George Harrison Hower

GEORGE HARRISON HOWER. That the public schools are a very important interest to the majority of the people of Kansas needs no other proof than the evident educational acquirements of her young men and women, and in the laudable ambition to progress that is cherished by many of the counties, Lincoln County takes no second place. Furthermore, in her determined search for the best educators, and even for county superintendent, she has had to look no farther than her own sons, for to this class practically belongs County Superintendent George Harrison Hower. He was brought to the county when less than a year old, and has passed the greater part of his life here, where his main interests are yet centered.

George Harrison Hower was born at Catasauqua, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, October 23, 1885, and is a son of Milton and Ida Matilda (Harte) Hower, and a grandson of Harrison George and Maria Elizabeth (Kleppinger) Hower. The venerable grandfather resides with his son George Hower at Rosette, Kansas. He was born in 1829, at Howertown, Pennsylvania, a village named for his father, and until 1885 was mainly engaged in farming and breeding fast horses. He owned a livery stable and also a number of speedy roadsters at one time. When he came to Kansas in 1885 he bought a farm, which he still owns. He married Maria Elizabeth Kleppinger, who was born in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, in 1835 and died at Rosette, Kansas, about 1900. Of their four children John and Mary are deceased. Milton and George survive, the former being a resident of Sylvan Grove and the latter residing on his father's farm, and is the owner of 480 acres in this section. The family is of English extraction and is a branch of the Howard family, prominent in the history of England.

Milton Hower was born in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, in 1855. Before coming to Kansas in 1886 he was a merchant at Catasauqua, and was also foreman of a slate quarry. When he located in Lincoln County he bought a farm of 160 acres near Sylvan Grove, paying but $11 per acre, and he still lives on that farm. He has made fine improvements, finding building stone on his own land. He owns a second farm of 160 acres and is one of the substantial men of the county. In addition to general farming he raises Hereford cattle, Duroc pigs and Plymouth Rock poultry. In politics he is a republican, and for many years he has been a member of the Evangelical Association and is a church trustee.

Milton Hower married Ida Matilda Harte, who was born at Catasauqua, Pennsylvania, in 1858, and they have had the following children: William, who is a resident of Hutchinson, Kansas, is a salesman for the National Biscuit Company; John, who died at the age of two years; Anna Maria, who is the wife of S. W. Whittaker, who owns a bank called the State Bank of Brownington, Missouri, Sarah Arabella, who is the wife of P. S. Beam, who owns and operates a farm near Luray, Kansas; George Harrison; Archibald Clinton, who is a farmer located seven miles northwest of Lincoln, Kansas; and Matilda Irene, who resides with her parents and is a popular teacher in the West Point School in Lincoln County.

George Harrison Hower attended the rural schools and later the Sylvan Grove High School, from which he was graduated in 1904, when he entered the Kansas Wesleyan University and was graduated in 1906 with the degree of Bachelor of Pedagogy. During the school year 1906-1907 he taught school in Lincoln County, and in 1908 entered the State Agricultural College at Manhattan and remained one year. Again he taught school, 1909-1910, in Lincoln County, during which period he was principal of the Sylvan Grove High School. In the fall of 1910 he re-entered the State Agricultural College at Manhattan, from which he was graduated in December, 1912, with the degree of B. S. He was principal of the Belleville High School 1912-1913, and was professor of history and mathematics of the Chase County High School 1913-1914-1915. In the meanwhile he was elected county superintendent of schools, in November, 1914, assumed the duties of the office in 1915, and was re-elected in November, 1916. His offices are located in the courthouse and he has under his charge eighty-five schools, 128 teachers and 3,000 pupils.

Mr. Hower was married at Lincoln, December 27, 1916, to Miss Luella Farquharson, whose father was one of the pioneers of the county. Mrs. Hower is the daughter of J. A. and Mary (Poinier) Farquharson, who were of Scotch descent. They were located at Evanston, Illinois, and came from that place to Lincoln County, Kansas about 1880.

Politically Mr. Hower is a republican. He is identified with Center Lodge No. 111, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, belongs to the Kansas State Teachers' and the North Central Kansas Teachers' Associations, and is serving as treasurer of the latter. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.


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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