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Howe family collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: S2277

Scope and Contents

This collection contains correspondence, documents, and photographs related to the William H. and Susan (Holderman) Howe family, including an original land patent for 300 acres in Wabash County, Indiana granted to Samuel Buzzard of Montgomery County, Ohio on August 10, 1837; a September 1, 1882 promisory note signed by Edmund and Esther Holderman; Susan's Whitley County, Indiana teacher's license dated August 26, 1893; a Thanksgiving 1895 letter sent to William from his father, David N. Howe; an 1896 photograph of Susan; William's teaching license for Wabash County, Indiana dated May 29, 1897; correspondence and documents from 1898 to 1899 related to Susan's nursing service during the Spanish-American War; a copy of "Our Marathons," an article written by William and printed in the December 16, 1899 Watchword; William's Puerto Rico teaching certificate dated December 19, 1900; a photograph of the Howe residence in Puerto Rico from circa 1900; a small broadside with a picture and biography of David H. Howe printed by William in circa 1900; an advertising card for William's run for state representative in 1932; and a copy of the booklet Manchester College 1939: Golden Jubilee Year.

This collection also contains a variety of newspaper clippings, including a copy of the May 8, 1898 "Woman's Supplement" from the Chicago Sunday Times-Herald with pictures of Susan and the other nurses who volunteered to go to Cuba; Susan's letters sent to her family while serving in Cuba that were published in the local paper in 1898-1899; articles about Spanish-American War veterans, both soldiers and nurses, from 1928-1929; articles about William and Susan Howe ranging from 1900 to 1954; William obituary from 1952 and Susan's from 1958; articles about Anne Howe competing in the Miss America beauty pageant in Atlantic City in 1927; a 1928 article about the Junior Women's Club presentation of the play "Sally and Company" published with a picture of Anne; and two articles from 1948 and 1950 about Anne's career as a jewelry designer.


  • 1837-1958


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

Susan Rosalind Holderman was born May 28, 1873 at North Manchester, Indiana to Edmund and Esther (Knoop) Holderman. She attended the Illinois Nurses Training School in Chicago and was one of 30 women who volunteered to go to Cuba to nurse soldiers during the Spanish-American War. On June 10, 1900, Holderman married William H. Howe and they had four children: Ramon R, Esther Deliliah, Margaret Anne, and Mildred Hope. She was a charter member of the Evangelical United Brethren Church of Hammond and a member of the Spanish-American War Auxiliary, the Illinois Art Association, and the Hoosier Salon Patrons Association. Susan Howe was the oldest surviving Spanish-American War nurse in Indiana when she passed away at the age of 84 on February 12, 1958.

William Howard Howe was born December 24, 1875 in Westville, Ohio to David N. and Delilah (McGee) Howe. The family moved to North Manchester, Indiana when his father helped found North Manchester College (now Manchester University). Howe ran a small print shop before he joined the U.S. Army during the Spanish-American War. Following his marriage to Susan Holderman in 1900, the couple went to Puerto Rico to teach English on a government contract. They returned to Indiana in 1902 and he worked at the U.S. pension office in Indianapolis. Around 1910, the family moved to Big Arm, Montana to homestead. In 1917, they returned to Indiana, living first in Wabash then moving to Hammond in 1922. Howe engaged in private printing and newspaper work and was a printing instructor at Hammond High School for more than 20 years before he retired in June 1944. William Howe died at the age of 76 on February 28, 1952.

Their daughter (Margaret) Anne Howe, was born on January 5, 1907. She won the Hammond and state beauty contests and was chosen to be a contestant for the Miss America beauty pageant in Atlantic City in 1927. Howe later attended the American Academy of Art in Chicago and the Chicago Academy of Art, specializing in magazine illustration and fashion. She became a jewelry designer and worked for Lackritz in Chicago before moving to New York City and becoming the first female head designer for the jewelry firm of Trabert and Hoeffer Mauboussin. Howe married George Arthur Geyer in April 1929 and they had two daughters. Margaret Anne Geyer died in Lubbock, Texas on December 12, 1978.


Information found within collection. "Anne Margaret Geyer." Texas, U.S., Certificates, 1903-1982. Accessed February 15, 2022.

"Four Silver Keys: Honor Retired Teachers." The Hammond Times (IN), May 13, 1945. Accessed February 16, 2022.


0.03 Cubic Feet (3 folders)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Esther (Howe) Kuns on 1966/04/03.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2022/02/16 by Laura Eliason. EAD finding aid created 2022/02/16 by Laura Eliason.


Howe family collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.