Biography of Herbert M. Howison, Prof.

Prof. Herbert M. Howison. As one of the flourishing cities of Kansas, Parsons has representatives in nearly all the industries and professions. As a developer of its musical interest the city has recently received an important addition in the person of Herbert M. Howison, a prominent professional musician and a man of wide experience as a teacher and devotee of the art.

Professor Howison is a young man of much talent and has been thoroughly trained in many of the best schools and under some of the best instructors of the country. The family have lived in this country for about four generations. The original Howisons were residents of the Scandinavian Peninsula, removed from there to Scotland, and there the stock was fused with the Scotch and English races. On emigrating to America Mr. Howison’s ancestors located in New York State. His grandfather was Robert Howison, and was a pioneer cattle drover from New York State to Chicago. On one of his trips through the West he lost his life and is supposed to have been killed by Indians.

Herbert Milford Howison was born at Chippewa Lake, Michigan, November 21, 1888. His father, James Robert Howison, who was born in New York State in 1851, spent the first thirteen years of his life there, and then went with his mother to Michigan. He has been identified with the lumber business all his active career, and chiefly as superintendent of lumber yards. In 1904 he moved his family to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and in 1909 returned to Michigan and located in Saginaw, where he had previously resided for twelve years. After one year he again went to the Southwest and was in business in Chihuahua, Old Mexico, until compelled to leave that country on account of the revolutionary troubles. From there he went to Oregon, but in 1915 located in Lake Charles, Louisiana, where he still resides. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and the Modern Woodmen of America and politically he is a republican. James R. Howison married Hannah Tubbs, who was born in St. Johns, Michigan, in 1853. They had only two children. Professor Howison’s older brother is Charles C., who is a foreman in the DuPont powder factory at Wilmington, Delaware.

Most of his early life Professor Howison spent in Saginaw, Michigan, where he attended the public schools. He was also a student in the preparatory department of the University of New Mexico and from 1904 to 1906 attended the University of New Mexico School of Music. In 1906-07 he was a student in Martin College in Tennessee, and from 1907 to 1912 continued his training for the musical profession in the Oberlin Conservatory of Music at Oberlin, Ohio.

From 1912 to 1915 Mr. Howison was director of the Lake Charles Conservatory of Music in Louisiana, and made a splendid record while there. At Lake Charles he was choir director of the First Baptist Church from 1912 to 1914, and of the First Presbyterian church during the following year. He is well known in musical organizations and in 1914 was chairman of the Standardization Committee, and a member of the Executive Committee and the State Piano Committee of the Louisiana Music Teachers’ Association, and in 1915 served as president of the association. During the school year 1915-16 Mr. Howison was director of music in Oswego College for Women in the State of Kansas, and in July, 1915, located at Parsons, where he now has his home and studio and is rapidly building up a large clientage as a teacher.

He is a member of the Association of Presidents and Past Presidents of State and National Teachers’ Associations, is a member of the executive committee of the Kansas State Music Teachers’ Association and chairman of the program committee for 1917, and holds an accredited teachers’ certificate. Politically he is independent, and his church membership is with the Presbyterian denomination.

In September, 1915, at Lake Charles, Louisiana, Mr. Howison married Miss Florence Kinnear. Her parents are Dr. H. N. and Hannah (Tilton) Kinnear, who now reside at Foo Chow, China.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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