|From -- HISTORY of the State of
Nebraska, (first published in 1882 by The Western Historical
Company, A. T. Andreas, Proprietor, Chicago, IL.)
HON. CHURCH HOWE, North Auburn, is a remarkable example of the class of men who combine New England forethought and shrewdness with the broad mental grasp and locomotive-like push of typical Western men.
Born December 13, 1839, in Princeton, Mass., he received an academic and commercial school education. When the call to arms was made in 1861, Mr. Howe was one of the first to respond. He enlisted with the historic Massachusetts Sixth, and was with his regiment when the assault was made upon it by the Baltimore mob.
Soon after, he was commissioned, with Gen. Devens, afterward United States Attorney General, to recruit the Fifteenth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the famous Ball's Bluff regiment. Howe went out as Quartermaster, and afterward was commissioned Captain, and early in 1862 assigned to Gen. Sedgwick's Staff as Senior Aid-de-Camp, which position he held until after the battle of Chancellorsville.
Exposure and hard service so impaired his health as to cause Maj. Howe's retirement from the field, and he returned to Massachusetts, having taken part in sixteen engagements with Sedgwick, in the Second and Sixth Corps, Army of the Potomac.
In 1869, he went as far West as Wyoming Territory, that being the year of its organization; was there admitted to the bar and figured somewhat in local politics.
While making his trip West, he stopped in Nebraska and purchased a splendid 700-acre farm, now known as Walnut Grove Stock Farm, upon which he settled in 1871. Since this time, Mr. Howe has devoted his time and talents to making this one of the finest stock farms and homes in the West. His only son, Herbert B. Howe, being its manager.
At this farm, on the Missouri Pacific Railroad, is located Howe's Station and post office. Mr. H. took an active interest in the Grange movement from the outset, and owing to his known fertility of resources, both mental and financial, was made Master of the State Grange, after mismanagement and indebtedness had reduced it to the verge of ruin, and no reflections should be cast upon the abilities of Mr. Howe from the grave of the now defunct Grange.
At an early stage, between the struggle of the farmers and the would-be monopolists, Mr. Howe took the position that it was useless to fight the railroads, or their extension; and that it was better to encourage the building of two competitive lines across Nemaha County. To the furtherance of this object, his best efforts were bent, which, while it created the anti-Rosewater muddle, and gave Mr. Howe the title of the Railroad Granger, has resulted in the building of a hundred miles of railroad in, and the addition of half a million dollars to, the valuation of Nemaha county, which county has a debt of only $30,000.
In October, 1881, Mr. Howe and Mr. C. D. Nixon. a prominent attorney of Oswego, N. Y. platted an addition of 320 acres to the town of Sheridan; Howe, Nixon, Willson platted eighty acres additional at the same time, and built the large block bearing the name of the firm. To Mr. Howe belongs the credit of proposing, as a solution of the rivalry existing between the towns of Sheridan and Calvert, that both names be dropped, and one town be incorporated under the name of Auburn, this being, in his opinion, the most satisfactory way of settling the county seat question.
It may be stated that as a token of the opinion entertained of Mr. Howe by Nemaha County tax-payers, that he has twice represented them in the Senate and twice in the House of Representatives. Of this man it can he said, that he is a "Church Howe" man, and at the same time, while making a dollar for himself, he is making ten for the county and a hundred for the State of his adoption.