Andrew J. Howell

ANDREW J. HOWELL, postmaster and merchant at Virgil, has a particularly large personal following throughout Greenwood County because of the many years he spent as a teacher in the public schools. While few school men become wealthy, it is doubtful if any occupation or vocation has more enduring satisfaction in respect to the value of the service rendered humanity. Mr. Howell was a hard working and conscientious teacher, and there are hundreds of his old pupils, grown to manhood and womanhood, who have an affectionate regard for his memory and delight in his present posterity.

Though he has lived in Kansas since early boyhood Mr. Howell was born in Daviess County, Indiana, October 7, 1863. His Howell ancestors came originally out of France and settled in Virginia. His father, C. H. Howell, was born in Virginia in 1828, but when a boy the family removed to Daviess County, Indiana, where he grew up and married. He lived on a farm in Indiana, but in 1872 came to Quincy Township in Greenwood County, near Virgil, and developed a tract of land from its primeval condition. He died at Virgil January 8, 1891. In politics he was a democrat. His wife, whose maiden name was Sarah Elzick, was born in 1841, and died in Daviess County, Indiana, in 1866. Their children were: Emma, wife of J. L. Sharp, a blacksmith at Virgil, Kansas; Thomas, a lumber dealer in Arkansas; Rhoda E., wife of Charles S. Jones, a bookkeeper for a lumber company in Arkansas; and Andrew J.

Beginning his education in Indiana, Andrew J. Howell continued to avail himself of the advantages of the rural schools of Greenwood County, and at the age of eighteen taught his first term of school in that county. Some years later, during the school year of 1889-1890, he attended Baker University. Altogether Mr. Howell taught in the rural districts for twenty-eight years. During Cleveland's two administrations he served as postmaster of Virgil and on January 1, 1914, was again appointed to that office under President Wilson.

In 1912 Mr. Howell engaged in the general merchandise business at Virgil and now has one of the best stocks and most liberally patronized stores in that town. He draws his trade from a country in a radius of five miles around Virgil, and some of his patrons live as far away as fourteen miles. He has an extended acquaintance in nearly all sections of Greenwood County and is a man whose integrity is accepted without question.

He is a democrat, and among other positions has served as township trustee and is now clerk of the Consolidated High School Board. He is a member of the United Brethren Church, is past noble grand of Virgil Lodge No. 435, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was formerly secretary of the Rebekahs, and for eight years, until 1916, was president of the Knights and Ladies of Security No. 35 at Virgil.

Mr. Howell owns one of the comfortable homes of Virgil on Main Street. On November 25, 1896, in this town, he married Miss Sarah Driver, daughter of L. B. and Mahala Driver. Her parents are now living retired at Virgil, her father having been an active railway man and now owns a farm. Mr. and Mrs. Howell have one child, Ruie A., who is a member of the sophomore class of the State Normal School at Emporia.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed 1997.
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