Search billions of records on


Since his boyhood Nathaniel E. Howell has been closely identified with the upbuilding and gradually advancing prosperity of northeastern Kansas. Atchison county, as it appears to-day, hears little resemblance to the wild prairie land which it was when he first saw it and he has reason to be proud of the fact that he has materially aided in the grand transformation which has taken place here.

A native of Pennsylvania, our subject was born November 3, 1847, in Fayette county, and spent nine years of his life there. In 1856 his father, Amos A. Howell, impelled by a desire to seek better opportunities for himself and four children in the great west then opening up to civilization, made the long, tedious journey across the country. Coming to Atchison county, the family located in the northeastern part of Grasshopper township, where they were among the first settlers. Only a true frontiersman can realize the dangers and privations which the pioneer on these western plaits had to endure in those days, but many of those hardships are indelibly imprinted upon the mind of our subject. In addition to the usual discomforts of pioneer life, the great agitation which led up to the civil war and culminated in those fearful years of bloodshed rendered life and the possession of property of most uncertain tenure. The so-called "border ruffians" terrorized the inhabitants of this region, and during the war the Price raiders devastated the country.

Nathaniel E. Howell and his brothers and sisters attended school to a very limited extent, as their opportunities in this sparsely settled district were necessarily meager. But they learned the hard lessons of industry and economy and laid the foundations of lives which were to prove a blessing to the community in which their lot was cast. To-day Mr. Howell finds himself the owner of two hundred and ninety-three acres of well-improved land, situated in Grasshopper township. The place is well-stocked with a good grade of horses. cattle and mules, for which the owner finds a ready sale at the highest market prices. Good business methods have always marked Mr. Howell's transactions and those with whom he has had dealings place the utmost confidence in his judgment and integrity.

The marriage of Mr. Howell and Miss G. Greenawalt was celebrated in 1866. She was born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, and was reared and educated at Leavenworth, Kansas. Her parents, William and Sabina (Fisher) Greenawalt, have been summoned to the silent land. Amos A., eldest child of our subject and wife, married Josephine Lane and resides at Prosperity, Kansas. William G., the second son, married Lizzie Garrett, of this township. Henry C. and Lizzie V. are at home with their parents.

Politically Mr. Howell uses his franchise in favor of the nominees of the Democratic party. He has not been an aspirant to public office, but in order to comply with the wishes of his friends has occupied several local positions to the entire satisfaction of all concerned. Fraternally he is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and belongs to the Knights of Pythias fraternity.