Ohio Biographies

Luther Peterson Howell, M.D.

The Howell family came to Ohio from New Jersey, the first members of the family to settle in this state being Mathias Howell and his wife. Elena Cadwallader, both of whom were natives of Burlington county, New Jersey. They located in Licking county, Ohio, in 1819, and in that county Mathias Howell, who was the grandfather of Dr. L. P. Howell, entered a large tract of land and became one of the most extensive farmers and sheep raisers of that section of the state. Mathias Howell was a man of unusual ability and force of character, a fact which is shown by his being elected to Congress from his district in the fall of 1836. He served one term in Congress and then returned to his home in Licking county, where he died shortly afterwards, being about seven years of age at the time of his death. His widow later moved to Chicago and made her home with a daughter in that city until her death. Mathias Howell, the first member of the family to settle in Ohio, was the father of a large family of children, many of whom attained to more than local reputation. James, the oldest son, went to Iowa before the war and became United States senator from that state. After tlie close of the Civil War he was appointed as judge on the southern claims committee and served with distinction in this capacity. The second son removed to San Francisco and became prominently identified with the business interests of that city. The third son located in Bloomington, Illinois, where he became a prosperous banker. The fourth son was Luther J., the father of Dr. Luther P. Howell. There were also three daughters in the family of Mathias Howell : Mrs. Carrie Varney, of Chicago; Mrs. Edith Condit, of Champaign, Illinois, and Anna, who died in Washington, D. C.

Luther J. Howell, the father of Dr. Luther P. Howell, was born in Licking county, Ohio, near Granville, and was a young man of great promise. He was a close student and was teaching school when he was married. His future was cut short by his death at the early age of twenty-one years, his death occurring shortly after his marriage to Hattie Peterson, the daughter of Martin and Elizabeth (Coyner) Peterson, natives of Ross county. this state.

Martin Peterson and wife, the maternal grandparents of Doctor Howell, were natives of Virginia and settled in Ross county, Ohio, in 1803. He was a farmer and owned extensive interests in Ross and Fayette counties, having at one time over six hundred acres of excellent farming land in Fayette county. Both he and his wife died in Ross county at the ages of seventy-two and ninety-two, respectively. Martin Peterson and wife were the parents of eight children: Mrs. Jane Haines, of Bloomingburg, Ohio: Mrs. Phoebe Junk, of Ross county; Mrs. Hannah Dickey, who died in Bloomingburg, Ohio; Mrs. Martha Slagle, of Ross county; Mrs. Margaret Robbins; Effie, deceased; Albert C, of Frankfort, Ohio, and Hattie, the mother of Doctor Howell. Mrs. Montgomery, the mother of Doctor Howell, is still living and now resides in Dayton.

Dr. Luther Peterson Howell, the only son of Luther J. Howell and wife, was born in Ross county, this state, near Frankfort, December 2, 1864. He was reared in Ross county on his father's farm and attended the district schools of his home township and later graduated from the Chillicothe high school. From his earliest boyhood he wanted to be a physician and as soon as he graduated from the high school he entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Chicago and started in to take the medical course. He did not finish at Chicago, but left there and became a student in the Baltimore Medical College, now a part of the University of Maryland, and graduated from that school. Later he took a post-graduate course in medicine in Johns Hopkins University, which is recognized as the best medical school in the Uiited States. After graduating he began the active practice of his chosen profession in Washington C. H., and, with the exception of three years, has practiced here for the past twenty-one years. He was captain in the Volunteer Medical Corps in the Philippines from 1900 to 1903, and saw hard service during his stay in those islands. He returned to Washington C. H. in 1903 from the Philippines and has been engaged in the active practice of his profession ever since, with a success which speaks well for his skilled training and innate ability as a practitioner.

Doctor Howell was married J.une 20, 1894, to Edith Belle Coffman, the daughter of Benjamin F. and Margaret (Straley) Coffman. Mrs. Howell was born in Washington C. H., both of her parents being natives of this county. Her father died in 1892, at the age of forty-three, and her mother is still living in Columbus. Benjamin F. Coffman and wife were the parents of seven children : Cordelia, the wife of B. W. Dawley, of Toledo : Edith Belle, the wife of Doctor Howell; Clara, the wife of Judge Allen, of Washington C. H. : Benjamin F., of Columbus; Margaret, the wife of Carl C. Entrekin, of Columbus; Howard L., an attorney in Columbus, and Ruth, the wife of John J. Miller, of Columbus. The maternal grandparents of Mrs. Howell were James A. and Nancy (Hogue) Straley, and were early settlers in Fayette county, Ohio, while the paternal grandparents of Mrs. Howell, Nathan and Sarah (Edwards) Coffman, were of German and English descent, respectively, and early settlers in Fayette county. Ohio. To Nathan Coffman and wife were born the following children : Lewis C, William. Mrs. Charlotte Priddy, James M., Benjamin F., Mrs. Mary Belle Parrett, Mrs. Nettie Merchant and Mrs. Hetty Willard. the last two daughters being twins.

Politically. Doctor Howell is a member of the Republican party, and he has always taken an intelligent interest in political affairs. He was county coroner, being elected three times in succession. At the present time he is a member of the city council, and is one of the councilmen at large. Fraternally, he is a member of the Free and Accepted Masons and has attained to the degrees of Royal Arch Mason. Royal and Select Master and Knight Templar. He and his wife are both members of the Order of the luistern Star. In addition to these fraternal organizations. Doctor Howell is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Improved Order of Red Men and the Knights of the Maccabees. The Doctor and his wife are loyal and consistent members of the Presbyterian church, in whose welfare they are greatly interested, and to whose support they are generous contributors. Mr. Howell has been a member of the choir of his church for manv years.


From History of Fayette County Ohio - Her People, Industries and Institutions by Frank M. Allen (1914, R. F. Bowen & Company, Inc.)