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A Portrait & Biographical Record of Oregon
Page 533

   Situated on an elevation that commands a view of the surrounding country, three miles southeast of Eagle Creek, is the one hundred and sixty acre farm of William J. Howlett, known as one of the most enterprising and resourceful of the agriculturists of Clackamas county. He was born in Jennings County, Ind., March 8, 1830.
     In his ancestral connections Mr. Howlett is descended from Revolutionary stock, for even so near a relative as his paternal grandfather, William Howlett, carried a musket upon the battlefields of Brandywine and Bunker Hill., and it is supposed wintered with Washington at Valley Forge. He was also present at the surrender of General Burgoyne. This promoter of Colonial independence was born, reared and passed considerable of his life in Massachusetts, preferably in Boston, but eventually settled in Marietta County, Ohio, where his son L.V. Nelson Howlett, the father of William J., was born. At the time of his memorable journey towards the west, L.V. Nelson Howlett had just disposed of his farm in Jennings county Ind., and was ambitious of participating in the great up building of the coast. His expectations, however, were doomed to disappointment, for in some way he contacted erysipelas on the way, and died near Huntington, in 1851. The disconsolate family continued on their way according to the plans of the father, and near Eagle Creek, Clackamas county, bought a homestead right to a quarter section of land. No sooner was a method of life established in the new surroundings than William J. started out to earn his own living elsewhere, and in 1854 took up his present farm, upon which there were no improvements, and of which he has already cleared sixty acres. The most modern and approved labor-saving machinery facilitates the carrying on of large general farming enterprises, and the convenient rural home above the neighbors on all sides, is one of the most desirable to be found in the county.
     About 1854, just before taking up his present farm, Mr. Howlett went to California, much impressed with the stories he had heard of hidden wealth. After working in the mines for a few months he decided in favor of the slower but surer livelihood to which the industrious and thrifty farmer is heir, and the same year returned to Clackamas county, purchased his farm, and September 20, 1854, was united in marriage with his wife and helpmate, Sabrina Markwood, daughter of David M., who came to Oregon in 1853. To Mr. & Mrs. Howlett have been born four children:  Viola A., wife of J. Wesley Douglass, of Eagle Creek;  Mary Jane, wife of Joseph D. Douglass, of Wasco county, Ore.,  Louisa, wife of Albert Cook of Demasus; and Lida A. Woodle whose husband lives on a farm adjoining that of her father.  Mr. Howlett has been variously occupied with public and political affairs of his county, and has been justice of the peace for fourteen years. Formerly as stanch a Democrat as he is at present a Republican, his services have redounded to the credit of both parties, although he is in no sense what might be termed a politician. Mr. Howlett is identified with Eagle Creek Grange No. 197, and in religion is a member of the Christian Adventist Church, in which he is serving as elder. He is one of the foremost farmers and citizens of his locality, and is esteemed both for his business enterprise and many desirable traits of character.

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