Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The
Big Bend Country, embracing Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties,
State of Washington", published by Western Historical Publishing
JAMES HOWELL is one of the best
known men in Douglas county. He held the pulpit of the Presbyterian
church in Coulee City and Almira for a long time and is now ministering
to congregations in Paradise valley and Coulee City. In connection
with his ministerial work Mr. Howell has also pursued other avocations.
For some time he served the people as justice of the peace and won confidence
and esteem from all in this capacity. In 1897, he was appointed United
States court commissioner by Judge Hanford and in 1901 by the same judge
was reappointed. Mr. Howell has been very active in locating homeseekers
and has taken more filings in his office than in all others combined in
this section. He also receives a large number of final proofs, attends
to contests and has done a large work in getting settlers into this country.
Mr. Howell is a man of letters and has done his work well in whatever capacity
he has wrought.
James Howell was born in Carmarthern, Wales,
on July 18, 1848, the son of Thomas and Frances (Griffiths) Howell, both
natives of Wales. The Howell family is one of the old and prominent
families of that country and are able to trace their ancestrage back seven
hundred years and to "Howell the Good." Our subject's father was
parish guardian for many years. His mother's people were prominent
in Presbyterian circles and there were a number of ministers in the family.
Our subject was thoroughly trained from his youngest days, finishing his
education in the Presbyterian college in Carmarthen. He served as
pastor of the church in Pembrocke county for four years, and pastor at
large for six years, and then in 1884 came to this country. After
being a pastor in Kansas for three and one-half years Mr. Howell came on
to Douglas county, arriving here in October, 1887. He was all through
the Big Bend country for some time before settling definitely at Coulee
City. Since then he has been one of the leading men of the county
and is a highly respected citizen. Mr. Howell and his wife brought
seven thousand dollars of English cash with them to Douglas county, where
most of it has been invested in land. They also own large tracts
of land in Lincoln county, as well, and nearly all of their real estate
holdings are in cultivation, producing abundant crops of the cereals.
Mr. Howell has always been ready to assist any movement for the advancement
and upbuilding of the country, and has labored assiduously for the good
of all. He has ministered to the people far and near both in bereavement
and in joy and has the distinction of having officiated in more funerals
and marriages in this county and adjacent territory than any other minister
here. He is a substantial man with staying qualities and his friends
Mr. Howell has four brothers and five sisters.
His marriage occurred in Carmarthen, Wales, on April 10, 1884, Miss Mary
E. Walters becoming his wife at that time. Mrs. Howell's parents
are Thomas and Sarah (Nichols) Walters, prominent people in their native
place. The father is a gentleman of property, being a large coal
mine owner as well as having large landed estates. Mrs. Howell was
born in Pembrocke county, Wales, on October 23, 1858, and has four brothers,
W., David, William, and James. To Mr. and Mrs. Howell three children
have been born; Frances S., on April 22, 1885, and now attending Whitworth
college at Tacoma; Rose A., on June 22, 1886, and died on September 14,
1896; Thomas J., on February 18, 1895. The first two are native to
Kansas, but the last was born in Coulee City.