HOWLETT, LEWIS - The Howlett family has been prominent in the vicinity of Riverton, Ill., for the past half-century, and has been identified with the best interests of the place during that period. Lewis Howlett, who has lived in the town from boyhood, was born at Lockbourne, Ohio, October 17, 1847, son of Parley L. and Rebecca H. (Williams) Howlett. Parley L. Howlett was born at Syracuse, N.Y., April 23, 1818, and Rebecca H. Williams was born in Franklin County, Ohio, February 18, 1818. The father moved to Columbus, Ohio, in 1840, and there carried on business about fifteen years, in 1855 lost his business by fire and moved to Peoria, Ill., where he carried on business two years, and then spent three years at St. Joseph, Mo. November 16, 1858, he brought his family to Springfield, Ill., remaining there four years. In 1862 Mr. Howlett came to what is now Riverton, then known as Jamestown. Later, as there grew a demand for a post office in the village, the name was changed to Howlett, there being already one Jamestown in the State where a post office had been established. (In 1874 the name became Riverton.) In this new town Mr. Howlett embarked in several lines of business and became actively interested in building up the place. He erected a distillery, and until 1869 conducted what were known as the Clear Lake Mills, where flour was made. In 1866 he sunk the first coal shaft in the vicinity and in the fall of the following year the first coal was found. His mine, which he conducted until 1869, was known as the Howlett Mine, and is now Shaft No. 1 of the Springfield Coal Mining Company.
In 1869, having lost a considerable sum of money in various business ventures, Parley L. Howlett left Sangamon County, and lived successively in Pekin and Peoria, Ill.; Texas, Chicago, and McKeesport, Pa., leaving the latter place for Cumberland, Md., and then removing to McKeesport, Pa. He spent his last days in Cumberland, dying in 1891, three months after locating there, his widow surviving him about ten years. They were parents of eleven sons and one daughter, of whom but two children survive, Lewis and Edwin, who live together.
Lewis Howlett received his education in Riverton and in boyhood assisted his father in various business enterprises until the latter's removal from the town. He has since been identified with various lines of business and since 1908 has served as Justice of the Peace. He has the goodwill and esteem of all who known him. He is a reliable, public spirited citizen and has efficiently discharged the duties of his public office. In politics he is a Republican.
Mr. Howlett was married in Pekin, Ill., May 29, 1873, to Frances M. Sapp, born at Red Oak, Iowa, Christmas Day, 1853, daughter of William H. Sapp and wife. Her father, a native of Ohio, was a tailor by trade and an early settler of Pekin, where he lived many years, and there his wife's death occurred. He later removed to Wisconsin, where he spent the remainder of his life. Mrs. Howlett died at Galena, Kan., September 12, 1909, having borne three children, all of whom survive: Parley L., of Taylorville, Ill.; Mae E., wife of Martin Channell, of St. Paul, Minn., and Alice A., wife of William M. Olive, County Mine Examiner of Madison County, Ill., and a resident of Worden. There are five grandchildren in the family.