Thomas George Howell

THOMAS GEORGE HOWELL. The agricultural interests of Silver Lake Township, Shawnee County, have an able representative in the person of Thomas George Howell, whose well-cultivated farm of 235 acres is situated in section 21, township 10, range 14. He has been a resident of the county for many years, and while energetically engaged in advancing his own prosperity has not been unmindful of the duties of citizenship, so that he is rated among his locality's helpful citizens.

Mr. Howell was born on a farm near Brockville, Quebec, Canada, April 30, 1861, the fifth in order of birth of the six children born to Ambrose and Elizabeth (Parkinson) Howell. His parents were natives of England, where their three eldest children were born, and came to America to better their condition, first settling in Canada. Ambrose Howell was a carpenter and builder by trade, and when he found times hard in Canada removed with his family to Massachusetts, where they resided until 1875. In that year they removed to near Des Moines, Iowa, where they lived for three years on a farm. The father was not acquainted with farming methods, and so left the family in Iowa, while he came to Kansas, and after five weeks and two days arrived in Pawnee County, where he built a frame house. Later he sent for his family, and his wife and sons attended to the cultivation of the land, while he worked at his trade, but crops were bad and the family next moved to McPherson County, where they lived on rented land. That land did not prove satisfactory, either, and finally the Howells came to Shawnee County, where they rented 320 acres of land, cultivating eighty acres and putting the rest into hay and pasture land, and at the end of that time bought eighty acres in Silver Bake Township. Ambrose Howell is now retired and lives at Butte, Montana, his wife having died February 28, 1905, in Shawnee County, and now lies at rest in Walnut Hill Cemetery.

Thomas G. Howell was a lad when taken by his parents to Massachusetts, and there his boyhood was spent and his education secured in the public schools. When he was fourteen years of age he accompanied the family to Iowa, and subsequently came to Kansas, where he has since resided. He and his younger brother worked the farm and cared for their mother until 1887, when Thomas G. Howell was married, and at that time purchased eighty acres of land in Silver Lake Township. Through good management and hard work he has increased his holdings to 235 acres, and now devotes 150 acres to general farming, the remainder being in hay and pasture land. Mr. Howell has succeeded well in his ventures and now has one of the really valuable farms of his township, with substantial buildings and modern improvements of every kind. He has always helped to the limit of his ability in advancing the interests of churches and schools, and has taken an active part in the work of the Methodist Church, of which his family have long been members. He is a republican in politics, and has been for four years a member of the township board of trustees and for a like period has served as a member of the school board. Fraternally, he is affiliated with the Masons, third degree, as a member of Silver Lake Blue Lodge No. 50. His standing in business circles is an excellent one, and the public-spirited stand he has taken on all matters pertaining to the welfare of his community has stamped him as a man worthy of the confidence and esteem of his fellow-citizens.

On February 12, 1887, Mr. Howell was united in marriage with Miss Amanda Dietrich of Shawnee County, daughter of Ephraim and Otilla (Bleiler) Dietrich, natives of Pennsylvania. Mr. Dietrich in 1884 came to Kansas and settled on the uplands of Shawnee County, locating on 400 acres of land, which he cultivated up to the time of his death, March 28, 1905. He was an honest, hard-working man, who won the respect and friendship of his neighbors, and who was straightforward and honorable in all his dealings. Mrs. Dietrich, who survives him, resides on the homestead in Mission Township. There were eleven children in the Dietrich family, which is well known and highly thought of in this part of the county. Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Howell, namely: Bertha G., who is the wife of Albert Werner, a farmer of Russell County, Kansas; Elizabeth A., who married G. B. Harper, of Silver Lake; and Cora, Dora and George, who reside with their parents. All the children have received good educational advantages, well fitting them for the positions in life which they will be called upon to assume.


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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Tom & Carolyn Ward
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