GEORGE WASHINGTON HOWELL, one of the progressive business men of Greensburg, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, engaged in the heating, ventilating and tinning trade and kindred branches, is a representative in the present generation of an old Westmoreland family.
William Howell, father of George Washington Howell, was born in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania. He was for many years a farmer, and then engaged in the occupation of transporting coal on boats down the Ohio river. He was thus engaged at the time of his death. His body was found floating in the Monongahela river, at Port Perry, February 12, 1857. His pockets had been turned inside out, and a murderous blow on the side of his head left little doubt as to the manner and cause of his death. He married in 1847, Elizabeth Michaels, born in 1832, daughter of John and Mary Michaels, of Westmoreland county. They had three children that grew to maturity: Josiah, George Washington, of whom later; Julia. In 1859 Mrs. Howell married John Mehaffey, and had three children: Thomas, James, Annie. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, and died February 26, 1905.
George Washington Howell, second son and child of William and Elizabeth (Michaels) Howell, was born in Braddock's Field, Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, November 30, 1852. He was the first child born in the house which stood close to the spring where, tradition says, Braddock took his last drink and where Washington took command. In memory of this he was given the name of George Washington. He was reared and educated partly in Allegheny and partly in Westmoreland county, attending the common schools of Wilkinsburg in the former county, and those of Cavettsville in the latter. In 1871 he went to work for James F. Ryan to learn the tinsmith trade. He followed this business all his life, having made it a profitable one. He worked in Pittsburgh and Wilkinsburg, Allegheny county, and in Greensburg, Westmoreland county, being foreman for the following firms in the hardware business : Shields & Mechling; Turney Brothers; and D. W. Bortz & Brothers. In 1899 he established himself in business in the same line, making a specialty of tinning and heating by means of hot air. He has made a decided success, being very methodical and systematic in his manner of conducting his business, and in the execution of orders entrusted to him. His political faith is pinned to the Democratic party of which he is a staunch adherent. He is a member of Zion Reformed church. He is also a member of the following organizations: Greensburg Council, No. 44, R. A., and J. 0. U. A. M. He married (first), June 26, 1873, Jennie Alexandria, born March 20, 1852, in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, daughter of Thomas and Sarah Alexandria. Mrs. Howell was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, and died there February 27, 1887. The children of George W. and Jennie (Alexandria) Howell were: Frank William, born March 29, 1874; Clyde Marsells, June 28, 1880; Mabel Loren, April 24, 1882. Mr. Howell married (second) July 19, 1888, Emma C. Smith, born January 30. 1859, in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, daughter of John and Nancy Smith, of East End, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. John Smith, born in Reading, February 9, 1826, died July 11, 1885, was a tailor by trade and followed that occupation for a number of years in Greensburg before removing to East End, Pittsburgh in 1881. His wife, Nancy Smith, born December 31, 1824, died April 29, 1883. By his second marriage Mr. Howell had three children: George Wilber, born January 8, 1896; Clarence Smith, December 4, 1897; Mary Edna, November 2, 1899.
Source: Page(s) 118 - 119, History of Westmoreland County, Volume 2, Pennsylvania by John N Boucher. New York, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1906.
Transcribed June 2001 by Nathan Zipfel for the Westmoreland County History Project
Contributed for use by the Westmoreland County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/westmoreland/)
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