Andrew Jackson Howe, A. B., M. D.
In Preparation - Surgeon - Teacher - Author - In the Forum - Therapist - Man - Philanthropist
Andrew Jackson Howe was born in Paxton, Massachusetts, April fourteenth, eighteen hundred and twenty-five. He died in Cincinnati, Ohio, January 16, 1892. Himself distinguished, he came of a conspicuous ancestral line, honored in early American annals. His parents were Samuel H. Howe and Elizabeth Hubbard (Moore) Howe. With the earliest history of the towns of Watertown, Sudbury, and Marlboro is linked the name of Howe. According to a writer in the Worcester Magazine, one of the earliest printed records of New England, and quoted by Professor John Uri Lloyd in a sketch of Dr. Howe, is the tradition that "John Howe, of Watertown, came from the parish of Hodnel, in Warwickshire, England, and that he was connected with the family of Sir Charles Howe, of Lancaster, in the reign of Charles I." The John Howe referred to subsequently lived in Sudbury, and his name appears in the petition for the grant of Marlboro in 1657. Thus Dr. Howe's paternal ancestor was prominent in the settling of New England within forty years after the memorable landing of the Mayflower. Watertown was near Boston, and from there many, striking out to found other towns in the wilderness fringe of our eastern seaboard, became the pioneers of statecraft from whence our great nation has evolved. To the privations and toils of the home-builders on the rugged and inclement shores of Nova Angliae do we owe the building of our great commonwealth, and Dr. Howe was fortunate indeed to have descended from one who was an active participant in the evolution of this great gift to posterity. In 1743, a grandson of this same John Howe bought a tract of land farther inland and built a home in which Andrew J. Howe was born, and in the bosom of the sacred soil of this purchase all that is mortal of the great surgeon now reposes. Not only is the name of John Howe's line treasured in the early history of New England, but it has found an abiding place in the classics of American literature, for the poet Longfellow, in his delightful "Tales of a Wayside Inn," has immortalized the famed colonial hostelry—the "Red Cross Inn," kept by another grandson of John Howe of Marlboro. The poetic record reads:
- "Proud was he of his name and race,
- Of old Sir William and Sir Hugh,
- And in the parlor, full in view,
- His coat of arms, well framed and glazed,
- Upon the wall in colors blazed;
- Upon a helmet barred; below
- The scroll reads, "By the name of Howe,"
- And over this, no longer bright,
- Though glimmering with a latent light,
- "Was hung the sword his grandsire bore,
- In the rebellious days of yore,
- Down there at Concord in the fight."
IN PREPARATION.—The boyhood life of the subject of our sketch was much like that of the average country boy favored by the diversified environment of hill and valley, forest and stream, and the quaint old roads and by-paths of the New England country. Born with an unbounded love for nature, his naturalist spirit fairly revelled in the beauties of landscape and sky, the advantages for observation, and in the sports of the season—sports ancient and more satisfying, perhaps, in the older settlements than can ever come into our faster and more artificial life of to-day. To young Howe were known the haunts and habits of the birds, fishes, and fur-bearing creatures, and so well did he observe them that in height of his career as a teacher and surgeon he recalled these most useful and vivid assets, and they went far toward making of him one of the most gifted comparative anatomists of his time.
While yet a small boy, Dr. Howe's father removed from the farm at Paxton to the neighboring village of Leicester. Here the preliminary schooling was obtained, under several different instructors, in the district schools. The earlier education was also largely and wisely directed by his mother, "a woman of remarkable energy and decision of character, and of an affectionate disposition." She came of a people of worth and standing from ancestors living about Worcester, the neighboring city to Leicester. The teachings and guidance of his mother Dr. Howe was wont to refer to as among the chief blessings of his early life. The youthful Howe was not inclined to idleness. He worked on the farm and at other work that he could obtain during vacations, and at all odd times could be found upon the fox trails and trout streams for miles around. While such pastimes absorbed his soul and formed the basis of a sound knowledge of things, his ruling passion was his love for books. One who had known him in his youth wrote him in the last years of the doctor's life, "I soon found you were not suited with the interests of ordinary village life—that books and study were your needs."
Perhaps it was through the influence of this discerning friend that Howe went into an office in Worcester to study medicine with the celebrated Dr. Calvin Newton as preceptor; he remained a good part of a year struggling with medical terminology, and attending lectures at the Worcester Medical Institution. While thus engaged he gave especially close attention to anatomy, and worked assiduously with the Demonstrator of Anatomy. He soon became convinced, however, that something was lacking. He recognized it as want of preparation to pursue this study properly. Therefore he made it his business to acquire a more complete and general education before proceeding with his medical studies. This meant toil and the prospect of many years of struggle before him. With characteristic will-power he drove his plow deeply into the soil and cultivated the new field. Returning to Leicester he entered the Leicester Academy, famous throughout New England as a preparatory school for college entrance. There he came under the beneficent influence of the noted educator, Josiah Clarke. After three years of close application he was ready, in 1849, to enter Harvard. Then came four more strenuous years in that famous seat of learning under the most celebrated teachers of the day. The great naturalist. Professor Agassiz, was then thrilling the classes with his matchless presentations of natural history subjects, and the enthusiastic Howe followed him in his lectures, and frequently went with him upon geological excursions. In 1851 Sir Charles Lyall came from England to lecture upon geology in the Lowell Institute at Boston. These lectures were also closely listened to by the young student, who had now about made up his mind to adopt geology as his life work. His career in college, however, was not without incident. "He met with some obstacles to progress, such as small pecuniary means often create, but his happy temperament, combined with great determination, found in these difficulties incentives to new resolution." He graduated in 1853, and had for classmates, among others more or less distinguished in later years. Dr. Charles William Eliot, who has but recently retired, one of the most famous of Harvard's presidents, and Justin Winsor, one of the most painstaking and accurate historians the world has produced, and whose "Narrative and Critical History of America" is a monument to his industry and ability. To be privileged to be under such teachers and among such classmates is a heritage bound to bear sound fruit.
Graduation from Harvard did not put an end to study for Howe, neither did geology claim him, for medicine, which had first attracted him, now lured him again, and he returned in the autumn of 1853 to the office he had left six years before to better qualify himself for the work before him. Dr. Newton, his first preceptor, was now dead, and Dr. Frank H. Kelley* had succeeded to his practice, and was doing a large and lucrative business among the best people of Worcester. Howe then engaged for a time to study under Dr. Kelley (whom he always regarded as his real preceptor) when, in the winter of 1853-4, he left Worcester to attend Jefferson Medical College at Philadelphia Among his teachers there were the brilliant lights of the profession—Professors Mütter, Pancoast, and Meigs He applied himself diligently, and of the vast concourse of students in attendance there were two that could be found at work in the dissecting room in the small hours of the morning—Howe and a student named Ives, from New Haven. The following year—1854-5—he attended medical lectures in New York City at the College of Physicians and Surgeons and at the New York Medical College in Thirteenth Street, and walked the wards of the hospitals for every available advantage in clinical medicine and surgery True to his first love, he now returned to the Worcester Medical Institution, to graduate in 1855 His great ability and splendid attainments at once secured for him the post of Demonstrator of Anatomy, from which he promptly rose to the full professorship of anatomy He was also made an assistant editor of the Worcester Journal of Medicine, the college organ.
* (Dr. Frank H. Kelley was born at New Hampton, N. H., September 9, 1827, and died at Worcester, Mass., October 25, 1890. He came to Cincinnati in 1847 with Dr. B. Keith (who had conducted a small hospital at Dover, N. H.) to attend a course of lectures. The engagement with Dr. Keith terminating in 1849 he formed another with Dr. Aaron Ordway of Lawrence, Mass., who had a large practice. In 1851 he went to Worcester where he formed a co-partnership with Dr. Calvin Newton, who being otherwise engaged a large portion of the time. left most of his practice in Dr .Kelley's care. Dr .Kelley attended a Physiomedical Medical College in Cincinnati at various periods between 1846 to 1852, when he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Medicine. His practice was large and lucrative, his social standing high, and his influence in the community of Worcester recognized. He retired from practice in 1883, having practiced thirty-two years. He wrote "Reminiscences of New Hampton, N. H.," with genealogical sketches of the Kelley and Simpson Families and a brief autobiography. Dr. Howe wrote of him (B. M. J., 1890, p. 611) :
"October 25th In Worcester, Mass., Dr. Frank H. Kelley died, at the age of sixty-three. He was born in New Hampshire, and studied medicine with Dr. Bethuel Keith, a Thomsonian practitioner, of Dover, N. H. Dr. Kelley took a course of medical lectures In Cincinnati, under Alva Curtis, the then unrivaled champion of Thomsonism, pure and undefiled.
"After practicing medicine as a Reformer and Botanic for several years Dr. Kelley became the successor of Dr. Calvin Newton as editor of the Worcester Journal of Medicine
"After the Worcester Medical Institution and its organ went out of existence, Dr. Kelley joined the local Allopathic organization, yet he was eclectic in doctrine to the end of life
"The doctor was for a term elected mayor of Worcester and was often made one of the officers of the city government The circumstance Is cited to demon-state his popularity as a citizen
"At length his health became permanently impaired, so that he traveled for recuperation and recreation While in California he broke a hip or femur through a railway accident This injury quite incapacitated him for any kind of business and tended to shorten his period of existence
"The presence of the doctor was calm dignified, grand, and as a sympathetic physician he had few equals in the profession. He was my preceptor and cordial friend. Pleasant memories of his inflexible integrity will ever abide with me and with a large cycle of personal admirers "
A full biographical sketch of Dr. Walter Burnham appeared in the ECLECTIC MEDICAL GLEANER, May, 1906 page 169 and of Dr Calvin Newton, January , 1910, page 1)
A new opportunity for practical experience now came to Dr. Howe. At this time the Professor of Surgery, Dr. Walter Burnham, of Lowell, Massachusetts, was elected to the Massachusetts Senate, and Dr. Howe was invited to care for his large surgical practice during his absence, which he did with great satisfaction for six months, when he returned to Worcester to open an office for himself While waiting for business he busied himself with post-graduate reading in medicine and writing articles, and in creasing his knowledge of comparative anatomy by dissecting small animals, and the heads of bears and other larger creatures.
The autumn following his service for Professor Burnham Dr. Howe was invited to lecture in the newly formed College of Eclectic Medicine and Surgery in Cincinnati, Ohio. At the close of the term he returned to Worcester, where he expected to remain. He was again invited to lecture the following year in the Cincinnati College, and was induced to remain in the latter city. When the college in which he was teaching, which was established by seceders from the Eclectic Medical Institute, merged with the latter in 1859, Dr. Howe was shortly thereafter appointed Demonstrator and Professor of Anatomy, and upon the resignation of Professor Zoeth Freeman, in 1861, he succeeded to the chair of surgery, which he filled with great efficiency and distinction until his death in 1892.
Dr. Howe was united in marriage, on February 3, 1858, with Miss Georgiana Lakin, eldest daughter of George S. Lakin, of Paxton, Massachusetts. Mrs. Howe is still living.
THE SURGEON.—Without question Andrew J. Howe is the foremost and greatest surgeon the Eclectic School has produced. He was especially well-skilled in surgical diagnosis, and this led him to operate where others had failed to make the attempt. Bold, quick, and careful, he was extremely fortunate in securing a successful issue, and this now seems a marvel when we realize that he operated in preaseptic days, and with little of the surgical preparation now thought absolutely essential. Just as Howe was leaving the theater of surgical activity the new methods of surgical precaution and technic were being evolved. The veteran surgeon, whose results had been so marvelously successful, looked upon these innovations with distrust and even ridiculed them, yet it was the extremes to which some operators seemed to go that excited his opposition rather than the ground that has now been reached— surgical cleanliness. The sprays of Lister and such methods,. though perhaps necessary in giving eclat to new methods, and though subsequently discarded by Lister himself, were targets for Howe's wit and satire. Perfectly fearless, knowing his anatomy and pathology thoroughly. Professor Howe never hesitated to operate upon an operable case, nor did he unwisely subject one to the knife where the issue—operation or no operation—was sure to be fatal, provided no good or relief to the patient would come of surgical intervention. Good surgical judgment, a well ordered mind, and steady hand and head made him sought for far and near, and he was sent for from every State in the Union to perform operations.
THE TEACHER.—Professor Howe was an ideal teacher, genial and beloved by his pupils. He was a good speaker, and reminded one more of an able forensic orator than the medical professor. Possessed of a magnetic presence, and a vivacity that made things move with celerity, he proved an exceedingly interesting and entertaining speaker. His lectures were not long and heavy, and were never dull. He was inclined to contract a lecture rather than to expand it, hence his auditors were never wearied with much talk and little instruction. He was concise, direct, and never ambiguous, illustrating his meaning largely by gestural movements, or by means of charts and illustrations, and by impressing students into service as impromptu clinics. It was in the quiz, however, that he appeared at his best. Starting off with a surgical question put with apparent ferocity while his keen eye snapped with merriment —almost deviltry—he would frequently carry the astonished student through the mazes of physics, geography, or astronomy, and drop him somewhere in Africa's torrid sands or on the planet Mars. The student who answered promptly and with assurance was sure to get several pointed questions, and if still unvanquished, received an approving grunt from his interrogator. The student who promptly acknowledged that he did not know the answer to a question put to him was promptly passed and left unmolested. But woe to the comfort of him who vacillated or sought to display knowledge he did not possess or who attempted to guess or dodge the issue, for his grilling usually took up the major part of the hour. While such an one was most generally persistent, defeat was sure to come, and to the class his discomfiture was the challenge for merriment. It is always funny when it is the other fellow. Yet at the end of it all the student felt no resentment, for it was too apparent that the questioner was giving him gratuitously a liberal education, and doing it in the most humorous, if persistent, manner. The questioner would touch upon everything under the sun but surgery, for as he often said, "If a man has a general knowledge of things and good common sense he is the better prepared to learn surgery and will do it." If we were asked to point out the secret of Professor Howe's success as a teacher we would say it was his power to instill his own enthusiasm and courage into the student. He was not only a great surgeon himself, but he made surgeons, many of whom have proved an honor and credit to their greater master.
THE AUTHOR.—Over the well known H. the pages of the Eclectic Medical Journal fairly teemed for years with crisp and breezy editorials from the pen of this versatile scholar. Almost every conceivable subject was touched upon that would enlighten physicians concerning their work. These articles show great range of learning and an ever ready mind, and abound largely in a happy quality of contrasts and citations showing the widely read author. Every sort of topic from the commonplace to the sublime flowed from his pen; wit and satire, argument and exposition; encouragement to the weak and restraining caution to the over sanguine mark these papers. If published alone they would form an exceptionally useful series of commentaries upon legal medicine, surgical procedure, medical history, geological studies, and physical phenomena, as well as the natural history of animate beings, botany, geography, astronomy, and ethics. Many of the papers that were subsequently embodied in his famous work on surgery appeared as leading articles in the Journal. For over thirty years these editorials and leading articles appeared monthly, and whenever the editor, Dr. Scudder, was absent, Dr. Howe assumed full editorial responsibility. The text-books by Dr. Howe were few but important, and at once displaced among Eclectic practitioners all other works upon the same subjects. These were "A Treatise on Fractures and Dislocations," appearing in 1873, "Manual of Eye Surgery" in 1874, "Art and Science of Surgery," 1876, and "Operative Gynecology" in 1890. Of these his work on Surgery is the best known and most characteristic. Unlike the ordinary text-books in being evolved after a set fashion, it is rather a collection of surgical essays, exceedingly interesting and instructive, and for its day a remarkable and new style of text-book. While science moves on and new discoveries displace old theories and methods—and some of Dr. Howe's will go with them—yet will this book remain a delightful and valued repository of surgical lore stored in choice and chaste language. As a piece of literature it will never grow old, and one wonders at the immense scope of the matter stored up in this compact volume. It shows the wide range of the author's reading and experience told in a delightfully entertaining classic. Long out of print the physician who is fortunate enough to pick up a volume of Howe's Surgery will have secured a treasure that will be valued more and more as time rolls on, and one that will lend honor to the record of the surgical status of the Eclectic School at the period in which it was published.
As stated above. Dr. Howe very early in life showed a love for natural history studies. This never left him, and all through an exceedingly active professional life he found rest in this as an avocation. He never neglected an opportunity to enlarge his knowledge upon his favorite studies. Comparative anatomy was his delight, and few physicians other than those scientists whose life work is the teaching of that science were better posted in it than was Dr. Howe. This made him one of the best known members of the Cincinnati Natural History Society, before which he read many profound and scholarly papers. While deep in subject matters these productions ring out so clear in thought and diction that one little versed in natural history can not fail to be instructed and interested by them. He made collections of interesting specimens, dissected large animals dying at the Cincinnati Zoo and in Robinson's Circus, and published interesting papers respectively on the "Autopsy of a Lion," "Autopsy of an Elephant," "Autopsy of the Whale," "Autopsy of a Tiger," etc. Dr. Howe was also an active member of the Association for the Advancement of Science, the Cuvier Society of Natural History of Cincinnati, and of the Ohio Historical and Philosophical Society.
The love for animal life which was so dominant a trait he loved to instill in others. Especially did he endeavor to interest the youth in studies of this sort. To that end he spent several of the last years of his life at odd times in the preparation of a volume for the young, which should reveal to them the wonders of animal, bird, and insect creations—giving instruction and amusement which the young ever crave. His death, however, prevented his bringing this work out, though the manuscript and hundreds of dollars worth of engravings were long in readiness for the printer's art. It was fitting, therefore, that after his demise Mrs. Howe published this production under the title, "Conversations on Animal Life." This, together with a choice selection from his published papers on varied topics, published also by Mrs. Howe after the doctor's death—"Miscellaneous Papers by Andrew Jackson Howe"—are worthy memorials of their distinguished author. Shortly after publication and when but few of these two productions had been distributed, a disastrous fire occurred in the publishing house, and the plates and entire undisposed stock of books were destroyed.
IN THE FORUM.—Dr. Howe was a member of several State societies and of the National Eclectic Medical Association, to the presidency of which he was elected at New Haven, Connecticut, in 1883. The latter position was actually thrust upon him, for he always preferred to be upon the floor rather than the rostrum. He seldom missed a meeting, and was easily the most conspicuous member present. Taking a seat near the platform he listened intently to every phase of the proceedings, and was ever ready to debate and perfectly fearless to express his opinions. It mattered little to him whether an antagonist was a friend or foe, and no man had fewer personal foes; he would go to the limit in debate, and usually came off victorious. He was the very life of a meeting of the National, and many considered it as good as a post-graduate course to hear Professor Howe annually discuss surgical and gynecological topics at these sessions. His brusque manner, though it obscured the most kindly heart, often drove the less fearless to cover, but occasionally he would find a debater worthy of his mettle, and then the arena of debate would fairly scintillate with wit and wisdom, to the intense enjoyment and admiration of the auditors. These discussions carried no bitterness even when matters of medico-political policy were at stake. As one has truthfully written: "In conventions, after openly opposing the advocates of a principle with the great energy that he commanded, upon adjournment he gave and received pleasantries with his adversaries. He contended for principles, and as no underhand advantages were taken, no painful recollections remained to embitter his feelings." He was at all times an eloquent and valiant defender of Eclecticism.
In the preparation for professional life Dr. Howe added to his other accomplishments a thorough knowledge of the principles of common law and medical jurisprudence. Evidence of this appears frequently in his Journal articles and editorial comments. He stood ready to advise and protect the rights of physicians in court when sued for damages upon various pretexts. To such he was ever willing to give assistance, and frequently made long journeys to appear as an expert witness in behalf of his professional brethren, whether of the Eclectic or other schools of practice. But especially did he oftenest appear for the Eclectic, for the odds were oftenest against him on account of professional bigotry and intolerance. Never would he appear for one whom he was satisfied was guilty of criminal malpractice, though like every judicial mind he recognized that even such an one has some rights in the law. His rare fund of medico-legal knowledge, his acknowledged skill as a surgeon and scholar, and his dignified bearing and deportment made him a respected antagonist in the courts of justice, and his testimony had great weight with intelligent juries.
THE THERAPIST.—As a rule surgeons do not acquire distinction as therapists, some having no aptitude for any but the surgical side of medicine; while, besides, the more visible and brilliant triumphs of surgery are apt to obscure the apparently lesser achievements of medicinal therapy. Many have looked upon Dr. Howe as being little versed in therapy, if not wholly skeptical regarding the efficacy of medicines. He had his own views as to specific medication, in which, in some respects, he differed from the specific medicationist as understood at present. Essentially, however, he believed in the specific action of medicines, and while extremely conservative in the use of medicines he was thoroughly conversant with the values of a chosen few old remedies, and was instrumental in developing and introducing several new agents, chiefly compounds, which have attained wide recognition as valuable therapeutic preparations. It was his habit to study but few agents, and those thoroughly, and to experiment long and carefully with them both as to their pharmaceutical construction and their therapeutic efficacy. He demanded the best quality of drugs, and when he put his name to a medicine it was sure to be a good one. His pupils will recall his partiality for veratrum as a fever remedy and an alterative, morphine judiciously and fearlessly used as a pain reliever, Fowler's solution, chloral, Epsom salts, salicylic acid, thymol, and syrup of lactophosphate of calcium. He was probably the first to introduce "Aqueous Pinus Canadensis," though his name is in no way connected with the pinus preparations now marketed. He devised "escatol" in three strengths as an escharotic; "juniper pomade" for itching and scaly skin eruptions; "acid solution of iron," which, in our opinion, is the best active iron preparation for internal use as a tonic and hematic; "viburnum cordial," a delightful stomachic and uterine sedative; "leontin" as an emmenagogue; and "dynamyne" for the relief of local inflammation and pain. His developmental studies of thuja as a remedy in hydrocele, warty excrescences, and vascular blemishes are all well known to the student of Eclectic therapeutic history He also named and introduced "asepsin" into practice. Most of the agents introduced by Dr. Howe are now employed to a far greater extent than during the lifetime of their author.
THE MAN.—As time clears the vision it is plain that Dr. Howe was a great man—great and good. The dominant traits of his character were courage, patience, and simplicity He was kindly disposed toward humanity and the brute creation. His capacity for work was marvelous, and he lost no time in unworthy pursuits. He would often say, "How little one can do!" yet fewer men accomplished more than did Professor Howe. His personality was largely reflected in his literary work, and he used to say that there was more of him in his little book, "Conversations on Animal Life," (then only in manuscript) than in anything he ever wrote. Dr. Howe was portly and of more than medium height. His face and keen and searching eye portrayed the thoughtful scholar and the manly man. In manner he was somewhat brusque, and betrayed his English ancestry, but with all his brusqueness and self-assurance there lay in his breast the kindliest of hearts. To the young man he was an inspiration, and many an uplift did he give to the despairing and desponding young practitioner struggling to obtain a foothold in the profession. No amount of work appalled him, and a distant journey to render surgical aid was welcomed by him, whether it meant a luxurious trip in a Pullman across the continent or a perilous horseback journey into the fastnesses of the Ozarks He did his work cheerfully and completely, but without that prudence for self-preservation which might have prolonged his days. Belonging to a long-lived race he had reason to expect and did expect to live a life well rounded in years, but it was decreed otherwise. It was the irony of fate that he should succumb to a surgical malady, and he died from a huge carbuncle upon his neck. Of Dr Howe's personality let the following words of Professor John Uri Lloyd, his life-long friend and colleague, bear testimony :
"I have never known a more zealous and determined man than was Professor A J. Howe His professional life was one of activity from early morning until late at night To him money was of secondary consequence. His advice to the class was, do not make money a god; do not sacrifice your honor for gold. Indeed, his own professional life stood before his scholars as an example, for while, with his young energy, he was laying the foundation of his future sufficient fortune, his purse was open to individual and public needs. He always gave his time liberally to work in other interests than his own. He performed surgical operations in nearly every State in the Union, and never to my knowledge refused an appeal for such assistance. If he received a just recompense in cash, well and good. If he paid his own traveling expenses in behalf of the poor and worthy sufferer, it was to him a cheerful gift. He was many times called to various parts of the United States as an expert witness in surgical cases. It was his custom to discourage, when consulted, patients and physicians from bringing malpractice cases into the courts. He was fortunate in never having had the disagreeable experience of such a case, but he recognized the injustice to surgeons that often attends suits for damages, and steadily refused to be a witness against his competitors. . . .
"He has taught thousands of physicians, who remember him with constant gratitude. Words are inadequate to describe the veneration of the Eclectic profession for this man. He stood before them as a leader, censuring, guiding, soothing them, taking upon himself responsibilities others shirked or could not bear. As a professional man, the term 'freeman' in every way that the word can honorably be employed, is exemplified in the life of this characteristic personage, Prof. A. J. Howe, M. D. . . .
"Professor Howe was of portly figure, and invariably commanded the attention of strangers. Something about him impressed the beholder that he was a leader among men.
"His deep fund of information, derived from his extensive reading, made him a good conversationalist. He had traveled much in America in the interests of his profession, and in 1886 he made a tour in Europe. He could tell a story with piquancy, or converse on graver topics with divines. He joked and laughed with children, and comforted the aged. As a companion none stood higher in the esteem of his acquaintances; as a citizen and neighbor none were better loved.
"It was a high tribute that Dr. Cooper paid to his memory by saying, when his death was announced, that the children in the neighborhood wept upon the street."
THE PHILANTHROPIST.—Dr. Howe's childhood was spent in a picturesque part of the commonwealth of Massachusetts. As he neared the setting of the sun his heart thoughts reverted to those happy childhood days, and the old ancestral home of the Howe's, purchased in 1743. Though he had lived but a few years in the old homestead and visited it but occasionally, it remained ever the dearest place to him in all the earth. He planned for years to become the owner of that sacred tract, and finally accomplished his cherished desire. It was his purpose to bequeath the estate entire, with its typical New England dwelling, to the town of his birth, to be used as a natural park forever for the benefit of posterity. Death cruelly thwarted the consummation of this plan, but his wishes were faithfully executed by his wife after his death, who, in July, 1892, made the town of Paxton the richer by this munificent gift of the house and one hundred and two acres of land. Of a truth "None of us liveth to himself and no man dieth to himself " (Rom 14:7)
The Biographies of King, Howe, and Scudder, 1912, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M. D.