Out of the depths of his mature wisdom Carlyle wrote, “History is the essence of innumerable biographies,” and Macaulay has said, “The history of a nation is best told in the lives of its people.” It is therefore fitting that the sketches of Idaho’s eminent and distinguished men should find a place in this volume, and to the number belongs William Clarence Howie, a prominent lawyer of Mountain Home. A native of Iowa, he was born in Davis County, near the Missouri state line, November 27, 1860. The Howie family originated in France. Two brothers, who were French Huguenots, were driven out of that country on account of their religious views and fled to Scotland, one locating in the highlands, the other in the lowlands. From the latter our subject is descended. He founded a family in Scotland that became renowned in the history of that country, many representatives of the name occupying prominent positions in public life.
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John Howie, the father of our subject, was born on Prince Edwards island. His parents had started for America, and in a storm the vessel on which they sailed sought refuge in the harbor of the island, whereon occurred the birth of the son. On reaching the New World the grandparents located in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, and later the grandfather removed to Illinois, where he died in the eighty-ninth year of his age. John Howie was reared and educated in Pennsylvania, and there married Miss Hannah Evans, who was of English and Holland ancestry. Mr. Howie was a farmer, and with his family removed to Michigan. Later he returned to Pennsylvania and thence went to Iowa, where he died in 1898, at the age of seventy-six years. His good wife still survives him and is now sixty-two years of age. They were Presbyterian in religious faith and their upright lives exemplified their Christian belief. Of their four children three are living.
William Clarence Howie, the second in order of birth, accompanied his parents on their removal to the west and was educated in Bloomfield, Iowa. He took up the study of law in the office of Good & Good, in Wahoo, Nebraska, as a preparation for a life work, and later continued his reading in the office and under the direction of Reese & Gilkeson of Lincoln, Nebraska, very prominent attorneys of that city. The senior partner is an ex-supreme judge and is now dean of the Nebraska State Law School. He was admitted to the bar and then practiced for some time under the guidance of his last preceptors, gaining a practical knowledge of their methods.
On the 8th of October 1890, Mr. Howie arrived in Idaho and opened a law office in Mountain Home, where he has since enjoyed a large business. He has won for himself very favorable criticism for the careful and systematic methods he has followed. To an understanding of uncommon acuteness and vigor he has added a thorough and accurate preparatory training, and exemplifies in his practice all the higher elements of the truly great lawyer. He invariably seeks to present his argument in the strong, clear light of common reason and sound logical principles, and his fidelity to his clients’ interests is a matter of uniform acceptance. Everything pertaining to the welfare and upbuilding of the town also receives his approval, and co-operation and his labors for the public good have been most effective. Since coming to Mountain Home, he has served as a member of the school board for a number of years, was a prominent factor in the building of the splendid public-school building, which is an ornament to the town, and he is an active and helpful friend of education.
In political circles Mr. Howie is also prominent. He has always been a stalwart Republican. and is now the state Republican central committeeman for his county, and the candidate of his party for the office of district attorney.
On the 9th of June. 1891, Mr. Howie married Miss Ada Eunice Harris, a native of New York. Her father died when she was a child and she was reared by her uncle. Hon. L. C. Blanchard, a district judge and state senator. They have one of the most beautiful residences in Mountain Home. It was erected under the direction of Mr. Howie and stands in the midst of an acre of ground, which is planted with fruit and ornamental trees. Socially Mr. Howie is connected with Elmore Lodge, Xo. 30, A. F. & A. M. of which he is past master, also belongs to the Modern Woodmen Camp, the Home Forum, and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. His pleas-ant, genial manner renders him a favorite with all classes, while his sterling worth commands uniform esteem.