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William Alfred Howell

William Alfred Howell left England for America about 1845 but was never heard from again. In 1854, his wife, Jane Victoria and children, Alice Elizabeth, born 1839 and Thomas, born 1841, came to Anoka, a lumbering town, and owned property across from where the old Ramsey Town Hall stands. An 1857 Special Cencus showed John Howell, lumberan, with them. Later, he was not listed. During the Civil War, Thomas helped build bridges for the soldiers. In Anoka, Jane owned property, including three lots on Third avenue between Madison and Monroe and with Elizabeth's family until her death in 1886. Thomas lived next door but, in 1893, he bought property on Fifth Avenue by the Mississippi, where subsequently three more generations of Howells would live.

 

Elizabeth married Phineas Russell in 1862, after a short previous marriage. In 1857 Phineas was on the Coroner's Jury, Constable, 1870. Police Chief, 1886, Anoka Hook and ladder Company Foreman, 1895. Their children: Sophia, Stella, Jennie, Frank and Fred.

 

Catharina Nordell, born 1848, in Bergsjo, Sweden, with ancestors traced back to 1520 married Pehr Lonnberg in Gothenburg in 1866, enroute to America. Divorced in 1870, she married Thomas Howell and bore him eleven children. William, Edward, Minnie, Charles, Jane, Lena, Lucy, Walter, Florence, Unnamed male and Harriet, Minnie (15), Lena (10) and Lucy (8) died in 1889 of Diphtheria. They and a boy who died at birth were buried at home and later, in the Forest Hills family plot.

 

Charles Howell married Nellie Rathbun in 1907, and until his death in 1928, worked at the Pillsbury Mill, located where the City Hall stands.  They had three daughters, Lucy, Blanche and Mildred.

 

Charles always maintained a skating rink and swimming beach on the river by their homestead, which townspeople enjoyed, when rinks and pools as were non existent. He carved a memorial on a rock in the Mississippi which reads: "Whenever, in after years, This rock shall meet your eye, Let Memory, smiling through her tears, Review the days gone by." C.H.H. 1899

 

"Anoka County Minnesota" published 1982

by: The Anoka County Historical Society