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A representative of the farming and stock-shipping interests of Doniphan county, Mr. Howard makes his home in Wolf River township and has long been a resident of this locality. He was born in Adams county, Illinois, February 8, 1849, and is a son of Abraham Howard, whose birth occurred near Zanesville, Ohio, in the year 1821. He was of English descent and is a son of George Howard, who married Rachel Waggy, a daughter of Philip Waggy, a citizen of Ross county, Ohio. In the year 1844 Abraham Howard removed to Adams county, Illinois, where he spent his remaining days, his death occurring on the 2d of April, 1899. His wife still survives him and has now reached the age of seventy-two. Their children are: Joseph W.; Melissa, the wife of William Schwab, of Doniphan county; Philip L., who is also living in Doniphan county; William C.. a resident of Argonia, Sumner county, Kansas; Clare, the wife of Arthur Carter, of Plainfield, Illinois; and Harley, who is living on the old homestead near Plainfield.

Joseph W. Howard spent his boyhood days under the parental roof, remaining at home until he had attained his twenty-fourth year. During the winter seasons he pursued his education in the public schools and acquired a fair English knowledge. Upon the home farm he learned lessons of industry and perseverance, which have proven of great value to him in his active business career. In 1874 he started out in life for himself, renting a farm near his father's home and engaging in the raising of grain. He resided for three years in Hancock county, Illinois, and in 1880 determined to come to Kansas, hoping to benefit his financial condition by his removal to the less thickly settled district. With his teams, farm implements and household effects he arrived in Doniphan county on the 23d of January, 1888, making a location in the vicinity of Bendena. He followed farming as his main occupation until the Rock Island Railroad was built through this section of the state, when he began dealing in live stock, shipping his first loads of stock even before the yards were constructed at Bendena. In 1883 he purchased his present home, comprising the northwest quarter of section 4, range 20, Wolf River township. It is one of the most valuable tracts of farm land in the county and its richly cultivated fields yield to him a golden tribute, while its verdant meadows afford excellent pasture for the stock.

Mr. Howard's home is presided over by an estimable lady, who has many friends in this locality. She bore the maiden name of Mattie Congrove and is a daughter of Elias Congrove, of Pomeroy, Ohio. The wedding was celebrated September 1, 1872, and six children came to bless their union: Lulu, who is now the wife of Herman G. Albers; Roy Howard, who was born in 1882; and four dying in infancy. Mr. Howard is an active factor in local politics.

He was reared in the faith of the Democratic party and has always advocated its principles. He was its candidate for representative to the legislature in the fall of 1892 and contested the election of the Republican postmaster before the "rump house," presided over by J. M. Dunsmore. He won the contest and participated in the proceedings of that body until its dissolution by Judge Horton. He is a man of strong force of character, of earnest purpose and unflinching in support of his honest convictions, and by his fellow townsmen is regarded as one of the most reliable citizens of the community. He has met with creditable success in his business affairs and his marked energy and enterprise have made him well worthy of the prosperity that has come to him.