Miscelaneous items from or about the Howard children:
Elizabeth “Lizzie” Howard
The following poesie was written by Lizzie in her cousin Josephine Benitz’s poesie album (begun Dec. 25, 1867). At the time, they were 14 and 18 years old respectively.
May’st thou ever be happy as now,
Thy heart as light and free
And may he who wins thy loving vow,
Be ever worthy of thee.
Your affectionate cousin
May 14. 1871.
Theodore "Spud" Howard
The following article was kindly provided to us by Steven and Catherine Howard. It recounts the life and doings of “Spud” Howard, the third child of William “Dutch Bill” Howard and Caroline Kolmer.
Santa Rosa, Calif., Sunday, July 29, 1951
PEOPLE OF THE EMPIRE
By Margaret Morrison,
Staff Correspondent, Sonoma
UPPER LAKE - A real old-time celebrated his 90th birthday quietly at his home here last night. Theodore Howard, known locally as “Spud”, looks back on a lifetime in a profession that is no more. He was a stage driver, beginning as a young man and continuing until the automobile pushed the horse off the highways. Born in Occidental, “Spud” drove passenger stages on routes covering most of the territory from Santa Rosa to the coast and north as far as about half the trip between Ukiah and Willits. He recalls numerous holdups.
One trip took him from Cazadero up the coast as far as Greenwood, then through Anderson Valley and Ukiah. One one occasion he recalls being held up near Fort Ross. In throwing down the strong box, he let the Fort Ross mail sack slip down behind in an attempt to save it. The bandit then asked him to throw that particular sack down. Later, authorities were able to trace and catch this bandit from his knowledge of the mail sacks.
HOLDUPS apparently followed a more or less set routine. All passengers were lined up beside the stage, but the driver was allowed to take a place beside the horses and hold the lines in his hand. Money and valuables was taken from the men but never from the women. Once a woman cried out that she had only $30. The holdup man gallantly replied that he hoped he would never reach the point where he would rob a woman.
One winter Mr. Howard went to Idaho as a stage driver. Only it wasn’t a stage, it was a sleigh. He soon returned to California, and about the turn of the century he purchased and ran the Pieta-Lakeport line, in partnership with a Fred Miller.
At that time, travelers came to Pieta by train or stage, transferred to the Howard-Miller stage and were driven to Lakeport. There they boarded a boat, also owned by the partners and were ferried over to Bartlett Landing, just west of the present town of Lucerne, and then took another stage, run by Jake Foster, up to Bartlett Springs. No wonder folks stayed a while when they got there! They tell us there used to be 500 people at a time over the entire season at Bartlett Springs.
SOON AUTOS began to make the trip and to cut into the business of stage lines, so about 1907 Mr. Howard sold his interest and purchased a livery stable at Upper Lake. The building is the one now occupied by the Corner Garage, at the corner of First and Main streets, and is one of the 3 business buildings to escape the fire which wiped out the business section of Upper Lake in 1915.
He ran the stable until 1915, when he rented out the front part to Harry Rhodes as a machine shop specializing in auto repair. He also put in gasoline pumps at the front of the building, though gasoline was still hauled in by horse. He made about 2 trips a week to Ukiah for the barrels of gasoline. For about 10 years more he kept horses in a small space at the back of the garage before giving in completely to the machine age.
In 1917 he married Elda Rasmussen of Upper Lake and they have had their home here ever since. One of 10 children, Theodore Howard still has 2 sisters and a brother living - Amelia Roix of Saratoga, Annie Adams of San Francisco and Alfred Howard of Yountville. None of them was able to be present for the birthday, which was celebrated quietly at home with neighbors coming for cake and ice cream and to talk over old times.
© Peter Benitz (Benitz Family)