The following data is extracted from Illustrated History of Union and Wallowa Counties, Oregon.
JOHN HOWARD. - Certainly one of the earliest pioneers of this favored region and a man who has endured the deprivations and hardships incident to that life, meanwhile laboring for the opening up of the frontier and the establishment of good government, the subject of this sketch has earned for himself a place in the history of Union county that is enviable and prominent, while personally he has ever manifested a good spirit and uprightness coupled with stanch principles and practical judgment in both the efforts put forth to build up the county, and in the prosecution of his own private affairs.
Mr. Howard was born in east Tennessee on October 17, 1839, being the son of Enos J. and Mary J. Howard. While yet a child he was taken by his parents to Platte county, Missouri, near Kansas City, and there he remained until 1858. In that summer he engaged with a government train as teamster to Salt Lake City, where he viewed the country and made explorations until the following year and then returned to Missouri. In 1860 he went to Pike's Peak and there followed mining for two years. In 1862 he came to northeastern Oregon, traveling first over the Grande Ronde country and then going to Canyon City, where he assisted to erect the first log cabin in that now prosperous town. After that work he went to digging the treasure of the place mines for a short time and then repaired to the Willamette valley, spending the winter of 1862-3 in that well known country. The following spring he came back to the Grande Ronde and has ever since resided here. During the Indian trouble of 1878 he did considerable scouting and was prominent in the repulse of the redskins. At the present time Mr. Howard owns the property known as the Meadows, about ten miles south from Lagrande. He has one quarter-section, all fenced and well improved. His land is especially adapted for raising hay and he has plenty of water to irrigate when that is needed. Mr. Howard always takes an active interest in the affairs of the county and has ever labored for the advancement of good government, while his efforts have been faithful and worthy in all lines of development and progress in this county for nearly forty years. During these years he has ever demeaned himself with such wisdom and integrity and unswerving principles of truth that he has won the regard of his fellows and the respect of all. Mr. Howard is well acquainted all over the county and there are none of the old pioneers that are not familiar with the genial and wholesouled pioneer that has passed the years of his sojourn here in the solid enjoyment of the quieter pleasures of the celibate's life, while he has ever had a word of cheer for all and a ready hand to assist anyone of his fellows that stood in need.
Source: Illustrated History of Union and Wallowa Counties, Oregon