Past and Present of Jasper County, Iowa
B. F. Bowden & Company, Indianapolis, IN, 1912, page 1178
An excellent pioneer citizen of Jasper County whose life has been one of industry and not by any means devoid of good to his fellow men is Howell L. Churchill, a man who, not asking the assistance of others, has sought to carve out his own fortune, leading the life of a good citizen in a country signally favored by nature and various circumstances.
Mr. Churchill was born May 13, 1849, Green County, Wisconsin, and he is the son of L. M. and Eliza (Smith) Churchill, both natives of Dutchess County. New York. The paternal grandfather, Edward Churchill, served in the Revolutionary War in the capacity of attendant upon one of its well-known generals. He was a traveling shoemaker, in which way he made a very comfortable living; later in life he bought a farm in New York. He reached the remarkable age of one hundred and two years, having retained
his faculties up to the time of his death; he was a very intellectual man and wielded considerable influence in the affairs of his community.
L. M. Churchill left New York in 1848 and went to Wisconsin, where he bought land, owning two hundred acres, which he subsequently sold and moved to Iowa in 1866, settling in Fairview Township, Jasper County, where he bought one hundred and sixty acres near Fairmount, and there he made his home for a number of years. At the time of his death, which occurred in his eighty-third year, he had retired from active labor and was living in Monroe. He was born in 1807. He was twice married, the immediate subject of this sketch being a child by the second marriage. By the first marriage the following children were born: Charles, who died at the age of eighty-two years in California; he was for many years a farmer in Fairview Township, this County; Harvey, who died in Newton, at the age of seventy-two years, was retired at the time of his death; Edward is the owner of the Churchill Hotel in Newton; Mary, now deceased, was the wife of John Climer, a farmer of Mound Prairie Township. By the second marriage of L. M. Churchill the following children were born: Mason, a retired farmer at Prairie City; Urias was a soldier in the Union Army and was killed at the battle of Resaca, Georgia; Smith, who served during the Civil War in Company K, Twenty-second Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, is now practicing law in Omaha, Nebraska; Harriet, who married Marshal Ogg, lives in Fairview Township, Mr. Ogg owning and operating the farm adjoining that of the subject; Sally, deceased, was the wife of Edward Scarborough, a farmer of Cass County, Iowa. The mother of these children died at the age of sixty-seven years.
Howell L. Churchill, of this review, began working for himself when he became of age. He had assisted with the development of his father's farm and had attended the common schools in his district. He rented his father's farm for a while and four years later, in 1874, he bought the homestead, which consists of one hundred and sixty acres, and in 1892 he bought one hundred and twenty acres joining the homestead on the south, making in all two hundred and eighty acres of Jasper County's best land.
On December 21, 1870, Mr. Churchill was united in marriage with Emma Robinson, who was born December 10, 1849, in the State of Maine. She is the daughter of Cyrus and Harriet (Pierce) Robinson, both natives of Maine. The family came to Wisconsin in 1853 and engaged in farming, and in 1868 they moved to Jasper County, Iowa, buying land in Fairview Township. This was afterwards sold and the father retired from active work, moving his family to the village of Monroe, buying property there. Mr. Robinson, who became well known in this locality, died at the age of seventy-four years. Mrs. Robinson died when sixty-nine years old. Mrs. Churchill is one of a family of six children, namely: Cyrus, who was a soldier in the Thirteenth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War, died during his enlistment; Franklin died when twenty years of age; Lucy married Mason Churchill, a brother of the subject; Calista married Judson Mitchell, for many years a grocer at Monroe, this County, but who is now deceased; she is living at Topeka, Kansas; Charles West died in infancy.
Eight children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Churchill, as follows: Delia died in infancy; Charles died at the age of two years; Olo is living at home; Calista died at the age of eleven months; Levi married Florence Martin and they live on the subject's farm; Harvey married Bessie Farmer and lives on a farm in Fairview Township; Roy married Nell Main; they, too, live on the farm of the subject and have two sons, the only grandchildren in the family; Guy is now attending the Central University at Pella. He is taking a course in music, in which he is quite gifted; when only thirteen years old he was graduated from the country schools. He gives every promise of a future replete with success.
In 1909, after a busy and successful career as an agriculturist, Mr. Churchill retired from the farm, moving to the town of Monroe, where he purchased a modern and pleasant home and is now regarded as one of the community's best citizens, a good neighbor, a true friend and a man of progressive ideas. He is a deacon in the Baptist Church of this place, having been a member of this denomination since he was twenty-two years of age. He was also a deacon in the Fairmount Baptist Church and superintendent of the Sunday school there for a number of years. Mrs. Churchill was also a teacher in the Sunday school there. Politically, Mr. Churchill has always been a Republican.