Charles R. Thompson (1910 -1996) dedicated his life to the Howe Public School System. He served as a teacher, principal, and superintendent. Thompson graduated from Howe High School in 1928 and Baylor University, Waco, in 1933. He returned to Howe as a coach and teacher in 1933 and served as Superintendent of Howe Independent School District from 1948-1972. In 1978, the Howe School System named the New High School Gymnasium (now middle school gymnasium) in his honor and he was honored with Charles Thompson Day on April 21, 1996. He was a member of First Baptist Church in Howe and taught boys’ and men’s Sunday school Classes for 55 years; he served as a deacon from 1936-1988. Charles Thompson was a member of Howe Masonic Lodge and was awarded the Lamar Medal on September 24, 2003. He was a member of Howe Lions Club and was active in all civic organizations in Howe.
Mame Roberts lived her entire life in or near the community of Howe. Largely self-taught, she worked as a substitute teacher in the lower grades at the Howe public schools in the early 1900’s before turning to her life’s work -promoting civic improvements and beautification. As the writer of a weekly column in the Howe Messenger, Mame Roberts promoted her hometown of Howe and encouraged its beautification. Her campaign to make Howe the “Prettiest Little Town in Texas” motivated other small Texas towns to take similar action. A series of articles in the Dallas Morning News provided step-by-step instructions for carrying out beautification efforts, and she was in great demand as a speaker at garden club gatherings throughout this part of the state. Mame’s work attracted the attention of Life magazine and Reader’s Digest, and she was named “Woman of the Day” on May 14, 1949, on Eleanor and Anna Roosevelt’s National Radio Program. Her leadership positions included: President of the Grayson County Federation of Women’s Club; President of the Texoma Redbud Association, which urged the planting of Redbuds along highways in Texas and Oklahoma; and founder and president of the Howe Sesame Club. Her work, which spanned the decades before and after World War II, is a significant part of the civic history of Howe and of all the towns that put her lessons into action. She is a home-grown icon for our Keep Howe Beautiful program.
Alexander McGowan Ferguson was a professor at the University of Texas and wrote a book called Elementary Principals of Agriculture which became the accepted textbook in public schools in 30 states for 12 years. He moved his Company, named Ferguson Seed Farms to Howe in 1931 and shipped between 70 and 100 cars of seed daily by train. Howe was known as the seed capital of Texas during this time. The former seed farm was located at the location of A.M. Ferguson Park (named in his honor), which the land was donated to the city by the Ferguson family for strict use of a city park. The Howe Area Chamber of Commerce hereby names W.P. Thompson to the 2015 Inaugural class of the Howe Hall of Honor.
Walter Pratt Thompson was voted mayor of Howe for at least nineteen consecutive terms spanning from 1913-1949. Every two years, Thompson would say he wouldn’t run for mayor again, but the citizens re-elected him anyway. It was reported by the Sherman Daily Democrat that Thompson was the longest tenured mayor of any incorporated city in the entire State of Texas. He saw the City of Howe through the roaring 20’s of being the largest grain shipping center in Texas, to the depression 30’s and slow recovery of the 40’s. He was mayor of Howe during both World Wars. He was an advocate of the beautification project and supported the 1940’s project that had Howe named “The Prettiest Little Town in Texas.” The Howe Area Chamber of Commerce hereby names W.P. Thompson to the 2015 Inaugural class of the Howe Hall of Honor.
Jabez Haning (1827-1883) came to Grayson County with his family in 1846. In the 1850s, Haning obtained a grant of 320 acres of land from the Peters Colony. His land was located about nine miles south of Sherman. In 1873 the Houston & Texas Central Railway established a line south of Sherman. The route went through the Haning property, and they donated land for a townsite in 1872. That year, the town was renamed from Summit, because of the highest elevation from the Red River to the Gulf of Mexico, to Howe after railroad official F.M. Howe. The city officially became incorporated in 1874 and it was all because of the generosity and vision of Jabez Haning.
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