreaded as the
hostile Indians who scoured the plains in search of victims. Reaching
California he first engaged as cook for a threshing party, receiving $3
per day. A few weeks of this life sufficed and he undertook mining,
which disagreed with him and he went to southern California, where he
engaged in the raising of hogs. In 1859 he returned to Schuyler county,
and bought the farm he now owns and occupies. Since that time he has
devoted himself to agricultural pursuits.
In the following year, 1860, he was united in marriage to Rachel
Parker, who has borne him four children: Emma, Addie, John and Fred.
Mrs. Howell was born in Bainbridge township, and is a daughter of John
and Emily Parker, who are natives of North Carolina and pioneer
settlers of Schuyler county.
Mr. and Mrs. Howell are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Howell is a Republican in politics.
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