Marking its 200th anniversary this year, Howland Township recently celebrated the milestone with a special gathering of the relatives of the original founders and early township settlers.
The community also celebrated the annual Fourth of July celebration with a parade and grand opening of the history center located in the township administration building.
The celebration began when descendants of Joseph Howland and Captain John Adgate families attended a gathering July 3 at the township hall attended by more than 50 people. They also were honored at a larger gathering and reception at the Butler Art Institute Howland Branch and were grand marshals for the July 4 parade. During the Butler reception, the National Packard Museum showcased a Sterling Knight and Packard automobiles that were built in Howland. Current and past trustees were among those in attendance.
Howland Community News photos / Bob Coupland
The descendants of Howland Township’s original founder, Joseph Howland, were recognized at the township administration building by Trustee Matthew Vansuch, right, during the township’s 200th anniversary held July 3. Also recognized were Dulany Howland of Texas and Louisa Howland Miller of Vienna for their donation of items to be displayed at the administration building. Various historic documents on Howland and John Adgate, the first settler, were are part of the township’s history center at the administration building.
The bicentennial celebration is possible because of the Howland family who purchased the original land for the starting of the community in 1812, said Trustee Chairman Rick Clark .
Vienna resident Louisa Howland Miller, who came to the area in 1970s from New York and is the great-great-great-granddaughter of Joseph Howland for whom the township is named, provided reproductions of original portraits of Joseph and his family for display at the Howland administration building. The portraits are of Joseph and his wife, Lydia, along with their daughter-in-law Louisa Meredith Howland, who is Miller's great-great-grandmother and was married to Gardiner Greene Howland. During the celebration, the portraits were displayed at the Butler Institute of Art Howland Branch. Miller also donated copies of a tax record of the township land owned by Joseph Howland. Miller and her brother, G. Dulany Howland of Dallas and their families attended the celebration.
''I am very grateful to the township for all they are doing. I have items, such as journals, the portraits and wanted a place like this for them to be displayed,'' Miller said.
"We are very grateful for all the support and interest in our family," Dulany Howland said.
The township of Howland or ''The High Land'' was established in 1812.
According to historical documents, Joseph Howland bought a tract of land from the Connecticut Land Company in the area of the Connecticut Western Reserve in 1789. Howland sold 1,600 acres of land to Captain John H. Adgate and in 1799 Adgate and his family arrived in the southwestern part of the area, building the township's first log cabin.
More settlers followed and in 1812 the Trumbull commissioners organized Howland as a separate township and election district. Descendants of the Capt. John Adgate family also attended the anniversary event and annual holiday parade.
Connie Cera of Warren did the transcribing of the journals and letters of Joseph Howland, some from the late 1800s. The items will be displayed at the administration building under glass.
"They are incredible journals. He saved every letter he sent to people,'' Cera said.
According to Cera, the letters were written on onion-skinned journals, bound in leather with gold stamping with dates listed on them.
Howland Trustee Matthew Vansuch said the township is in the first steps of getting a historical center established at its administration building. Nineteen photos from the Howland Historical Society are currently on display in the meeting room. The township also has received some of the Earnie Hall collection from collector Harm Andrews who will be donating items to the township.
''We have a good start for our center,'' Vansuch said.
Anyone with photographs, memorbilia and other historical artifacts are invited to donate these items to the township for inclusion in the historical center, Vansuch said.
The aim of the center is to preserve the history and stories of the township for current and future generations, Vansuch said.
Anyone interested in donating items or in becoming a member of the Howland Historical Society can contact Bob Battison at 330-307-5664.