Samuel T. Howe, of Topeka, a member of the state tax commission, and a well known citizen of the state, began his public services in Kansas in 1871, and since that time has filled numerous positions of steadily increasing responsibility and importance. He is of the eighth generation of a family first represented in this country by Edward Howe, who came from Broad Oaks, Essex county, England, in the ship, "True Love," in 1635, and landed at Lynn, Mass., where he resided until his death, in 1639. From him were descended successively: Isaac Howe, of New Haven, Conn.; Nathaniel Howe, of Greenwich, Conn.; Isaac Howe, of Stamford, Conn.; Epenetus Howe, of South Salem, N. Y.; Epenetus Howe, of Ridgefield, Conn.; John Howe, of Brutus, N. Y.; David Howe, of Toledo, Ohio; and Samuel T. Howe, of this review. A granddaughter of Edward Howe married John Dixwell, one of England's regicides, to whom a modest memorial has been erected on the green at Yale University. A number of this family have honored the name as manufacturers, lawyers, statesmen and public officials, prominent among whom are: Dr. John Ireland Howe, of Derby, Conn., a first cousin of Samuel T. Howe's father, who was the inventor of solid head pins and established the Howe Pin Company, of Derby, Conn.; Thomas Palmer Howe, a patent-right lawyer, of Brooklyn, N. Y.; James R. Howe, of Brooklyn, N. Y., a first cousin of Samuel T. Howe, was elected to Congress twice from the Sixth (Brooklyn) district, and was the first Republican ever elected to Congress from that district; he also served as register of Kings county, New York; Epenetus Howe, another first cousin, was several times a member of the New York assembly.
Samuel T. Howe was born at Savannah, Wayne county, New York, July 23, 1848, a son of David and Hannah Maria (Thorp) Howe, the latter a daughter of Peter and Phoebe Thorp. David Howe, who spent the greater part of his life in Toledo, Ohio, was a building contractor and a superior mechanic, and taught his son the carpenter trade. He was a Republican in politics and an influential citizen of the city of Toledo, where he died, and where he had served twenty years as a deacon in the Baptist church. Samuel T. Howe attended the public schools of Toledo and was a first year high school student at the opening of the great Civil war, which so appealed to his youthful patriotism and was of such paramount interest to him that his school studies were put aside and no further attention given to educational matters until eighteen years later, when by self-study and culture he sought to correct the mistakes of his youth, and by wide reading and study, has acquired a broad knowledge of men and affairs. He was not yet thirteen years old when the war opened, in 1861, but he, nevertheless, ardently desired to enter the army, which wish his father so strongly opposed that he was not permitted to enlist until July 8, 1863, when he enrolled in the First regiment, Ohio militia, which his father thought was but a home guard organization. This regiment was called into active service in 1864, but M. Howe was then a government employee in Alabama, having become tired of waiting for the call of his regiment. In January, 1865, he finally gained the consent of his father and enlisted at Toledo, Ohio, in Company B, One Hundred and Eighty-ninth Ohio infantry, with which he served until the close of the war.
In December, 1868, Mr. Howe came to Kansas and followed his occupation at Leavenworth, Topeka, Burlingame and Salina, until January, 1871, when he became a resident of Marion county. He served as sheriff of that county from 1871 to 1874; as clerk of the district court three terms, or from 1874 to 1880; was elected county treasurer of Marion county in 1879 and reëlected in 1881, but before entering upon his second term in that office was elected state treasurer, that election having occurred in November, 1882. He was reëlected state treasurer in 1884. Upon his retirement from the office of state treasurer Mr. Howe engaged in the real estate business in Topeka, and thus continued until 1895, when he was elected a member of the state board of railroad commissioners, to serve one year. He was reëlected to that office for a term of three years, in 1896, but when the Populist party came into power, in 1897, they summarily dismissed from office all Republicans whose term of office was not fixed by statute, which included the railroad commissioners, therefore Mr. Howe served but two years as a railroad commissioner. In 1907, without solicitation on the part of Mr. Howe, he was appointed a member of the state tax commission, by Governor Hoch, which appointment was confirmed by the senate. He was appointed for four years, which term he served in full, and on July 1, 1911, he entered upon a second term of four years, having been reappointed by Gov. W. R. Stubbs.
The marriage of Mr. Howe took place at Marion, Kan., Dec. 24, 1876, uniting him to Clara Belle Fraser, a daughter of William Fraser, of Portsmouth, Ohio. To Mr. and Mrs. Howe have been born the following children: Clara Alice, Bertrice Aileen, Fred L., Samuel T., Jr., Walter D., William Epenetus, Clara Elizabeth, and Clifford T. Of these children, Alice, Clifford and Walter are deceased. Mr. Howe associates with the time-honored Masonic fraternity, as a member of the blue lodge, chapter and commandery. He is also a member of Lincoln Post, No. 1, Grand Army of the Republic, and of the Sons and Daughters of Justice. He has been treasurer of the Foster Humane Society of Topeka since its organization; has served five years as a member of the Topeka city council, during two of which he was its president; has been president of the Topeka Board of Trade; has served as a director of the Topeka Commercial Club, of which he is still a member, and at the present time (1912) is a member of the executive committee of the National Tax Association. During Mr. Howe's long and honorable career he has, both as a private citizen and as an official, left the impress of his life upon the communities in which he has resided, where his record is one of continuous effort toward the upbuilding of humanity and the public welfare.Pages 790-792 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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