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Irving Howbert
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Birth: Apr. 11, 1846
Bartholomew County
Indiana, USA
Death: Dec. 21, 1934
Colorado Springs
El Paso County
Colorado, USA

Irving Howbert was an early pioneer of the Pike's Peak Region. Irving Howbert came to the area with his family at the age of fourteen. From 1868 to 1879, he served as Clerk of El Paso County. In this position, he signed the legal papers incorporating Colorado Springs. Irving Howbert was active in politics. He developed a municipal water supply for our city and helped organize the first gas company. Howbert had many business interests including mining and railways. He built the Colorado Springs Opera House with his silver mine profits.
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From: Portrait and Biography Record of the State of Colorado, 1899

HON. IRVING HOWBERT. The various successful interests with which Mr. Howbert is identified indicate his versatile abilities, and his prominence in business and political affairs is a striking evidence of the confidence and esteem of the people, not only of his own locality, but of the state. Having been a resident of Colorado from his boyhood days, and developing in his early manhood unusual business ability, it was but natural that he should become interested in many of the principal industries of the state. In mining, banking, manufacturing and other enterprises that have aided in building up the state he has been one of the most prominent factors, and with hardly an exception, his business efforts have been successful.

The Howbert family is of German extraction, and has been identified with American history since colonial days. George Howbert was a planter and slave owner in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. His son, Jacob, was born in that valley, removed to Salem, Roanoke County, Va., and engaged in farming. From Virginia he removed to Coshocton County, Ohio, and thence to Bartholomew County, Ind., where he died at an advanced age. During the war of 1812 he enlisted in the army, but the war ended before he was called into service.

William, son of Jacob, and father of Irving Howbert, was born in Salem, Roanoke County, Va., and passed his early manhood in that state, Ohio and Indiana. In 1852 he removed to Iowa and entered the Methodist Episcopal ministry. He continued in Iowa until 1860, when he crossed the plains to Colorado, having been assigned to missionary work in the southern part of the then territory. After three years of indefatigable labor, failing health forced him to relinquish his work. He had previously located his family at Colorado City, and there he began the improvement of his property. He died in 1871. His wife, Martha Marshall, was born in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and died in Colorado City in 1863. She was a descendant of a branch of the family to which belonged Chief Justice Marshall. Her father, Robert Marshall, was born in Pennsylvania. The children of William and Martha Howbert were six in number, and all are still living: Irving; Edgar, who at the present writing is clerk of the district court of El Paso County; F. W., who is United States collector of internal revenue for the district of Colorado and Wyoming; C. W., general manager of the Anchoria-Leland Mining and Milling Company; Irene and Alice, of Colorado Springs.

The subject of this article was born in Columbus, Ind., and received most of his education in the schools of southwestern Iowa. He was fourteen years of age when he accompanied his father to Colorado, making the trip overland with ox-teams via Plattsmouth and the Platte River, and arriving in Denver in June, 1860, after a journey of thirty days. In the fall of the same year he returned to Iowa, but the spring of 1861 found him again on the road west, with his father and family. In 1862 the family settled in Colorado City, where subsequently, for a time, he attended the academy. In August, 1864, he enlisted in Company G, of the Third Colorado Cavalry, and served with his regiment until the beginning of the year 1865, meantime taking part in the battle of Sand Creek. In 1865 he accompanied the family to Clarinda, Iowa, where for a time he attended high school. On his return to Colorado in 1866 he secured employment at any occupation he could find, and for a year or more followed freighting, herding cattle, farming and clerking at different times. In 1869 he was elected clerk of El Paso County and served by re-election for five consecutive terms, four of which times he was elected without opposition. Refusing a re-election, he resigned on election day of 1879, in order to give his entire attention to the position of cashier of the First National Bank of Colorado Springs, to which he had been elected in 1878. Two years later he was made president of the institution, in which capacity he served with the greatest efficiency for ten years, when he resigned on account of injury to his health, caused by close confinement to business. Since then he has held the office of vice-president, and still takes an active part in the management of the bank. When he became connected with the bank as cashier in January, 1878, it was in a failing condition, but within two years, through his good management, the institution was placed in excellent financial shape, and it has continued to grow from that date until it is now one of the strongest banks in the state.

At the inception of the Colorado Midland Railroad Mr. Howbert was one of its principal organizers, and was made treasurer of both railway and construction company. On the completion of the road, owing to the pressure of other business, he severed his connection with the company.

In 1878 he became one of the owners of the Robert E. Lee mine, at Leadville, and largely through his judicious management it became for a time one of the largest producers and most noted mines of the state. It yielded a competence for himself and each of his associates. Since that date he has been more or less closely connected with mining operations in various parts of the state. He has taken a prominent part in the development of the Cripple Creek mining district, and at the present writing is president, vice-president and director in half a dozen companies.

In the ranks of the Republican party Mr. Howbert has been a potential factor. For many years he was a delegate to almost every state convention. In 1882 he was elected, without opposition, a member of the state senate, and during his term of four years he forwarded many important bills, and served upon various committees. At the close of his terra he declined a re-nomination. In 1888 he was a delegate to the Republican national convention in Chicago when Benjamin Harrison received his first nomination for the presidency. In 1894 he was chairman of the state central Republican committee, and to his efforts was largely due the defeat of Governor Waite. The Republican nomination for the office of governor was repeatedly offered him, when such nomination was equivalent to election, but he has always refused to accept.

In 1888 he went to Europe, where, with his family, he spent fifteen months in travel and recreation. In 1897, with his family, he made another tour of Europe, spending the winter in Italy, Egypt and Greece. He has always taken a great interest in educational matters. Since 1880 he has been a trustee of Colorado College, and for a short time he was regent of the University of Colorado, having been appointed to fill a vacancy in the board. In the organization of the Chamber of Commerce he took an active part and has since officiated as one of its directors.

In 1874 Mr. Howbert married Lizzie A., daughter of William L. Copeland. She was born in Illinois, a descendant of many generations of New England ancestors. The two children born of their union, are Alice May and William.

When Colorado Springs was started in 1871, Mr. Howbert was serving as county clerk and assisted in securing the land on which the town was located. He has not only watched with pleasure the development of Colorado Springs, his chosen home, with which his personal interests are so closely identified, but he has also witnessed with pride the growth of Colorado, to which he came in its territorial days. Through his connection with banking, mining and railroads, he has done much to develop the state.

From his first residence at the Springs he has been prominently identified with the financial, educational and social interests of the city. To the town since the days of its infancy he has been a tower of strength. In society he is known and appreciated as a gentleman of liberal views, broad information and public spirit, one who is entitled to high regard by reason of his upright character, sincerity of purpose and honorable life.

From: The Real Pioneers of Colorado (1934), Vol. 2, pg 197

Irving Howbert was born in Columbus, Indiana, April 11, 1846, the eldest of six children born to William and Martha (Marshall) Howbert. He passed the first 8 years of his life in the native town, receiving his early education in the common schools of Iowa. He made three trips across the plains with his father with ox teams in 1860 and 1861 when the father was assigned to the missionary field for the Methodist Episcopal Church. The first trip was made when he was
at the age of 14. In 1862 the family settled in Colorado City where his mother died the following year.

He was a volunteer soldier in 1864-65 for 6 months in the 3rd Cavalry of Colorado. For several years after settling down in the territory at the age of 20, he accepted any honorable employment that promised remuneration. He was clerk in a general store, cowboy, farmer, and freighter, doing with his might what his hands found to do. In 1869 he was elected clerk of El Paso County and re-elected biennially thereafter four times, declining to remain in office longer. He was chosen cashier of the First National Bank of Colorado Springs. After 2 years he was elected president. After 10 years of executive management he resigned, leaving the bank sound, strong, and prosperous. He was one of the projectors and incorporators of the Colorado Midland Railroad.

He was one of the owners of the Robert E. Lee Mine at Leadville. He was active in the development of the Cripple Creek district. He was one of the promoters and builders of the Colorado Springs and Cripple Creek Railroad. He was elected to the State senate as a Republican in 1882.

He went to Europe with his family in 1888, remaining there for the benefit of his health for a period of 15 months. For more than 20 years he served on the board of trustees of Colorado College. By appointment to fill a vacancy, he served a short time as regent of the University of Colorado.

In 1874 he married Miss Lizzie A. Copeland, a native of Illinois and of New England descent. To this union were born two children, Alice May and William.
Family links: 
  William Howbert (1820 - 1871)
  Martha Marshall Howbert (1826 - 1863)
  Lizzie Atwood Copeland Howbert (1854 - 1922)
  William Irving Howbert (1884 - 1957)*
  Irving Howbert (1846 - 1934)
  Irene Howbert (1848 - 1910)*
  Florence Howbert (1850 - 1852)*
  Alice Howbert (1852 - 1932)*
  Edgar Howbert (1856 - 1936)*
  Frank William Howbert (1858 - 1945)*
  Charles Wesley Howbert (1860 - 1950)*
  Martha A. Howbert (1863 - 1864)*
*Calculated relationship
Evergreen Cemetery
Colorado Springs
El Paso County
Colorado, USA
Plot: 00058
Maintained by: Ron West
Originally Created by: HEE
Record added: Nov 01, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 16414989
Irving Howbert
Added by: FGreenbaum
Irving Howbert
Added by: Ron West
Irving Howbert
Added by: Ingrid Mcdonald
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