Marion County Obituaries

Dan H. Howard

Contributed By: Deb Shillo


May 9, 1913


On Friday, April 25, Dan H. Howard was at his place of business in the glow of health, attending to his official duties.  On the evening of that day, between the hours of eight and nine o'clock, he was mingling with the crowd that throngs the lobby of the post office at such an hour.  He talked, jested and laughed with friends, with no suggestion nor apparent portent that in the hourglass of his life the remaining sands were so few, or the grim visage of time with his scythe stalked immediately behind him waiting to swing the blade across his pathway.  Not far from the hour of nine he parted from friends to go to his home and in about four hours later he was a corpse, having breathed his last at one o'clock that night, or in the morning of April 26th.

A married daughter, Mrs. Imogen Beckman, who is at home on a visit, and Miss Byrd Phillips, were the only persons in the house at the time.  Mr. Howard called to his daughter who was occupying a room on the second floor, a few minutes before o'clock and she hurried to the bedside of her father who simply told her that he was very sick, could not get his breath and to call a doctor.  At the bedside she was joined by Miss Phillips to render such service as might be possible.  Mrs. Beckman was rubbing her father and trying to revive him when Miss Phillips who had her finger on his pulse said, "it is of no use to rub him, he is dead."  Dead before Dr. Kelly who had been summoned could reach him.  That is the simple story of Dan Howard's death.  The inspiration that moved the current which ran life's machinery ceased to perform its functions and Dan Howard was dead.  No medical man, no anatomist, was nigh to assign a cause and in the eternal councils of the Unknown is its secret hidden.

Mr. Howard was born and reared in the State of Maine and had not yet attained his majority when he came to Lebanon in 1858 or 59 to make his home. He was preceded here by a brother, Mr. Howland Howard, who with Mr. Judson Littlefield, was in the shoe business, both of whom came also from Maine.  Dan Howard at once engaged as a salesman with that firm, which did business in a little old frame building that stood on the site now occupied by that part of Court Block in which Misses England & Kirk now have a millinery store.  He remained with the firm but a short time, however, when he took a position as salesman with E. P. Mahon, a dry goods merchant doing business in what is now known as the eastern or upper room of the John B. Carlile & Co. building.  He afterwards engaged in the insurance business and was possibly, the first man who ever wrote any fire insurance in Lebanon.

The war coming on in 1861 and the matter of war taxes having to be arranged for, Mr. Howard was early connected with the Government service in the assessing and collecting of internal revenues.   Before such officers as Collectors of Internal Revenue were known by such names, but were called "Assessors", Mr. Howard was in the service and remained connected with it in some capacity through all its phases down to the day of his death, saving the two interims of Democratic ascendancy in National affairs, before the days of civil service reform.

During all the forgoing time Mr. Howard was a citizen of Lebanon, or Marion County, with the exception of a few years when he owned the famous Alum Springs in Boyle county, a one time popular and favorite summer resort, which he managed until the hotel and other buildings were destroyed by fire and never rebuilt.

 Mr. Howard married on the 26th of October, 1866, Miss Emma Maxwell, the accomplished, cultured daughter, and only child of the late Dr. John C. Maxwell, an old and prominent citizen of Lebanon, well known for his high ideals and his pure and spotless life.  To the union were born five children, three boys and two girls, all of whom survive him, his wife having preceded him to the grave several years ago.  Max and Lucian Howard-- as we familiarly know and call them--live in Dayton, Ohio.  Ward Howard lives in Louisville.  The home of Mrs. Imogen Beckman is in Mexico.  Miss Juliet Howard lived with her father at their home in this city, but was on a visit to her brothers in Dayton when her father died.

Dan Howard lived such a simple and unostentatious life that it is difficult to give a sketch of him in epitome.  The tenor of his life was even; his pulse was neither fast or slow, but it was always the same.





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