Thomas S. Howell
Biography

From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 383-384, a reprinted by Stevens Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
  Thomas S. Howell, one of the oldest settlers now residing in Schuyler county, Illinois, was born in Guilford county, North Carolina, February 16, 1825. His grandfather, John Howell, was a native of Wales, and but little of his history is known; he was a farmer by occupation, and emigrated to America, spending his last days in Guilford county, North Carolina. His son, John Howell, Jr., the father of Thomas S., was born and reared in North Carolina, and there learned the cabin maker's trade, which he followed until 1829; then, accompanied by his wife and five children, he undertook the overland trip to Illinois, and after eight weeks of travel he arrived in Schuyler county. It had not been long since the first settlers penetrated these wilds, and there were consequently few improvements. Indians still lingered about, and wild game was plentiful. Mr. Howell bought a tract of timber land in Woodstock township, and erected a cabin that was the pride of the community, from the fact that it had a shingle roof; the floor was made of puncheons, and the door of heavy oak boards hung on wooden hinges. There were no railroads, and no steamers plying the Illinois river. Mr. Howell followed his trade in connection with his agricultural pursuits, and lived here until his death, August 10, 1833. His wife's maiden name was Sally Manlove, a native of Guilford county, North Carolina, and a daughter of William Manlove; after her husband's death she was married a second time, to Stephen Frasier; her death occurred May 1, 1843. She was the mother of seven children: Amanda, Oscar C., William M., Thomas S., Jonathan M., John H. and Jacob.
  Thomas S. Howell was a child of four years when his parents came to Illinois, but well remembers many of the incidents and experiences peculiar to pioneer life. His father kept sheep and raised flax, and from the wool and flax the mother spun, carded and wove the cloth from which the family wardrobe was supplied. He remained with his mother during her lifetime. The first venture he made in business was threshing 100 bushels of wheat, the agreement being that he was to receive therefor one-tenth of the wheat; he worked three days to pay for three barrels in which to ship the wheat to St. Louis, the whole transaction netting him $3. With this capital he was married, and settled on the home farm; he had inherited twenty-five acres, and he rented the balance of the other heirs, and there began his career as a farmer. In due time he was enabled to purchase this tract.
  In March, 1865, he enlisted in Company D, One Hundred and fifteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and in June, of that year, was transferred to the Twenty-first Illinois, serving until December 16, of the same year; he was honorably discharged at San Antonio, Texas. He resided on the homestead in Woodstock township until 1875, when he sold this place and purchased the Newbury farm, which consists of 220 acres on section 28, Bainbridge township.
  Mr. Howell was married May 14, 1843, to Sarah C. Newbury, who was born in Washington county, Ohio, a daughter of Joseph and Margaret Newbury, natives of New York and Virginia respectively, and pioneers of Washington county, Ohio, and Schuyler county, Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Howell have eight children living: John E., Austin D., Oscar C., Hattie A., William, Lorain C., Dora and T. Edgar. Our subject is a stanch supporter of the principles of the Republican party, and is a man who has the respect and confidence of all who know him.




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