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History of Adair
County, Iowa, 1915.

Biographical.  Volume 2.


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John Edmund Howe, M. D.

Dr. John Edmund Howe, a physician and surgeon of Greenfield, is a man of widespread prominence not only in his profession but in other connections and at the present time is serving as a member of the state board of parole.  He was born near Washington Court House, in Fayette county, Ohio, August 1, 1847, a son of John and Nancy (Waln) Howe, both of whom were natives of the Buckeye state, the birth of John E. Howe occurring in the same house in which the father was born.  It was the home of the grandfather, John Howe, who had taken up his abode there on his removal from Virginia.  John Howe, the father, followed farming during his active life and in 1869 removed westward to Iowa, settling in Madison county, where he purchased a tract of land, on which he took up his residence.  He continued to live thereon to the time of his death, which occurred when he was eighty-one years of age.  He was quite successful and acquired a large farm property, from which he derived a gratifying annual income.

Dr. Howe was reared upon the home farm in Ohio, where he remained until he reached his seventeenth year, after which he attended the Leesburg (Ohio) Academy.  Later he became a pupil in the South Salem Military Academy, from which he was graduated with the class of 1868.  He then took up the profession of school-teaching and in connection with his educational work began reading medicine, devoting his leisure hours to that science.  In 1869 he came to Iowa, settling in Madison county, where he continued to engage in teaching and in the study of medicine.  In 1871 he entered the College of Physicians & Surgeons at Keokuk and met the expenses of his college course by teaching.  He won his professional degree upon his graduation from that institution with the class of 1873, after which he opened an office in Peru, Iowa, where he practiced until August, 1875.  He then removed to Greenfield, where he has since engaged in practice, being now the oldest representative of the profession in Adair county in point of years of practice.  He has been very successful and is one of the prominent physicians and surgeons of the state.  He has constantly broadened his knowledge and promoted his efficiency by wide reading, study and research.  He took post-graduate work in the Chicago Polyclinic in 1896 and in the Post-Graduate School in 1899 and his contemporaries and colleagues entertain the highest respect for his professional ability, his opinions being largely regarded as authority upon many disputed questions.  In October, 1909, he was made a member of the state board of parole, in which important position he has since served.

On the 23d of June, 1876, Dr. Howe was united in marriage to Miss Minerva Wilson, a native of Fayette county, Ohio, and to them were born four children, of whom two are living:  Andra Raleigh a druggist of Greenfield; and Jay Edmund, assistant cashier of the Adair County Bank at Greenfield.  Mrs. Howe is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and also takes an active and helpful interest in club and charitable work.

Dr. Howe is a leading representative of the Masonic fraternity, exemplifying in his life the beneficent spirit of the craft.  He belongs to Crusade Lodge, No. 386, A. F. & A. M.;  St. John's Chapter, No. 73, R. A. M.;  Bethany Commandery, No. 29, K. T.;  and Za-Ga-Zig Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., of Des Moines, while he and his wife are members of the Order of the Eastern Star.  Politically he is a democrat and is well informed on the questions and issues of the day but has never been a politician in the sense of office seeking.  He is a member of the American Prison Association and takes deep interest in the study of questions relating to the welfare of those who have served prison sentences.  He believes in giving each individual a chance to reform and he has read widely on the subject, which he has studied from a scientific standpoint.  Along strictly professional lines his membership relations are with the Adair County Medical Society, the Southwestern Iowa Medical Association, the Iowa State Medical Society and the American Medical Association.  He has been one of the foremost members of the medical fraternity of Iowa since the pioneer days when he rode horseback through all the surrounding counties.  He has kept in touch with the trend of modern thought and investigation and his ability and long experience as well as his study have acquainted him with the best methods to be followed in the treatment of disease.  He has ever been most conscientious in the performance of his professional duties and his life work is a credit to his calling.



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