Edmund A. Howes

Biography courteously provided by Joyce Riedinger, Delaware County Coordinator.


EDMUND A. HOWES, a worthy citizen of Tompkins, was born in this town February 27, 1857. The Howes family, which is of English ancestry, came to New York from Cape Cod. Edmund Howes, grandfather of Edmund A., was engaged in farming and lumbering in the town of Thompson, Sullivan County, where he erected a house, which still stands. His wife was Polly Fields; and they had the following family: George, Benjamin, Jesse, Samuel, Edmund, Deborah, Emilly, Elizabeth, and Jane. Edmund Howes died in 1838, having passed the greater part of his life in Thompson, where he was buried.

Jesse, the third son, was born in Bridgeville, and spent his boyhood on the home farm. When about twenty-one, he started out for himself as a carpenter and joiner, following that occupation until 1850, when, in company with his brother George, he purchased a tract of land on the Delaware River near Long Eddy, and here engaged in shipping lumber to Philadelphia. He was an excellent swimmer and an expert hunter, the hero of many thrilling adventures. After about eight years he sold his interest to his brother, and in 1855 purchased a tract of one hundred acres of timbered land on Bullock Hill, where he erected a log cabin, and began to fell the trees. He later built a frame house on the same site, and engaged in farming and dairying. He married Susan Jenkins, daughter of Horace and Anna (Vermilyea) Jenkins, of Roxbury, N. Y. She is still living, and is greatly esteemed by all. Her father was in his younger days one of the most prominent men of his town; he now spends much of his time with his grand-daughter, Mrs. Howes.

Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Howes were the parents of twelve children, namely: Anna F., widow of Charles Drake, a farmer of Tompkins, who died in 1881, and is buried on Knickerbocker Hill; Loomis; Horace J., who married Ella A. Drake, a sister of Charles Drake; Eva A., who married S. L. Niles, of Tompkins; Hiram J., a school-teacher; Edmund A., whose name heads this sketch; Annetta, who married Jesse Gardner, a physician in Anemdeta, Ohio; Emily J., the wife of Frank Clark, a butcher of Walton, of the firm of Clark & Webster; Samuel, who died at the age of two years; Mary E., who teaches school on Knickerbocker Hill; Arthur R., who follows the occupation of a butcher; Helen M., wife of Frank Wells, of Masonville; Frank C., who lives on the old homestead and carries on the farm.

Edmund A. Howes was educated in the district schools of his native town, and when eighteen began to teach in Peasetown, Broome County. He afterward taught at Bennettsville, Chenango County, and later five terms in Masonville, teaching sixteen terms altogether. January 1, 1883, he married Maggie E. Finch, daughter of Henry and Mary Jane (Carroll) Finch, of Sidney. The grandfather of Mrs. Jonas Finch was born in Cairo, Greene County, son of Amos and Martha (Parks) Finch. Amos Finch was a Revolutionary soldier, and engaged in farming in Dutchess County. Jonas married Henrietta Lennon, who lived to be eighty-seven years old, and died in 1874. His son, Henry Finch, father of Mrs. Howes, was born June 22, 1823, was a farmer in Masonville, but later bought land in Williamsport, Pa. In 1862 he enlisted in the war, in which he served ten months, returning to Pennsylvania after peace was declared. He now resides, retired from active work, in Sidney. His wife was Mary J. Carroll, daughter of Samuel Carroll, of Tompkins; and she was the mother of twelve children: Zaccheus, who married Rosetta Teed, of Sidney; Sarah, wife of Edgar Teed, of Stevensport, Pa.; Henrietta, who married Duane Hand, a farmer in Morris, Ontario County; Louisa, wife of Robert Stewart, of Sidney, who died in 1894; Anna, who married Warren Hodges, a farmer of Sidney; Maggie; Henry, who married Mary Bradley, of Tompkins; Emeline, who died at the age of sixteen; Almetta, who married James Hodges, of Sidney; Nora, the wife of Edwin Wheat, a carpenter of Sidney; Norman, who married Bertha Gaylord, and is engaged in farming in Sidney; and James.

Mr. and Mrs. Howes have one son, Fred E., born June 10, 1885, who now attends school in District No. 7. Mr. Howes is very prominent in town affairs, and has held various offices of trust. He is Justice of the Peace, has been Inspector and Auditor, and was a member of the Republican County Committee during the years of 1881 and 1882. He is a Republican in politics, and is widely known and esteemed.


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