|Birth: ||Jun. 7, 1860|
|Death: ||Mar. 2, 1942|
The Oregonian Tuesday, March 3, 1942 Page 12
Mrs. Alma Howe
Mrs. Alma Howe, about 88, former summer resort operator at Hood River, died Monday at the Methodist Home in Salem, according to word received in Portland. A nurse by profession, she began running the "Cottage Farm" at Hood River in 1889, and was well known among pioneer residents of Northern Oregon.
She has no surviving relatives. She had lived at Salem for the past eight years. Funeral services will be held at 10 am Thursday in Rigdon's chapel at Salem, with graveside services scheduled for Thursday at Hood River under the auspices of Canby post No. 16, Women's Relief Corps.
An Illustrated History of Central Oregon, Western Historical Publishing Company, Spokane, WA. 1905, pages 246-247
MRS. ALMA L. HOWE is too well known in the Hood River country to need an introduction but on account of what she has been and what she is, a review of her life will be very interesting to all. She is the proprietor of the Cottage Farm which lies a mile and one-half from the town of Hood River and is one of the ideal spots in the great Columbia valley. She was born in Marion county, Oregon, on June 7, 1860, the daughter of Isaac N. and Harriet (Millsap) Lawrence, natives of Missouri. The father died in 1886 in Knappton, Washington, and the mother died in Marion county, Oregon. The father crossed the plains in 1854 and the mother in 1855. He was one of the well known mill men of Oregon, building the first sawmill in East Portland. He did more than can be written to place the sawmilling industry upon its feet in Washington and Oregon in pioneer days. He was a man of great energy and stamina. When our subject was nine years of age the father moved to Portland and she was educated in the Portland schools. On September 8, 1878, at Portland, she married Samuel T. Howe, a native of Indiana. One child was born to this union, Hester A., a lady of culture and refinement. While still very young, Mrs. Howe learned the profession of a nurse and has followed it more or less since. Owing to adverse circumstances, she was obliged to support herself and daughter continuously. Owing to her courage and spirit, she accepted her lot with graciousness and has done a noble work as will be seen. In 1885, she bought forty acres where she now resides near Hood River. The place was only slightly improved, but as she was able a little each year she added improvements and today it is one of the model homes in the state of Oregon. In 1897, she sold twenty acres and since then has given her entire attention to the management of the twenty acres remaining. Fifteen acres of this are devoted to strawberries, while the other five produce clover, vegetables, and orchard. The farm is beautifully laid out and no better kept place can be found in the west. At first she did diversified farming, but as soon as the water for irrigation was provided she had the place planted as mentioned above. In 1894, Mrs. Howe erected a large house for the accommodation of summer boarders. The popularity of her place is well shown in that she since erected four cottages for the same purpose and now accommodates about thirty-five boarders during the summer months. Her place is most beautifully situated, overlooking the country for miles, is supplied with plenty of pure water and in every respect is as choice a place as can be found. The climate is healthful and invigorating and no word need be said in reference to the kindly care that Mrs. Howe takes of all her guests. In all the labors of the farm she has attended to the details and the direction entirely alone, having no male relatives to assist her. It speaks very highly of her ability and courage to undertake to carry on this great work and she certainly deserves the most unbounded success which she has earned. Mrs. Howe has one half-brother, Chester, deceased, and three sisters, Mrs. Mary L. Parmenter, Mrs. Alice J. Darling, and Mrs. Ella F. Baird. Mrs. Howe is a devoted member of the Methodist church and a liberal supporter of the faith. It is very interesting to know that Mrs. Howe has in her family a woman known as Indian Nellie, who is aged seventy and now entirely helpless on account of rheumatism. She is caring for this poor aged woman and expects to until her death, which is a true Christian work. Indian Nellie is the last of her family and is indeed a very pathetic creature.
Mrs. Howe is highly esteemed by every person who knows her and receives the unbounded admiration and commendation of the entire Hood River country.
History of Early Pioneer Families of Hood River, Oregon. Compiled by Mrs. D.M. Coon
MRS. ALMA HOWE D.M.C. 1883
Mrs. Alma Howe is a native Oregonian, having been born in Marion County in June 1860. Her father's name was Isaac Lawrence, the mother's was Harriet Millsap Lawrence, she died leaving four children, Alma being the eldest of the three girls. A few years later her father married again and the family moved to East Portland where Mr. Lawrence built the first sawmill erected in that locality. The home of Lawrence was near what is now the junction of Hawthorne and Grand Avenue at that time it was well hidden in a grove of trees, with no hint of a coming city. The public schools of Portland furnished Miss Lawrence with opportunities for an education.
In September 1878 she was married to Samuel T. Howe, later they moved to Hubbard where a daughter, Hester Alice, was born. This daughter received her education at the Portland and Hood River Public Schools and the Normal School at Monmouth. For a time she engaged in teaching, but later became an assistant to her mother at the Cottage Farm.
Mrs. Howe first came to Hood River in 1882 to visit with her sister, Mrs. Parmenter, a year later she moved here and this has since been her home. In 1885 she bought 40 acres of land from her brother-in-law David Parmenter. The dwelling on this place was Hood River's first schoolhouse, bought from Dr. W.L Adams for twenty bushels of wheat. Mr. Parmenter moved this building to his farm, and by dividing it into two rooms, made a very comfortable pioneer cabin. These two rooms are still in use (1916) at The Cottage Farm.
In the year 1868, on account of the stress of hard times at Hood River, Mrs. Howe went to Portland and engaged in nursing. After four years of this strenuous labor, she returned to Hood River to recuperate her health and look after her neglected farm. In the summer of 1894 she erected a substantial building and opened her home to summer boarders and those in search of rest and quiet, the summer of 1895 was a busy hopeful time, but an accident in the fall made her a cripple, bedfast and helpless. The doctors decided that her foot must be amputated, but at her insistence, the operation was postponed until her finances could be arranged so that her daughter could be provided for. In the meantime there was improvement, slowly but surely the injured foot grew better, until at the end of four years, she was able to walk without crutches. During these four years, she was not idle; twenty acres of land was sold, more rooms were added, summer boarders and invalids came to her home and were cared for. As she prospered improvements of all kinds were added. She now has thirty three rooms besides several tents to accommodate the crowds which flock to her home. The eleven acres of land remaining is carefully cultivated and yields good returns.
The Cottage Farm has more than a local reputation, many tourists from other states visit there, for the place is unpretentious, quiet and homelike.
Mrs. Howe is a member of the M.E. Church, being a charter member of the first organization of that denomination in Hood River, she is also an earnest prohibitionist, is chairman of the school board of District No. 3.
She is a friend to those in need, not excepting the Indian, a busy woman, an honest woman and a good citizen.
Hester Howe died in 1922.
Mrs. Alma Howe went to the Methodist Old Folks home at Salem, Oregon in 1931, where she spent eleven years. She died in 1942 and was interred at Idlewilde in Hood River, Oregon.
The History of the Columbia River Valley From The Dalles to the Sea, Volume II,
The J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago, IL., 1928, page 310
MRS. ALMA L. HOWE
The following tribute to the worth of one of the pioneer women of Oregon was paid by Fred Lockley and appeared in the Portland Journal of February 18, 1927:
"A few days ago, while at Hood River, I climbed the long flight of steps leading to Montello avenue, where on a clear day -- and most days at Hood River are clear -- a wonderful view can be had of the Columbia river. I stopped at No. 415 Montello avenue to visit one of my long-time friends, Mrs. Alma L. Howe, who is one of Oregon's native daughters, having been born in the vicinity of Fairfield. She has lived in the Hood River valley since 1883. If there were more people like Mrs. Howe the world would be a better place to live in. Her heart is as big as all outdoors. She has had only one child of her own, but she has mothered possibly fifteen children. Saving souls alive is her specialty.
"In conversing with me about her family, Mrs. Howe said, 'My father, Isaac Lawrence, was born in Kentucky in 1835. My mother, Harriet (Millsap) Lawrence, was born in Missouri in 1837. She was a half-sister of the late Lorenzo A. Byrd of Salem, who made the overland journey to Oregon in 1846 in company with the Rev. Cornwall. In 1854, when my father was nineteen years old, he and three other boys of about the same age decided to come to Oregon. They brought an express wagon and a team to carry their bedding and provisions and started to walk across the plains. Their team soon became exhausted, so the boys got jobs driving ox teams for other emigrants, thus paying for their board.
"'When father arrived in Oregon he worked first for L. A. Byrd. My mother came to Oregon in 1856 and was married in the same year. Soon afterward they settled on a ranch on the Willamette river in Marion county and I was born on that place June 7, 1860. Father was also engaged in the lumber business and when I was seven years old he moved his sawmill from Fairfield, Oregon, to Lake Labish, just north of Salem. In 1870, when I was ten years old, he moved his mill from Lake Labish to Portland and bought land on the east side of the Willamette river on Water street, near the foot of U street. His plant was known as the East Side mill and when I was fifteen years old he sold it to the firm of Abrams & Hogue.
"'My mother died in 1865, leaving four children. My oldest brother, John E. Lawrence, is dead. I was the next child. My sister, Mary Louisa, married David Parmenter and they live at Canby, Oregon. Alice, my next sister, married Fred Darling and died some years ago. My father remarried in 1867 and my stepmother's name was Emma Ditmar. Her father was a pioneer settler on French prairie. My father and stepmother had five children, only one of whom, Mrs. Francis Beard of Astoria, is now alive. When my father started the East Portland mill in 1875 he established a logging camp near Westport. He died at the age of fifty-seven on his farm on Crooked creek, near Astoria.
"'I went to school at Fairfield and Professor King, of Butteville, was my first instructor. His son Charles is a member of the Portland firm of Olds, Wortman & King. I was next a pupil in the Lake Labish school and in 1870, when we removed to Portland, I attended school where the Odd Fellows Temple was later built. At that time there were two school buildings there -- the brown schoolhouse and the white schoolhouse. The smaller children went to the white schoolhouse. I was in Portland when they started the Hawthorne school. Professor T. R. Coon, who spends his summers here in Hood River and his winters in Portland, was my teacher. His wife, Delia Coon, was his assistant. I was a pupil of Professor Coon for two years and finished the eighth grade. In those days Portland and East Portland were separate communities and there was a good deal of rivalry between them. East Portland had no high school, and Portland had one, but the residents of East Portland didn't think it was patriotic to send their children to school in the rival community of Portland, so I didn't go to high school.
"'When I was eighteen I married Samuel T. Howe. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. William Roberts, a pioneer Methodist circuit rider, who married us on September 8, 1878. My husband, who hailed from Indiana, was a dentist. He practiced his profession in East Portland. At the time of our marriage Rafferty Brothers had a drug store on J street, between Third and Fourth. C. H. Rafferty was a physician and surgeon and H. S. Angell was also a doctor in East Portland. H. C. Cooley had a drug store and was also a physician. Dr. J. C. Hawthorne was likewise a physician and had charge of the State Insane Asylum on Hawthorne avenue. B. F. Hutchison was engaged in the practice of medicine and J. M. Kitchen was another doctor of East Portland at that time. W. W. Royal, C. B. Smith and S. Smith were likewise well known physicians, while Thomas Robison had a drug store, as did also Ross & Welch. If you will go and see Dr. Rafferty he can tell you all about the business firms of East Portland of fifty years ago. Our home was just across from the East Portland Park on Fifth street.
"'If you will interview some of the old settlers of Portland they will tell you about the big storm that blew down most of the trees in East Portland Park. This was in January, 1881. It was the biggest wind that Oregon ever experienced, at least within the memory of man. After the trees were blown down they cut the park up into lots and sold them. I was not in East Portland at the time of this big storm, for we moved to Hubbard in 1880 and after a year we went to La Center, Washington.
"'In 1883 we came to Hood River for my husband's health. At that time there was one store here, owned by John Parker. There was also a blacksmith shop, a livery stable and a small frame building used as a hotel. It is now a part of the Mount Hood Hotel. Mr. Walling ran the hotel at that time. The post office was conducted in the store. Mr. Smith moved to town the year after I came. When I first came he had his store at Franklin, two miles out, where the Franklin schoolhouse now is, not far from the Columbia Gorge Hotel. We bought a forty-acre tract at what is now known as Cottage Farm. Our daughter, Hester Alice, was born August 20, 1882, in Marion county, Oregon, and passed away January 10, 1922, in New York city while on a visit to the east.
"On January 10, 1901, I lost my husband and when I was thrown on my own resources I did nursing to earn money to pay for this place. As soon as the land was paid for I borrowed money and put up a six-room hotel, gradually adding to it until I had a large hotel and fifteen bungalows. I sold most of the original place, retaining only eleven acres, and made a living for myself and the motherless tots I have cared for by keeping summer boarders. That is how I became acquainted with Thomas Lawson, the author of "Freizied Finance," who used to spend his vacations at my farm. Mr. Lawson presented me with the works of O. Henry, bound in leather, and also sent me a set of books entitled "Our Wonder World," which I prize very highly. Among the well known Portlanders who used to spend the summer on my farm were Sam Hill, Simon Benson, John Yeon and the King, Corbett, Ladd, Doiph and Kerr families. I lived on that farm for forty years. With the help of my daughter I ran the hotel for thirty years. After her death I leased the hotel and moved to this place.
"'I want you to meet Teddy Howe, who is seventeen years old. He was nearly blind but is gradually regaining his eyesight. At the blind school they taught him to make brooms and to weave cane bottoms for chairs. I have given him my name. He is handicapped in life's race and needs someone to mother him. During the past thirty-five years I have mothered many children. Just as every child needs to be mothered, they also need anchorage. Otherwise they will drift and their lives become ship-wrecked. Teddy used to be in the baby home. I do not know who his parents are but I believe he has good blood because he has good instincts. John F. Carroll raised a fund of five hundred dollars for him some years ago. When I took Teddy he was a lad of five years. The fund was turned over to me and I invested in a Journal bond for that amount. Two years ago I made a trip, to California. On this trip I made it a point to hunt up every one of the boys and girls I had helped to rear. Most of them are married and all are doing well. By "doing well" I mean they are producers and not depending upon society for support. Most of the girls have happy homes and the boys are at work, so I feel that the time and money I have invested in them was a good investment.
"'One of the things I am greatly interested in is the preserving of the old-time traditions of this country. For many years Indian Nellie made her home with me. I kept her until she died and saw that she had proper burial. When it came to ideals of honor and gratitude, the white people can learn a good deal from the Indians. For thirty years or more the Indians called me "the law-maker." They used to come to me to settle their troubles among themselves and their disputes with the white people. Indian George was a regular visitor at my home for twenty-five years and ate many meals at my house. He was one of the last of the Wasco Indians. His mother was a Nez Perce, his father a Wasco. When Oscar Stranahan died Indian George said, "Oscar a good man; too bad he dead; but still we got Mrs. Howe." He was celebrated all over the valley for his ability to foretell the weather. He was about ninety when he died. Some years ago, when I was very sick, the Indian preacher held meetings every night, which all the Indians in the neighborhood attended, praying for my recovery. I think that paid me for all the meals I have furnished the Indians and all the trouble I have taken for them.'"
Mrs. Howe adheres to the Methodist faith and is a member of the board of the Hood River church of that denomination. For eight years she served on the school board, doing all in her power to further the advancement of education in Hood River, and is now connected with the local hospital board. She was the second woman in Hood River county to become a member of a jury and the only one who served a second time. She is one of the associate commission of the Juvenile Court of Hood River county. In her nature, self is so completely subordinated to duty that she is never conscious of making a sacrifice and her life has been filled with good deeds. Mrs. Howe possesses those qualities which are most admirable in woman and is loved, admired and respected by all who have been brought within the sphere of her influence.
Isaac N. Lawrence (1830 - 1887)
Harriet Elizabeth Millsap Lawrence (1833 - 1867)
Hester Alice Howe (1882 - 1922)*
Note: Buried 6 Mar 1942. Age 82
Hood River County
Plot: Block D, Lot 21, Grave 1
Created by: Jeffrey Bryant
Record added: Dec 13, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 62898390
Carrie and Allen
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