This information is part of the Champaign County ILGenWeb Project. If you have reached this site by means other than The USGenWeb Project, The ILGenWeb Project, or directly, please visit the main Champaign Co, ILGenWeb site for more information regarding Champaign County, IL ancestors. Information contained here was transcribed by Celia Snyder. Please do not repost this information without the express written permission of Celia Snyder.

Champaign County, Illinois

Biography of William F. Howard

SOURCE: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Champaign County, Illinois," Chapman Brothers, Chicago, 1887


WILLIAM F. HOWARD, of Hensley Township, occupies a snug farm on section 24, where he settled in 1865. The homestead was originally established by his father, from whom it was purchased by our subject, who has carried out in a praiseworthy manner the improvement which he instituted. When our subject first took possession of the place there was upon it a comfortable set of frame buildings. In 1885 the house was destroyed by fire, together with most of its contents. Mr. H. with commendable enterprise immediately set about rebuilding, and now has one of the pleasantest homes in this part of the county.

The subject of our sketch was born in Union Township, Brown Co., Ohio, Jan. 25, 1838. His paternal grandfather was a native of Virginia, whence he removed to Ohio, settling in Brown County when that section of the country was a wilderness. He put up the first mill in the county, which was furnished with three run of buhrs, one for corn, and two for wheat, and was operated by horse power. This mill was a great convenience to the settlers, and patrons came from thirty miles away. Mr. Howard became the proprietor of an extensive tract of land and cleared a farm upon which he resided until his death. Among the members of the family reared there was Campbell, the father of our subject, who was born May 7, 1811. He spent his entire life on the homestead and his death occurred there in 1886. When a young man he purchased a tract of timber land adjoining the old homestead, and at the time of his death was the possessor of 200 acres, besides other land in that vicinity. Campbell HOWARD was married to Miss Angeline FORSYTH, and they became the parents of seven children, all of whom save one grew to mature years.

The subject of this history was reared on the farm and when old enough began to assist in its labors, and during the winter seasons attended the district school. He remained under the home roof until his marriage, and then assumed the management of a portion of the farm. From this he removed in 1863 to the farm of his uncle, which he operated until 1865. A portion of the year 1864 Mr. H. spent in the army, serving in the 172d Ohio Infantry. In 1865 he came to this county and settled on his present homestead. His wife was formerly Miss Mary BAKER, a native of Mason County, Ky. Their marriage took place Sept. 22, 1859. Mrs. H. is the daughter of Hiram W. and Margaret (VAN BUSKIRK) BAKER, the former a native of Mason County, Ky., where he followed farming and spent the greater part of his life. His death occurred in 1849. Mrs. Margaret V. Baker was born in Virginia, spent the last years of her life with her children, and died in Hensley Township, this county, July 6, 1883.

Mr. and Mrs. Howard have seven children: Eleanora, Mrs. PITMAN, who lives in Urbana; Ida M., Minnie B., Laura, John A., Charles T. and Lawrence. Our subject and his wife are prominently connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church. That they enjoy the highest regard of their numerous friends is not at all strange. They are high-minded, honorable people, honest and upright, and generous whenever and wherever their charity is invoked. Politically Mr. H. supports the principles of the Republican party.

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