Did you know Howe, TX is over 100 years old?In fact Howe, Texas has its own flag and centennial seal. Read on to learn more! Oops, I gave away a fact. Oh well. READ! ENJOY!
The first settlers in the area arrived around the time of the Texas Revolution in 1836. When Texas gained its independence, squatters inhabited the "Summit" and the last battle with the indians in Grayson County was said to have been in 1843 in a large grove in the area of Old Howe Road.
They settled a little north and east of the present downtown area and they called their town "Summit" because it occupied the highest elevation (810') between the Red River and the Gulf of Mexico.
Among those first settlers were Jabes and Harriet Haning and Jabes's brother John. They received land through the Peters colony land grant after their arrival from Pennsylvania before 1850.
In 1872 the Houston and Texas Central Railroad came through the area laying tracks and they wanted to purchase land near Summit. Unable to reach an agreement with the settlers of that area, Jabes Hanning agreed to donate land for a city, plat the town and donate every other lot to the H&TC Railroad with the stipulation that the railroad build a depot. The railroad agreed and the town was born. It was named after Milton G. Howe, a superintendent of the H&TC Railroad and former Civil War captian. Years later the H&TC Railroad became the Southern Pacific Railroad.
Largest Grain Shipper in Texas
With the growth of Howe and settlers moving in to farm the rich, black soil, there was a need for grain storage and shipping storage to be located along the railroad tracks. This led to the forming of the Farmers' Alliance Cooperative Association. By the late 1880's, Howe had become the largest grain shipping center in Texas and even gained nationwide importance for its heavy shipments of red rustproof oats.
Howe Depot and Interurban
In 1905 the Texas Traction Lines began making plans for the interurban to come through Howe. In November of 1906 construction began on the tracks. By 1907 the population of Howe had increased to 800. Businesses in Howe included two drug stores (J.P. Harding and J.H. Hatcher), Luther Tolson Toys, S.W. Young General Store, Roy Webb Tailor for Men's Clothing, Haizlip's Hardware & Furniture (did you know that before there were funeral homes, you purchased your casket at a furniture store?), Houston & Texas Central Railroad, Howe Telephone Company, P.J. Waldrop Grocery, The Farmers National Bank, McCoy & McCoy Hardward, and a John Deer dealer.
The Interurban began operation on July 1, 1908. The tracks went down Denny Street with a ticket agent at the drugstore on the northeast corner of Haning and Denney. You could ride the Interurban from Denison, Texas to Dallas Texas with stops along the way which included Howe.
The interurban had passenger cars with padded wicker seats, as well as mail and freight cars. At one time the interurban ran every thirty minutes. In 1934 you could ride for two cents a mile and children rode free.
Over the years several newspapers have served Howe. The first was the Howe Herald published by the Hall brothers in the early 1900's. The Howe Chronicle, published issues as early as 1917 and was published by A.M. Ferguson (brother of Texas governor James Ferguson) and his son, James E. Ferguson. The Howe Messenger was published in the 1930's and 40's with Russel Bryant as the owner and editor. The Howe Enterprise was established in 1963 by Pop Sloan. Other owners of the Enterprise have been Bob Walker, Jim and Nita Echols and present owners Dale and Lana Rideout. The Howe Enterprise now is called the Texoma Enterprise and covers the news of Howe, Van Alstyne, Tioga, Gunter, Collinsville, Dorchester, Tom Bean, Bells and Savoy.
In the 1930's through the efforts of Miss Mame Roberts, Howe gained international fame with its campaign for civic attractiveness. Miss Roberts directed a drive of the Howe Garden Club that led to the creation of flower beds all over town.
As the writer of a weekly column in the Howe Messenger, Mame Roberts promoted her hometown and encouraged its beautification. Her campaign to make Howe the "Prettiest Little Town in Texas" motivated other small Texas towns to take similar action. A series of articles in the Dallas Morning News provided step-by-step instructions for carrying out beautification efforts, and she was in great demand as a speaker at garden club gatherings throughout this part of the state. Mame's work attacted the attention of Life Magazine and Reader's Digest, and she was named "Woman of the Day" on May 14, 1949, on Eleanor and Anna Roosevelt's National Radio Program.
The first Howe school was started by a lawyer in his home. The first school building was built in 1877 -- a three room building located east of the railroad tracks on the north side of Haning Street. In 1884, a two story framed buiding with two rooms downstairs and one upstairs was errected in the same location. Following this in 1897 the Marshall-Bean College, a handsome, two-storybrick structure was build at a cost of $5000. By 1906, Howe had outgrown the 14 room facility, and a bond was passed to build a new school building. In 1937 an explosion damaged the building and a new school was built (presently serving as the Howe Administration Building). In 1959 Dochester consolidated with Howe and in 1960 Howe ISD bought 14 1/2 acres of land and began building where the present day elementary and middle schools are located. Eventually the school district outgrew this location and in 2000 a new high school was opened north of Howe on Highway 5.
Marshall-Bean College 1897
Howe Historical Museum
The present day home of the Howe Historical Museum is the old Chirstian Church. The church was erected in 1893 and used by the Christian Church until in closed in 1982 due to membership decline. The church building served as a community center after closing until 1994, the city decided to close the building and purchase a building at 70-A West Haning to use as its community center. The building is now being renovated by the Howe Historial Society and upon completion will be open to the public as the Howe Historical Museum.