Howe Letters - 1877

April 8th, 1877
Geo. L. Dunlap
Genl. Supt.

Dear Sir:
As it is evident that my health will not enable me to do justice to myself or the Railway Co., as Supt. of Iowa Divisions, I ask to be relieved, at your earliest convenience.
Respectfully yours,
I.B. Howe

Death of James Gould --1877

Written in I.B. Howe's handwriting on paper headlined "Kirby & Howe Stone Manfg. Co.,
Incorporated under the Laws of the State of Iowa. G.F.Kirby, Silas Steinbeck, I.B.Howe,
Directors. Silas Steinbeck, Agent, 251 Putnam Street, Chicago. Stone Cutting Mill and Yard,
Putnam Street, near Chicago Av. Bridge."
Sounds like a eulogy for James; the will was written in 1873. He died May, 18, 1877
This text shows up in the Northfield book of historical persons.

James Gould was born in Amesbury, Mass, July 20th 1803. Of his early childhood we know but little, except that his parents were in indigent circumstances and their children were obliged to depend upon their own exertions for maintenance and education as soon as old enough to do so.
When about twelve years old, James found employment in the family of an honest, noble-hearted Quaker family where the "simple Quaker habits" of his entire life seem to have been formed. Nov. 10th 1831, he was married to Rebecca Morrill who was born in Salem, Mass. August 1st 1806. Their children were
Mary Elizabeth, born in Amesbury, Oct. 14, 1832, and now residing with her mother in Janesville, Wis.
Harriet B., born in Amesbury, Oct. 11, 1833, and married to David E. Fifield, of Janesville, Wis., where she died, Nov. 15, 1873.
Hannah R., born in Northfield, Vt. June, 11, 1836 and married to I.B. Howe, now residing in Clinton, Iowa.
James P., born in Northfield, Oct. 27th 1841, and now residing in Oshkosh, Wis.
About the year 1835, Mr. Gould came to Northfield, and in company with Walter Little, established a potato-starch factory at the "Falls Village", which they successfully operated for several years until it was destroyed by fire. He then engaged in woolen manufacturing, a part of the time in company with Erastus Parker; enlarging and extending, as increasing business and capital warranted, until failing health forced him to withdraw from active business, when he disposed of his entire manufacturing interests to his brother Joseph. (Joseph became very wealthy and in Northfield Falls there is a huge house with a mansard roof still there on the main road.)
After this, for a few years, much of his time was passed with his children in Wisconsin and Iowa, until 1867, when he permanently removed to Wisconsin, and in company with his son, engaged in lumber business and the wholesale manufacture of sash, doors, blinds at Oshkosh, Wis. Under the pressure of business his health again failed and he withdrew from the firm and removed to Janesville, where he died, May, 18, 1877, of nervous prostration and disease of the heart.
A simple record of any day of the life of James Gould would be a higher and more eulogistic tribute to his merit than any a biographer can write. ------Cautious, shrewd and methodical in business; but more anxious to do justice to others than to exact the same in return. ------Foremost in all worthy public enterprises, but never seeking to render himself conspicuous, he accepted public offices only when they were urged upon him. Modest, diffident and tender-hearted as a child, his highest ambition seemed to be to do good and make others happy. Generous and sympathetic, almost to a fault, and with full confidence in the honor and integrity of his fellow men, the objects of his benevolence were always numerous, if not always grateful, or entirely worthy. Never boasting of his good deeds, or unnecessarily referring to them, even in the privacy of his own family, many of them became known, only through accident, and doubtless many are yet known only by the recording angel. Stranger or neighbor, --no matter who or where, if suffering or in need of help, found him always ready with comforting words, sympathizing heart and generous hand to give relief. Never speaking harshly or unkindly to or about any person, he always tried to excuse rather than magnify the faults of others, and, so far as we are aware, he never had an enemy. Seldom can this much truthfully be said, at the close of the long and active life of the best of men. And yet, Mr. Gould was frank and free in the expression of his opinion upon any subject, and fearless in performing what he considered to be his duty.
His love for, and devotion to his family, seemed unlimited, and no sacrifice was too great which would add to the comfort or enjoyment of his wife or children. Although not a member of any church, he usually attended the services of the Congregational Society.----Following the example and obeying the precepts of the humble Nazarene, -- his daily life, rather than his public professions of faith, demonstrated his sincere piety and his firm belief in the doctrines of the Christian religion.
His interest in and attachment for his old friends and associates was remarkably strong, and his love for Vermont was like that of a child for a parent. In compliance with his expressed wishes and the provisions made in his will, his form was brought back for burial in our cemetery.
Note: He is buried with his wife next to the Howe plot in the Elmwood Cemetery, Northfield, Vt.


1873--------Last will and testament of James Gould-----
[handwritten pencil copy, 4pg legal paper, notes: Grandpa Gould's Will in pen 4.18]
I, James Gould of the city of Janesville, State of Wisconsin, of the age of 70 years and upwards, being of sound mind and memory do make, publish and declare this my last will and testament in manner following, that is to say... That it is my will and desire that all of my just and legal debts shall be fully paid.
Second: I give, desire and bequeath to my executors hereinafter named, nominated and appointed the sum of five hundred dollars ($500)to be used by them for the purpose of purchasing and erecting a monument or tombstone at the burial place of myself and wife at the cemetery in Northfield in the state of Vermont where it is my desire that we shall be buried.
Third: I give, desire and bequeath to my wife Rebecca Gould the property constituting my homestead, being the used half of lot numbered two (2), block number three (3) of the original village of Janesville, Wisconsin, together with the app???? thereinto belonging, free and clear from all taxes and charges of every nature whatsoever as long as she shall live and desire to have the same reserved for her use and occupation. I also give, desire, and bequeath to my said wife the use of all my household furniture, fuel and family stores and all other articles in use by us for the purpose of keeping house at the time of my decease, as long as she shall live. but in case my said wife shall not be living at the time of my decease, or in case she shall at any time after my decease determine not to occupy said homestead hereforth and shall notify my said executors of such determination, then, in either event as well as upon her decease it is my desire that said homestead and said household goods shall be trusted and disposed of in the same manner as the other property of my estate. I further give and bequeath to my said wife an annuity of $500 each year as long as she shall live and I hereby authorize and request my said executors to pay the same to her each year in four equal, quarterly payments of $125 each, as long as she shall live, and it is my desire that the first payment shall be made on the first day of the month in which letters testamentary herein are issued. And it is my will and desire that my said wife shall at all times have from my estate sufficient means to give her a comfortable support and to enable her to travel for the purpose of visiting her friends, if she shall desire to do so. I hereby authorize and direct my said executors to pay to her at anytime, in addition to the amount above mentioned such further sum or sums as in their judgment may be required to meet her wants and reasonable expenses.
Fourth: I give, desire and bequeath to my son James P. Gould of Oshkosh in the state of Wisconsin, the use of any sum of money he may be owing me at the time of my decease, not exceeding the sum of $4,000 (four), until the time that he shall have received his full share of my said estate, presided however that he shall pay to my said executors interest on such sum annually at the rate of ten (10) percent per annum. Further that if any said executors shall at any time be ready to pay to him any installment or installments upon his share of my estate before a final settlement thereof shall be made, such installment or installments shall be withheld but paid to him by crediting to him the amount of the same, upon such indebtedness until it shall be canceled and fully paid, but in case my said son shall not be living at the time of my decease, then in that event, it is my will and desire that such indebtedness due me from my said son shall be treated and collected in the same manner as other debts due my estate. I also give, desire and bequeath to my said son James P. Gould a sum of money equal to thirteen percent of all my estate remaining after all of my just debts are paid, the monument heretofore mentioned is erected and my wife has had her support during her life as hereinbefore provided, and the expense of the administration of my estate is paid; but in case my said son shall not be living at the time of my decease then it is my will that said thirteen percent shall pass to and be dispersed of with the residuary portion of my estate.
Fifth: If after the monument heretofore mentioned is erected and my wife has had her support during her life and all my debts and the expense of administration upon my estate are paid, the remainder of my estate shall not exceed the sum of $16,000, then in that event I give, desire and and bequeath to my daughter Elizabeth Gould of the city of Janesville, state of Wisconsin the sum of $1,000, and in case such remainder shall exceed the sum of $16,000 and be less than $20,000, then in that event I give , desire and bequeath to her a sum of money which when added to one fourth of said remainder will make the sum of $5,000.
Sixth: I give, desire and bequeath all the residue and remainder of my estate as follows, to wit: One fourth thereof to my son James P. Gould of Oshkosh, Wisc.;
One fourth thereof to my daughter Hannah Howe of Clinton, in the state of Iowa;
One fourth to my grandchildren Edwin Fifield, Hattie Fifield and Walter Fifield of Janesville, Wisconsin in equal parts share and share alike, but in case any of my aforesaid grandchildren shall not be living nor have any child living at the time of my decease, then in that event I give, desire and bequeath the share which he or she would have taken if living to these of my grandchildren before named who shall be living at the time of my decease in equal parts, share and share alike.
One fourth thereof to my daughter Mary Elizabeth Gould of Janesville, Wisconsin -- but in case she shall not be living at the time of my decease, then in that event I give, desire and bequeath all that portion of my estate which she would have taken under my will if living, one third thereof to my said son James P. Gould; one third thereof to my daughter Hannah Howe and one third thereof to the child or children of my deceased daughter Harriet Fifield, who shall be living at the time of my decease, in equal parts, share and share alike.
And it is my will that my said executors should advance annually to my said daughter Mary Elizabeth and I hereby request that they will advance to her on her portion of said estate the sum of $400 annually the same to be charged to her with interest at the rate of ten percent per annum, said annual advancement to be discontinued at any time when in the judgment of my said executors she has received her portion of my estate, or at any time when such a partial distribution shall have been made to my several legatees so that the portion she has received shall be sufficient for her support, the object of such advancement being to so ?? that she shall not be left without means of support during the time my estate shall remain unsettled.


Construction of the Elmwood monument; 1877
Clinton, Iowa Dec. 25, "7" 1877
Your favor of 20th inst. was received last night. Thanks for your suggestions! If you can furnish the urn as you suggest, for $175. go ahead and get it out as soon as you please and it shall be paid for as soon as received, whether Trow gets the monument ready for it before spring or not. I will now say to you in confidence, that I have it offered in accordance with my design and description for $125. but as I want to be sure of a first class job and feel confident that you will furnish nothing which is not first class in every respect, I prefer to pay $50 more and have you do the work. We may try to introduce some of the Barre granite work in the west and if we do, I hope to be able to give you some orders for cutting. Mr. Harrington was here and in Chicago, a few weeks ago, and can tell you what the prospects are.
I think the proportion of the urn should indeed be the same as given in my design --that is if you make the pannels and urn of greater width and diameter it should also be made higher. The monument will admit of an urn 6 1/2 high from bottom of base to top of poppy. The present or old design is about 4' 3" so you see there is plenty of room to make it 1/3 larger as you suggest, or about 3 ft. diameter and 6 to 6 1/2 ft. high. I will make and sent you a new sketch giving dimension of the different members if you desire, but I presume that you know better than I do what proportions will look best and be best.
I like your idea of polishing the "slants" on it. I suppose the verse should be on the slant below the pannels as it could not be seen on the slant above by a person standing on the ground at the base of the monument. The bottom of the base of the urn, when placed in the monument, will be 2' 3" above the ground.
On receipt of this please let me hear from you and if we understand everything alike, just go ahead and I will send you copy of the lettering, so there may be no mistake in that.
Truly yours,
I.B. Howe