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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company; Elwood Roberts, Editor.  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.

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FRANK A. HOWER, deceased, for a quarter of a century the popular and efficient editor and publisher of The Home News, a weekly paper of Bryn Mawr, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, was born February 29, 1848, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, one of four sons born to Dr. Joseph B. and Margaret E. (McNaughton) Hower.

The early childhood days of Frank A. Hower were spent in Lancaster where he acquired his education, graduating from the public schools at the age of fourteen years. Shortly afterward he entered the printing office of the Lancaster Examiner to learn the printing trade, where he remained until May 26, 1864, when he enlisted in Company K, Ninety-second Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers, then the Ninth Regiment Cavalry, as a bugler, and was mustered out with the company at Lexington, North Carolina, July 18, 1865. During one engagement he was shot in the calf of the right leg, and up to the time of his death the bullet was still imbedded in the fleshy part of the limb. He also partially lost the hearing of the left ear. At the close of the war Mr. Hower returned to Lancaster and resumed work at his trade; from there he went to Reading and worked on one of the papers in the capacity of compositor, and later went to Coatesville, Chester county, Pennsylvania, where in partnership with Dr. William George, he started the publication of the Coatesville Times, which is still published in that town. After the paper had been in existence for a short period of time he disposed of it, being actively connected with the publication of the Rochester, New York, Herald, and the Sunbury, Pennsylvania, Express. In 1876 Mr. Hower removed to Philadelphia, and being aware of the fact that Bryn Mawr was going to grow into a thickly populated center, located there and on June 1, 1877, established the Home News, a weekly paper. His publication office at that time was in a cottage on the grounds where at present stands the Bryn Mawr Hospital. At first he had no printing material, type or presses, but gathered the local and other news of interest and had the typesetting and presswork done at Parkesburg, by William F. Potts. Several years later Mr. Hower fitted out a printing office in a building that stood on the ground owned by the Humphrey estate, opposite Dr. Charles T. Goentner’s property, on Lancaster avenue, Bryn Mawr. After conducting business here for about two years, he sold the paper to Samuel A. Black, and on July 1, 1881, established The News, a weekly publication, in a building situated north of Lancaster avenue on Robert’s Road, where he remained until January, 1883, when the office was removed to the “Old Temperance Hall,” Lancaster avenue and Buck road. The business was conducted in that building for nineteen years, but when about to issue the silver anniversary edition of the paper on May 22, 1902, the building was destroyed by fire. After this catastrophe the type was set in the parlor of the residence and the presswork was done in Philadelphia, until a suitable location could be secured. On August 8, 1890, Mr. Hower again purchased the Home News from the heirs of Samuel A. Black, and consolidated it with The News, afterward calling the paper The News and Home News. On August 18, 1902, the office of the paper, as well as the residence, was moved to its present location, on Lancaster pike, a short distance east of the Bryn Mawr depot.

In politics Mr. Hower was always an adherent of the principles of the Republican party, and whenever an election was about to be held he was found working for the entire Republican ticket, whether local or national, using the columns of his paper to further their election. Senator Matthew Stanley Quay and Senator Boise Penrose often consulted him upon matters of vital interest to the party, counting him as one of the best co-workers in the political arena. His political acumen was recognized at numerous times by being called upon to officiate at conferences of the state and national leaders of the Republican party, and whenever his party controlled the apportionment of office he was foremost in the ranks to plead the cause of some friend for official appointment, notwithstanding that he had been earnestly solicited at various times to become a candidate for at least some county office. In 1889, when the Haverford district was created by the division of the Bryn Mawr district, he was elected committeeman and continued in that office until 1901. For a number of years Mr. Hower was a member of the Knights Templar, Knights of the Golden Eagle, Junior Order of United American Mechanics, and Typographical Union, but as his business enterprise occupied all of his time he allowed himself to run out in the orders. At the time of his death he was a member of Colonel Owen Jones Post, No. 591, Grand Army of the Republic, being one of its charter members. He was also a member of the Bucks-Montgomery Press League, the State Editorial Association, and the Pen and Pencil Club.

On June 4, 1879, Mr. Hower married Miss Anna M. Grubb, daughter of William B. and Catharine E. (Hagerty) Grubb, at the home of the parents, 2205 Spruce street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Their children were: William G., Frank A., Charles M., James S., Thomas, Harry V., Catharine M., Anna M. and Mary M. Hower. Mr. Hower died October 23, 1902, and the funeral services were conducted at his late residence on Lancaster avenue, Bryn Mawr, by the Rev. James Houghton, pastor of the Church of the Redeemer. He was buried in his soldier’s uniform, and the casket was draped in the American flag according to a desire often expressed by him. The interment was made at Mount Moriah cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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This family biography is one of more than 1,000 biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

View additional Montgomery County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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