On the list of San Joaquin county's agriculturists appears the name of Cornelius A. Howard, who since the fall of 1886 has made his home upon his present farm near Banta. He is the owner of three hundred and twenty acres of rich land very highly cultivated, and he also farms about twelve hundred acres of land in other parts of the county, so that his farming operations are extensive and important. In the control of his interests he manifests excellent business ability and executive force, and his judgment in trade relations is seldom, if ever, at fault. The qualities of an enterprising and progressive business man are his and have made him a valued factor in agricultural circles.

Mr. Howard was born near New London, Connecticut, on the 20th of February, 1854, and is of English lineage. His parents were Captain Cornelius A. and Lucy R. (Mainard) Howard. When only six months old the father was taken by his parents to Connecticut, where he was reared and where he still resides, and it was in that state that he met and married Miss Mainard, a native of Connecticut. They now reside in New London, Connecticut, and both are past seventy-five years of age. Captain Howard, during the actives years of his business career, was a seafaring man and was master of various packet ships, or coasting vessels, engaged in the coasting trade on the Atlantic. He has made his home at New London for more than forty years, and is one of its most respected and venerable citizens.

In taking up the personal history of Cornelius A. Howard, we present to our readers the life record of one who is widely and favorably known in San Joaquin county. When a child he accompanied his parents on their removal to New London, Connecticut, where he was reared to manhood. He was educated in the public schools there and in the practical school of experience where he has gained many valuable lessons.

On the 15th of December, 1877, Mr. Howard left New York city on the packet ship St. David, which sailed around Cape Horn to San Francisco, California, dropping anchor in that harbor on the 14th of May, 1878. Mr. Howard, however, did not tarry long upon the coast, but made his way to San Joaquin county and entered the employ of John Chrisman, who was then living near the present site of Tracy. After working for him a short time he rented a tract of land in 1879 and began farming on his own account, taking up his abode at his present home in 1886. Here he has resided continuously since, and he now owns three hundred and twenty acres of rich and arable land under a high state of cultivation. His farming interests are very extensive, for in addition to his home place he cultivates twelve hundred acres of land. His business affairs are well managed and bring to him an excellent financial return, and that he is now numbered among the substantial citizens of his adopted county is a fact attributable to his own efforts.

On the 7th of September, 1879, Mr. Howard was united in marriage to Miss Amy P. Lewis, a native of San Joaquin county, California, and a daughter of Washington O. and Dimcy A. (Tripplett) Lewis, the former a native of Kentucky and the latter of Illinois. Washington O. Lewis was a soldier of the Mexican war and became a pioneer settler of San Joaquin county, California, taking an active part in its early development and progress. His death occurred in 1888, while Mrs. Lewis departed this life in August, 1875. To Mr. and Mrs. Howard have been born ten childten, eight of whom are living: Bertha J., Cornelius A., Lucy M., Ruth E., Clara a., Franklin L., Lester A., and Pearl A. Those who have passed away are Eleanor L. and Georgia G.

Mr. Howard is a member of Summer Lodge No. 177, I. O. O. F., of Tracy, and also of Tracy Encampment No. 49. He has served as a trustee of the Valley school district, and is a Democrat in his political views. He has contributed to public progress through his co-operation in many movements advanced for the general good, and in his business career he has accomplished what he has undertaken and made for himself an enviable position among the men of affluence in San Joaquin county.

Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume II

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine

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