My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in The History of Switzerland County, Indiana published by Weakley, Harraman & Co. in 1885.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

* * * *

SYLVANUS HOWE, one of the oldest citizens of Patriot, and most highly esteemed, was born in the State of New York, October 10, 1804. When a boy he came, in 1812, with his parents, Silas and Abagail (Fisk) Howe to Cincinnati from York State, and here the family resided several years, his father engaged in superintending a tanyard for William Woodard. His father, a few years later, entered 160 acres back of North’s Landing which he employed Hardin Heth to clear up. He later moved upon the same and resided there many years, establishing a tan- yard there, which, in partnership with Asbury Howard, he conducted some time. He moved to Patriot in his later days and died there in 1859, in his eighty-third year. His wife died in 1836. They reared ten children: Polly, Sally, Amy, Cynthia, Sylvanus, William, Anna, Julia, Jonathan and Lemuel. Sylvanus Howe learned the tanner’s trade in Cincinnati, with his father, and worked at the trade for a few years with Thomas Kennely, his brother-in-law. He then returned to Cincinnati and spent three years with Seth Cutter, a butcher with whom he made his first trip to New Orleans. He afterward made a second trip going to Charleston, S. C., and around to New York, coming back overland from New York to Philadelphia by stage, and from Philadelphia by wagon to Wheeland, then in a skiff down the river. He afterward came down to the farm, and began farming and stock raising. He had learned the flat-boating business, and began boating as soon as his means would allow and this he continued three or four years. He married here Sarah Scranton in 1828. The farm was given to him by his father, and he afterward sold it and came to Patriot. This was about 1833. He here opened up with his brother, Jonathan, a small general store on Front Street, where he continued in business till he erected the Howe Building on the corner of Third and Front in 1836. He still bought pork and other produce and sent South for several trips, and continued in the Corner store till 1852, when he and E. Case erected the distillery and in this he continued for several years. In the meantime he had dealt largely in real estate, owning several farms and a number of houses and lots in Patriot. He erected the Methodist Episcopal Church building in 1843, and was many years a member of that society; was also a member of the I. O. O. F. He may be said to be the “father” of Patriot, as he has done, perhaps, more for the place than any other citizen. In 1860 he raised a company of soldiers, 130 men, and was commissioned captain of the same and took them to Indianapolis where they were distributed to the government service. In his domestic relations Mr. Howe has been rather unfortunate, having had his fifth wife, three of whom are deceased. He has always been a man of the strictest integrity, and his memory will ever be revered by the many friends which his long and honorable career as a business man and citizen has won to him.

* * * *

This family biography is one of 215 biographies included in The History of Switzerland County, Indiana published in 1885 by Weakley, Harraman & Co.  For the complete description, click here: Switzerland County, Indiana History and Genealogy

View additional Switzerland County, Indiana family biographies here: Switzerland County, Indiana Biographies

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.