Source: Portrait and Biographical Album, Muscatine County, Iowa, 1889, page 553
PROF. M. Y. HOWE., who is a successful teacher of much ability. and Principal of First Ward School of Muscatine, was born on the 25th of March, 1835, in Clarion County, Pa. His grandfather, Simeon Howe, was of English ancestry, and in an early day settled in Northumberland County, Pa., whence he removed to Clarion County, in the same State, about 1815. Simeon Howe had two brothers, Nathan and John, and one sister, Sarah, who married Jonathan Furman, and lived at Strattanville, Clarion Co., Pa. Nathan and John remained in Eastern Pennsylvania. Simeon Howe's family consisted of three boys and five girls : Morris, George G., Mary, Sarah, Jared, Elizabeth, Catherine, and Susan. Morris married Miss Mary Latshaw ; George G., Miss Barbara Armstrong ; Mary, David Yingling ; Sarah, William Guiher ; Jared, Miss Mary Ann Young ; and Elizabeth, William M. Farland, who died in a few years. She afterward married Mr. Daniel Slaugenhaupt. After many years of wedded life he died. She survives as his widow. Catherine married Daniel Baker. The only surviving members of the family are Elizabeth, Catherine and Susan. The parents of the mother of the subject of this sketch came from Ireland when young. Their names were William Young and Jane Gregg. They became acquainted, married, and located in Clarion County. They reared a family of eight children, of whom Mary Ann was the youngest. She was born in June, 1816; and Jared Howe to whom she was married, was born Oct. 25, 1812. They were married on the 14th of November, 1833, and located on a farm in their native county. Here they reared their family of eight children. Their names in the order of birth are : Morrison Y., of this sketch ;John E., Jane, Simeon K., Horatio S., William E., Hannah Luella, and Leona E. Not only was Jared Howe a farmer, but the church to which he belonged ( the Methodist Episcopal) granted him license to preach. After serving the church as a local preacher a number of years, he was admitted to the traveling connection, and united with the Erie Conference, in which he served the church, giving his entire time to it, until his death, which occurred Dec. 15, 1870. As his ministerial labors as traveling preacher required him to do a large amount of traveling, which he mostly did on horseback at all seasons of the year and through all kinds of weather, his task was not an easy one. From about 1835 until about 1846 his house was the itinerant preacher's home, and, as no church had been erected in the community, it was the preaching place, as well as that of the social means of grace. The subject of this sketch, Prof. M. Y. Howe, spent his first school-days in the " old log school-house" so common at that day, in such as many of our great statesmen laid the foundations of their future brilliant career. On leaving the district school, he attended for a number of years such schools of higher order as were in reach in those days, making preparations to enter college. His vacations were not spent in idleness. He assisted his father on the farm, and, as he was also of studious habits, he would improve whatever time he had from other duties in pursuit of information in some branch of study. He entered Alleghany College, at Meadville, Pa., in 1851, and after a four year's course completed his studies in that institution and entered upon the profession of teaching. He taught his first school in the winter of 1855-56, at a place now known as Blair's Corners, Clarion Co., Pa. After following the same profession in his native county for several years, he went to Armstrong County and taught for three years at Brady's Bend-- so-called in remembrance of Brady's defeat of the Indians in that locality. He was then called to return to Clarion County to take charge of an academy at Mong's Corners. After two years in the educational line at this place, he responded to a call to take charge of a Classical Academy at Covode, Indiana County, where he remained until he decided to cast his lot with the people of Iowa. In the summer of 1872 he, by resignation, severed his connection with Covode Academy, and made arrangements to remove with his family to Muscatine to take charge of the First Ward School as Principal, in which capacity he has continued to serve.
On the 10th of May, 1859, Prof. Howe wedded Miss Margaret Watson, a native of Callensburg, Pa., and to them was born one daughter, Maggie W., who resides in Muscatine. The mother's death occurred in 1860. Seven years later, July 6, 1867, Mr. Howe was married again, the lady of his choice being Miss Sarah E. Brisbin, also a native of Callensburg, Pa. An interesting family of eight children, four sons and four daughters, has graced this second union. Their names in order of age are : William E., Lillian A., Emma F., John B., Sarah Gertrude, Susie Alice, Adrian M., and Merrill Y.
Since the days of their earlier youth both Prof. and Mrs. Howe have been members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and are earnest and sincere Christians, who receive the respect of all who know them. As an instructor, Prof Howe ranks among those who steadily aim to secure to the pupils placed under his care their greatest possible good and comfort in all respects. He feels that without proper training and developement, as a result of their time spent at school, they are left with but poor preparation for entering upon the duties of life. Prof. Howe is satisfied, as all earnest educators are, to share the lot of that class of men and women who feel and know that the work of the teacher belongs to that class of silent influences which extend both wide and deep, working a transforming power on the heart of the State and the Nation, while " they attract but little of the world's attention." The victories and successes that are a result of persevering fidelity and earnest endeavor, notwithstanding the many hindrances and discouragements of the conscientious educator, form the inspiration of the men and women, whose combined efforts weave the warp and wool of that part of the Nation's social fabric which possesses the "brightest and most enduring colors." Hence the subject of this sketch, also knowing that " we confront the dangers of sufferage by the blessings of universal education," gives his time and attention to the work for which by education and many years experience he has been prepared. It is his aim that the schools shall improve steadily, that all concerned shall become more interested in the cause of education, and the pupils become more deeply in earnest in their work.
Prof. Howe united with the First Methodist Episcopal Church in Muscatine in 1872. Soon after his connection with the church he was elected a member of the Official Board, and has since served in the capacity of Steward, Secretary for the Official Board, and Recording Steward. In the year 1886 the Official Board gave him license to exercise the duties and assume the responsibilities of a local preacher. Since which time he has been preaching the Gospel of Christ in different places in this county, and also in Rock Island Co., Illinois, where he has done efficient work for the Master. He is always ready to enter any " open door " where there is an opportunity to help a soul heavenward. If this sketch was to be read only by the members of the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Muscatine, it would seem unnecessary to speak of his work in this community in this line : as we are sure no man is better known than Prof. Howe. In the Sunday-school he seems to be indispensable, having been Superintendent, and teacher of Bible class, and has served as Librarian for the school during the past six years ; and we know that no Library has been better cared for. He has so carefully discharged his duties as to be able, from year to year, to account for every volume in the library, and this methodical way of doing business for the church is characteristic of the man in all he undertakes-- his aim seeming always to be to " do everything to the Lord heartily."