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Howe-Barnard family papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Howe-Barnard

Scope and Content of the Collection

The bulk of the collection is made up of correspondence between members of the Howe and Barnard families, but also includes personal and financial materials, diaries, property deeds and mortgage records, clippings, biographical information, genealogical information, family and community histories, mementos, written reminiscences, and other miscellaneous items.

The Annie L. Howe materials include letters to family, friends, and colleagues in her teaching and missionary work. Correspondents of note include E. W. and Mary Blatchford, who helped Howe start a kindergarten in their home, the Woman's Board of Missions of the Interior, and students and colleagues with whom she worked in Japan; materials pertaining to her career as a missionary and kindergarten teacher, including reports, promotional pamphlets, lesson plans, writings regarding the founding and management of the Glory Kindergarten and Training School; personal materials including diaries, scrapbooks, and mementos from her life in Japan.

The Edward G. Howe materials consist of mostly correspondence to family, and friends including members of the Dabney family and the Burnham family; career and personal materials including diaries, financial materials, materials from the Frobel Society, the Forward Movement, an illustrated scrapbook and travel diary depicting his stay in the Azores, and a scrapbook from a trip to Japan.

Barnard family materials include correspondence, diaries, and personal materials; materials of Alice Lucretia Barnard include correspondence to family members and financial records; Civil War material including letters written by Daniel E. and Erastus A. Barnard; several letters from soldiers to Captain Daniel E. Barnard regarding military pensions; Civil War letters of Willard J. Wilcox; and a few soldiers letters written to Emma J. Barnard which she incorporated into a Civil War narrative; and material from the W. W. Barnard Seed Co., owned by William W. Barnard.

The Photographs series contains many pictures taken during Annie L. Howe's tenure in Japan, including buildings and students at the Glory Kindergarten and Training School, and her home in Kobe. Photographs of the Howe and Barnard families include portraits, snapshots, and photographs of family homes; photos of Edward G. Howe's trip to the Azores, and of field study, known as the Forward Movement, at Camp Gray in Michigan; the W. W. Barnard Seed Co.; and an album of photos of Ralph Barnard at Fort Sam Houston in Texas.


  • Creation: 1826-1999
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1880-1940



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Howe-Barnard family papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Howe-Barnard family papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections at

Biography of the Howe Family

The materials in the collection pertaining to the Howe family stem primarily Charles Oliver and Mary Faxon Howe, early Chicago settlers, and their descendants.

Charles Oliver Howe was born in 1822 in Brookfield, Massachusetts. His parents were William Howe II, a farmer and storekeeper, and Almira Lyon Howe. Charles O. Howe met Mary Faxon while living in Boston and working at the dry goods store owned by his uncle Jabez Crosby Howe. They married in 1848, settled in Brookline, and had their first three children, Edward Gardiner (1849), Annie Lyon (1852), and Mary Deming (1854). At some point during these years Charles O. Howe ventured into a business of his own which failed. Mary Faxon Howe’s father, John Gardiner Faxon, suggested they move to the Midwest where there was opportunity in agriculture along the Illinois Central Railroad. They left Brookline in 1855 and relocated to Clifton, Illinois where Charles O. Howe, financed by his uncle Jabez Crosby Howe, purchased 3600 acres of prairie farmland. According to letters and other writings, the transition from the Boston suburb of Brookline to the isolated prairie of central Illinois was a difficult one for the family, but they endured. They had four more children in Clifton, Charles Fisher (1857), Winthrop Keith (1868), and two who died in infancy.

The family was deeply religious and active in their Congregationalist church and community. Letters between family members reflect lighthearted humor and affection among them. Mary Faxon Howe taught the children at home, but both she and Charles O. Howe wanted a better education for them. As land value in Clifton was on the rise, they decided to sell off some of their acreage and move to Washington Heights (also known as Longwood and later Beverly Hills) on the south side of Chicago. Charles O. Howe invested in 50 acres of residential property in the area and set up shop as a real estate agent. The family divided their time between Chicago and another farm Howe had purchased in Lansing, Illinois. Unfortunately, the Chicago fire of 1871 derailed the Howe family financially. Their home in Chicago burned and they lost the farm in Clifton and much of the farm in Lansing. Charles Howe gave up real estate after these setbacks and started a garden and greenhouse which supplied vegetables to markets in Englewood. They settled permanently on Prospect Avenue where they continued to be active members of the Bethany Union Church and leaders in the community of Washington Heights. Charles O. Howe died in 1915, Mary Faxon Howe in 1918.

The children of Charles O. and Mary Faxon Howe each had rich and varied lives and careers of their own.

Edward Gardiner Howe attended the Massachusetts Agricultural College from 1870 to 1871. He taught science at various schools in the Chicago area and also privately tutored sons of prominent Chicago families including the Burnhams and the Armors. He authored two volumes on science education titled Scientific Teaching. He met his wife, Mary Elizabeth Barnard, while both were commuting by train to their teaching jobs in Chicago. They married in 1881. In 1889, due to overwork, Howe suffered a near breakdown. Parents of his tutoring pupils and other friends secretly collected a fund to support his recuperation. He used the fund to spend nearly a year in the Azores near Portugal where he became close friends of the Dabney family and performed geological research. He resumed teaching and lecturing in Chicago and Evanston when he returned and eventually took as position as Principal of the University of Illinois Preparatory School in 1893. The family moved to Urbana-Champaign, but in 1904 moved back to Chicago permanently. They built a large house at 10233 South Wood Street which became the center of Howe and Barnard family activity and holiday gatherings. Edward G. Howe is remembered for his contributions to the study of nature and science including initiating the idea of field trips as a part of classroom science education. He died in 1931. The seven children of Edward G. and Mary Elizabeth Barnard Howe also went on to have eventful lives and careers.

Annie Lyon Howe was a noted kindergarten teacher and missionary. She and her sister Mary Deming opened one of the first kindergartens in Chicago in the home of Eliphalet and Mary Blatchford. Annie L. Howe was also very active in her church and was a member of the Woman’s Board of Missions of the Interior. In 1887 she answered a call for a Christian kindergarten teacher in Japan and spent the next 40 years in Kobe where she founded the Glory Kindergarten and Training School and translated important Froebel texts and songs into Japanese. She received many awards and recognitions for her service as a missionary and teacher and is revered by educators in Japan to this day. She returned to the United States upon her retirement, living for a time with her brother Charles F. Howe in Georgia, and finally with her brother Winthrop K. Howe in Rochester, New York where she died in 1943.

Mary Deming Howe was a kindergarten teacher in Chicago until her marriage to Samuel Shepard Rogers in 1882. They had four children, Lydia Gardiner, Samuel S. Jr., Charles, and Dorothy. Samuel Rogers was the business manager at the Chicago Daily News from 1881 until his death in 1908. Mary Deming Howe Rogers died in 1935.

Charles Fisher Howe pursued mining interests in Duluth, Minnesota and later moved to Georgia where he worked for the Georgia Power and Light Companies. He married Alice Egbert Peckham in 1886 and they had five children, Frances, George Charles, Winthrop Frank, Sidney Peckham, and Charles Fisher, Jr. Charles Fisher Howe died in 1934.

Winthrop Keith Howe had a long career with the General Railway Signal Co. where he was eventually Vice-President of Engineering and Research. He held over 180 patents for inventions relevant to train control and signaling. He married Helen Jane Scott in 1901 and they had four children, William Scott, Winthrop K. Jr., Margaret Scott, and Helen Faxon. They family lived most of the time in Rochester, New York. Winthrop K. Howe died in 1954.

The seven children of Edward G. and Mary Elizabeth Barnard Howe also went on to have eventful lives and careers.

Ralph Barnard Howe, born in 1882, held a degree in agriculture from the University of Illinois. He served in the Army Reserves in Texas, Tennessee, and Illinois during World Wars I and II, retiring as Colonel. He took over the W. W. Barnard Seed Co. after his uncle William Wilcox Barnard fell ill, but the company did not survive the depression years. He married Blanche Ella Phillips in 1909 and they had one daughter, Lucretia. Ralph Barnard Howe died in 1968.

Alice Howe, born in 1884, lived all her life at 10233 South Wood Street. She cared for her aging parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and eventually took over handling of the family estates and financial matters. For many years, she edited the Bethany Union Church newsletter The Reminder, and was family historian, primarily responsible for saving the materials in this collection. She died in 1973.

Paul Edward Howe, born in 1885, received a doctoral degree in physiological chemistry from the University of Illinois. Over the course of his career he was Assistant Professor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, worked with the U. S. Department of Agriculture, and during World War II was responsible for nutrition affairs in the Office of the Surgeon General. After V-J Day, he went to Japan as a consultant helping Japanese scientists improve health and diets during occupation. He co-authored the book Nutrition and Dietetics in 1921. He married Harriet B. Rinaker and they had two daughters, Clarissa Rinaker and Elizabeth Barnard. He died in 1974.

Mary Howe graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Household Science and taught at the University of North Dakota. She married lawyer Herbert Bebb in 1916 and they had two daughters, Mary Elizabeth and Dorothy. She died in 1983. Amy Howe, later known as Amy Lord Howe, was a professor in the Department of Home Economics at Purdue University and was named chairman of the Clothing and Textiles Department in 1926. She died in 1974. Roger Faxon Howe graduated with a degree in Agriculture from the University of Illinois. He was vice-president of the Continental Can Co. and an accomplished pilot in the Air Force. He married three times, first to Elizabeth Southworth, whom he later divorced, then to Marion Bebb who died tragically while they were on a tour of Africa, and finally to Marcella Griffin, who survived him after his death in 1971. Edward Gardiner Howe, Jr. received a degree in agriculture from the University of Illinois. He was at various times a land surveyor, farmer, milk tester, and manager at the Walgreen Ice Cream Plant. He married Elsie Hudson in 1916 and they had seven children. He died in Crown Point, Indiana in 1966.

Biography of the Barnard Family

The materials in the collection pertaining to the Barnard family originate primarily from Alice Emerson and William Barnard, and their descendants.

Alice Emerson and William Barnard came to Chicago from the Amherst, Massachusetts area. Little is known about their lives except that Barnard was a practicing physician for a time. They were married in 1819 and had five children, William Barnard II (1821), Elizabeth (1923), Daniel Emerson (1826), Alice Lucretia (1929), and Erastus Ames (1933). William II, and Daniel E. Barnard, both graduated from Amherst College.

After graduating in 1945, William Barnard II headed west to homestead. He intended to settle in Iowa, but stopped in Chicago where he met Thomas Morgan who owned several thousand acres of land south of Chicago (now known as Morgan Park). Morgan convinced Barnard to stay in Chicago and tutor his sons. In 1946, Barnard’s parents and siblings joined him in Chicago to farm in the area that is now 49th Street and Vincennes Road. Daniel Barnard set up a law practice and began to develop real estate, eventually owning several residential properties on the north side of Chicago.

Daniel and Erastus Barnard both served in the Civil War. Erastus Barnard was part of the 30th Infantry, and Daniel E. Barnard was a member of the 88th Illinois Infantry (known as the "Second Board of Trade Regiment"), where he achieved the rank of Captain. While Erastus A. Barnard spent most of his enlisted time in a hospital near Savanah, Georgia, Daniel E. Barnard was involved in several battles. He was on lines near Murfreesboro and Chattanooga, Tennessee during 1963, saw fighting in Acworth, Georgia, and took part in the battle at Kennesaw Mountain in the summer of 1864. Several of the Wilcox relatives also fought in the war, including Willard Wilcox, who was part of the 1st Regiment, Chicago Light Artillery.

After the war, and following the Chicago fire, the Barnard family moved to Washington Heights where they acquired more land along Longwood Drive. Erastus Barnard married Mary Lavinia Wilcox in1862 and they had one daughter, Amy. He died in 1915. Daniel E., Elizabeth, and Alice Lucretia Barnard lived together at 103rd and Longwood Drive for most of their lives, none ever marrying. Daniel E. Barnard died in 1919, Elizabeth in 1912

Alice Lucretia Barnard was a distinguished educator with a long and celebrated career in the Chicago Public Schools. She received her teaching certificate in 1846 and taught first in the Jones School at 13th and Wabash. In 1853 she left Chicago to study at Mount Holyoke College for two years. Upon her return, she worked at the Dearborn School, and was eventually offered the position of principal at a salary of $1200. She declined the offer, citing that a man in the same position would earn $2200. She remained in the position of Head Assistant rather than accept the inequity. In 1876 she was offered the principalship of the Jones School at a salary equal to that of man, and became one of the first two woman principals in Chicago. She remained at the Jones School for the next 15 years until her retirement. She was a forward thinking educator who created the first un-graded classroom for children with special needs, and defended the right of black students to attend school. The Alice L. Barnard School in Washington Heights was named in her honor. Barnard also owned and managed over 80 acres of land in the Pullman area of Chicago, taking back and managing many mortgages personally. This endeavor proved quite lucrative and she left a large estate and trust to the Edward G. Howe family upon her death in 1908.

When William Barnard II first arrived in Chicago he boarded at the home of widow Sarah Lord Wilcox. Wilcox had come to Chicago from Fulton County, New York with her husband William their and children, but her husband died shortly after arriving. William Barnard II married one of the Wilcox daughters, Miranda, in 1852 and they had four children, Alice Sarah (1854), Mary Elizabeth (1855), William Wilcox (1856), and Emma Jerusha (1859). William Barnard II bought 160 acres in Longwood and built a home for his family at 101st and Longwood Drive. Daughter Alice S. Barnard was a teacher of history and mathematics for 45 years in the Chicago schools. She died in 1934. William Wilcox Barnard founded and operated the W. W. Barnard Seed Co. in the late 1800s. The company was taken over by Ralph Howe when William W. Barnard moved to California for his health where died in 1921. Emma Jerusha married George Graham in 1889 and lived near the Barnard family until her death in 1949. Mary Elizabeth Barnard also taught school until her marriage to Edward G. Howe in 1881.

The Barnard family was extremely close, many living within blocks of each other in Washington Heights for their entire lives. Daniel, Alice Lucretia, Elizabeth, and Emma Barnard also owned property in the St. Petersburg, Florida where they wintered together. They were active members of Bethany Union Church and their real estate investments made the family quite prosperous. They were generous with their relatives in the Howe family, joined by the marriage of Mary Elizabeth Barnard and Edward Gardiner Howe, supporting them through hard times, paying for school and music lessons, and assisting them in the building of the Howe family home at 10233 South Wood Street. Several landmarks named in their honor remain in the Washington Heights/Longwood area including Barnard Park, the Alice L. Barnard School, and a historical plaque where the Barnard House once stood at the intersection of 103rd and Longwood Drive.


40 Linear Feet (93 boxes and 2 oversize boxes)


Correspondence, diaries, personal and professional materials, and photographs of the Howe and Barnard families, early Chicago settlers. Included are the materials of Annie L. Howe, a missionary, teacher, and founder of Glory Kindergarten and Training School in Japan, her brother, Edward G. Howe, a science teacher who originated the practice of field trips in science classes, and Alice Lucretia Barnard, one of the first woman principals in the Chicago schools. Also contains Civil War letters of Captain Daniel E. Barnard, Erastus A. Barnard, Willard J. Wilcox, and soldiers in Daniel E. Barnard's regiment regarding payment of pensions.


Papers are organized in the following series

Series 1: Annie L. Howe Materials, 1859-1989
Boxes 1-21
Series 2: Edward G. Howe Materials, 1849-1964
Boxes 22-32
Series 3: Howe and Related Families, 1826-1975
Boxes 33-74
Series 4: Barnard and Related Families, 1846-1957
Boxes 75-84
Series 5: General Family Materials, 1848-1999
Boxes 85-88
Series 6: Photographs, approximately 1870-1962
Boxes 89-92

Collection Stack Location

1 22 4-6, 1 30 3


Gift of Alice Howe Palmer, 1987-1999.

Processed by

Lisa Janssen, 2009.


This inventory was created with the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this inventory do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Genre / Form




Inventory of the Howe-Barnard family papers, 1826-1999, bulk 1880-1940
Lisa Janssen
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States