Richard (“Dick”) Clinton Howard.
Richard (Dick) Clinton Howard was born in Greencastle, Indiana, February 23, 1863. His parents were Richard T. Howard (died in 1866) and Julia A. Duty (died in Arkansas City in 1905). He was the youngest of six children in the family.
R. C. Howard attended public school in Greencastle, Indiana, until the age of 14 when he began a nine year career in the printing business.
Arkansas City Republican, March 29, 1884.
R. C. Howard, originally of Greencastle, Indiana, but who for some months past has been local editor and foreman of the Fredonia Democrat, has this week accepted the position of foreman of THE REPUBLICAN office. Mr. Howard is industrious and attentive to business, and thoroughly understands the newspaper work. THE REPUBLICAN congratulates itself upon acquiring the services of so competent a person.
He came to Kansas in 1883 and worked for a year and a half on the newspaper in Fredonia. He came to Arkansas City in March, 1884. He worked as a printer for several years on the Arkansas Valley Democrat, which was later the Arkansas City Republican and still later the Daily Traveler.
Arkansas City Republican, June 21, 1884.
R. C. Howard, foreman of THE REPUBLICAN office, went to Fredonia, last Saturday, to look after his prospective matrimonial interests.
Arkansas City Republican, July 12, 1884.
Mrs. J. A. Howard, the mother of J. L. and R. C. Howard, arrived in the city Thursday and will make this her permanent home.
Arkansas City Republican, November 15, 1884.
MARRIED. Married last Monday evening at the residence of the bride’s parents, in Fredonia, Kansas, R. C. Howard and Miss Fannie Defever. They arrived in Arkansas City on the noon train Wednesday.
[Comments from RKW]...
In 1886 R. C. (“Dick”) Howard bought a half interest in the Weekly Republican with B. A. Wagner as his partner. They started the first daily, calling it the Arkansas City Daily Republican. In 1889 Mr. Howard sold his interest in the Daily Republican and acquired a half interest in the Daily Traveler, with T. W. Eckert as his business associate.
Howard was appointed postmaster in 1898 and served four years. He was compelled to dispose of his newspaper interests at that time as the government did not allow postmasters to operate personal businesses while holding office. At that time he sold his interests to Mr. Eckert.
In 1903 R. C. Howard repurchased a half interest in the Traveler, with W. G. Anderson as his partner. They were in business together for about four years until he bought W. G. Anderson’s interest. W. G. Anderson then bought the Winfield Free Press and moved to Winfield. Anderson later acquired the Winfield Daily Courier.
He served in the Kansas house of representatives in 1918-1919 and as a state senator from 1920 to 1924. He was mayor of Arkansas City from 1926 to 1928
In March 1923, Mr. Howard sold the Traveler to Oscar S. Stauffer. On leaving the newspaper field Mr. Howard became interested in the Howard-Ralston Investment Company. He built the Rex Theatre Building at Arkansas City, which was at the time of its erection the finest theatre in Kansas.
In 1929 he acquired the weekly Tribune and with his two sons, Forrest and Harry, operated it.
Mr. Howard was twice married. His first wife was Fannie De Fever ( of Fredonia, Ks.) whom he married November 10, 1884, at Fredonia. She was the mother of his two sons, Forrest R. and Harry D. Howard. She died in 1892. His second wife, Mrs. Rhoda Martin Coulter Howard, died in 1924. By her first marriage, she had a son, J. Max Coulter.
The older son, Richard Forrest Howard, graduated from Arkansas City High School and attended Kansas University two years. He married Miss Helen Newton and they had four children: Richard Newton, Helen Harriet, Richard Forest, and Billie.
The second son, Harry DeFevre Howard, was educated in the Arkansas City schools and began delivering newspapers at the age of 11. He married Dorothy Ralston and they had one son, Richard Angus Howard.
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Arkansas City Traveler, Tuesday, November 12, 1918.
Mr. and Mrs. R. C. Howard have moved from their former home over the Traveler office to 104 North B street, which has recently been remodeled and made into a modern residence.
Arkansas City Traveler, Wednesday, February 19, 1918.
OLIVE BRANCH IN HIS HAND.
Rep. Howard is “Writ” up by the Topeka Daily Capital.
A Biographical Sketch of the Editor of the Traveler
Appears in the Monday Issue of That Newspaper.
In the Topeka Capital Monday morning, appears a write-up of Representative R. C. Howard, editor of the Traveler, accompanied by a caricature of him holding an olive branch, as a result of his having assumed the role of peacemaker between D. A. R. and their opponents in picking the design for the state flag. The article is reproduced in the Traveler because it gives some interesting “dope” on his advent into Kansas thirty-six years ago. Following is the clipping from the Capital:
“The flip of a penny decided the first town that Representative ‘Dick’ Howard located in when he came to Kansas. The flip of a dollar decided him in becoming a candidate for his first elective office. Beyond the two incidents mentioned, the gentleman from Cowley county has never been known to take a chance.
“Hating the Germans as he does, the gentleman from Cowley never dreamed that in the legislature he would take the role of peacemaker. Yet he has. As a member of the committee on state affairs he has for days been attempting to arrange an armistice between the Daughters of the American Revolution and their opponents in their bitter contest over the choice of a state flag. With his winning smile he has been offering the olive branch to the ‘wimmin folks’ and a truce may be declared.
“Known Everywhere as ‘Dick.’
“Upon his marriage license and other important documents, the name of the gentleman from Cowley is R. C. Howard. Elsewhere he is known as ‘Dick’ Howard. Thirty-six years ago Dick Howard and his brother drove to Kansas in a buggy. At the fork of a certain road they paused to select a city in which to locate. One road led to a city of the same name as the two young men who sat in the buggy (Howard) and the other road led to Fredonia. With the customary proclivity brothers have for disagreeing, one of the Howard boys desired to go to Fredonia and the other selected Howard. ‘Dick’ Howard had exactly 4 cents in his pocket. He flipped one of them. Heads up, they went to Howard; tails they went to Fredonia. ‘Dick’ Howard lost, and from that date until the summer of 1918 he never took another chance. In Fredonia Mr. Howard found employment on the old Fredonia Times. The vicissitudes of a country printer need not be recounted. In a couple of years he went to Arkansas City, where he procured a job at five-per-week plus board and permission to sleep on a buffalo robe in the back shop. Six months later he had given his note for half interest in the paper he was employed on. In 1886 he started the first daily newspaper in Arkansas City and still has his original first subscriber.
“Boom times came and he suffered with the others, but hung on. Gradually Arkansas City came back to its own, and so did Howard. The little country paper he had struggled so hard to hold for more than thirty years has been a daily; now, as the Arkansas City Traveler, it has a full leased wire report and is one of the widely known smaller daily newspapers of the state. Its editor owns real estate and bank stock.
“Last summer Representative Howard was asked to become a candidate for representative. He demurred, hesitated, took a chance, and lost. Tails up he would agree to run; heads up he would not. He flipped a coin—this time a dollar. He lost and had to run. At the election he had to run against a Democratic farmer. The farmer carried the city and the editor carried all the rural districts and was elected.
Representative Howard’s greatest ambition in the legislature is to get ‘good roads and better bridges for Cowley County.’”