Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois,
Biographical Review Publishing Co., Chicago, 1892, Page 524 nbsp;
JACOB HOWELL is one of the oldest settlers of the county now living in Bainbridge, he having been born in what is now Woodstock township, Schuyler county, Illinois, April 23, 1833. His father, John Howell, was a native of Guilford county, North Carolina, where he was reared and where he married. He emigrated to Illinois across country with teams, accompanied by his wife and five children, locating in what is now Woodstock township. It was a wild and cheerless country, that in which the pioneer North Carolinian and his family settled. The cry of the wolves startled the children by night. Deer and turkeys haunted the big woods. Most of the land was owned by the Government. Neighbors lived far apart. Yet he went to work with a stout heart upon a tract of land, sixteen acres of which had been cleared. A log cabin stood upon the tract and there the subject of this sketch was born. The father resided there until his death, in August, 1833. The maiden name of the mother of Jacob Howell was Sarah Manlove, daughter of William Manlove, born in North Carolina. After the death of her husband she married a second time, a man named Stephen Frazer. She died on the home farm in 1842. But an infant when his father died he was doubly an orphan when but nine years old. From that time onward the brave and persevering lad was made to care for himself. He was able to attend the primitive school of his youth - the conventional log cabin with its splintered seats and puncheon floors, where, somehow, boys did manage to pick up knowledge nearly, if not altogether, as good as that of the present date, when the pupils are given the advantages of culture, aesthetic furnishings and scientific appliances. He began work upon the farm at $5 per month, continuing to work out until 1853. In February of that year he started out with others to make the overland journey with ox teams to California. It was a perilous undertaking for this inexperienced lad of less than twenty. The only white settlement between the Missouri river and California was the Mormon one in Utah, which report declared was to be nearly as much to be dreaded as the hostile Indians who scoured the plains in search of victims. Reaching California he first engaged as cook for a threshing party, receiving $3 per day. A few weeks of this life sufficed and he undertook mining, which disagreed with him and he went to southern California, where he engaged in the raising of hogs. In 1859 he returned to Schuyler county, and bought the farm he now owns and occupies. Since that time he has devoted himself to agricultural pursuits. In the following year, 1860, he was united in marriage to Rachel Parker, who has borne him four children: Emma, Addie, John and Fred. Mrs. Howell was born in Bainbridge township, and is a daughter of John and Emily Parker, who are natives of North Carolina and pioneer settlers of Schuyler county. Mr. and Mrs. Howell are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Howell is a Republican in politics.
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