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Champaign County, Illinois

Biography - J. N. Howser

SOURCE: "History of Champaign County, Illinois with Illustrations," 1878


J. N. HOWSER, Mr. Howser is a native of Clermont county, Ohio, and was born on the 16th of October, 1821. The family with whom he is connected is of German descent. His grandfather emigrated from Germany to America, settled in the state of Maryland, removed from there to Jessamine county, Kentucky, where Christopher HOWSER, the father of the subject of this sketch was born. Christopher Howswer went to the state of Ohio and settled in Clermont county, where in the year 1820 he married Elizabeth HOOVER. The oldest child by this marriage was J. N. Howser. His mother's family came to Ohio from Maryland, and were among the early settlers of the state.

He was raised in Clermont county. He attended school in the log school-houses which then abounded throughout that state, but his chances of obtaining an education were limited. His father raised considerable quantities of wheat; it was trod out by horses in the winter, and he was obliged to remain home from school and bear his share in this work. August 24th 1843, he married Margaret J. DILLMAN, who was born and raised in Brown county, Ohio, but was living in Clermont county at the time of her marriage. He then went to farming for himself on his father's land in Clermont county. After farming there about ten years he thought his prospects would be bettered by removing to the West, and in 1853, a neighbor of his David House, bought for him 240 acres of land in St. Joseph township, Champaign county, comprised in section 31, of township 19, range 10. This land consisting of raw prairie was purchased at six dollars an acre. In the year 1855, Mr. Howser came out with his family. That part of the county was very sickly at that time, and the members of his family being in bad health, he remained only one year and returned to Ohio where he lived till the fall of 1860. At that date he returned to his farm in St. Joseph township, where he has since lived. He has given 240 acres of land in Champaign county to his children, and 160 acres in Page county, Iowa. He still owns the 240 acres he originally purchased, unencumbered of any debt, and forty acres in section 30 of the same township, and 120 acres in Urbana township.

Mr. and Mrs. Howser have five children living: the eldest daughter, Eliza E., is the wife of John HUDSON, and lives in St. Joseph township; Leonidas Howser, the oldest son, is farming for himself in the same part of the county; Robert C. is engaged in farming in Page county, Iowa; Martha Jane, wife of Josiah LAUGHLIN, is living in Page county, Iowa; and the youngest son, Christopher L., is living at home. In addition, Mr. Howser has had as a member of his family, William DITTO, whom he has raised from the age of two years, educated and given the same advantages as to his own children.

In his politics he was formerly a Whig, and voted with that organization till it was supplanted by the Republican party, of which he has been a member, and which he has warmly supported from its earliest formation to the present time. He is a man whose influence has been thrown on the side of honesty and morality, and also in all his intercourse with his fellow-men still bears an unblemished reputation. Both he and his wife, since 1844, have been members of the Christian church, belonging to the old branch of that denomination commonly known as the New Lights. He has endeavored to bring the influence of religious associations over the rising generation, and his children have been raised in the church and are members of it. He is a good farmer, and owns a valuable and finely situated tract of land. The sickly season which existed the first year he came to the state would have given any one the impression that this country was unfavorable as a place of residence, but all such opinions have since been removed, and Mr. Howser is well satisfied that few places on the face of the earth offer such attractions to the farmer as does the state of Illinois.

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