Howell, Joseph C.

Born: 1815-01-15 Trenton, New Jersey

Flourished: Carlinville, Illinois

Howell attended school in New Jersey, dividing his time between his studies and assisting his father in his mercantile business. At the age of sixteen, he moved to Philadelphia, where he became a clerk in a wholesale dry goods business. He remained in Philadelphia until 1836, when he migrated west to take up work as a clerk in Alton, Illinois. In 1837, he moved on to Carlinville, Illinois, where he again engaged in the dry goods business until the Panic of 1837 forced his employer to close his establishment. He eventually found employment with Nicholas Boice, with whom he worked until 1856. In 1841, Howell received appointment as postmaster of Carlinville, holding that office until 1844. In 1847, Macoupin County voters elected him justice of the peace, and later constable, offices he held at different times up to 1865. Howell eventually centered his business activities on real estate. By 1860, he owned real estate valued at $10,000 and had a personal estate of $300. Originally a Whig, Howell became a Republican when the Whigs dissolved in the 1850s.

U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Macoupin County, IL, 18; History of Macoupin County, Illinois (Philadelphia: Brink, McDonough, 1879), 106.