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Emily Ogle (Younkin) Howe


Emily Ogle (Younkin) Howe was born on May 31, 1840 in Somerset County, PA, the daughter of Dr. Jonas and Martha (Pringey) Younkin. She undoubtedly was named in part for Mary Ogle, one of the women who helped her father create the Disciples of Christ movement in Somerset.

As a young girl in Somerset County, she and her brother Edwin were put to work by their country doctor father and "went among the hills and gathered the roots and herbs with which [their] father compounded all his medicine," recalled a cousin nearly 100 years later.

Emily migrated with her parents and siblings at the age of 10 to Illinois and thence to Iowa. There, she met and fell in love with Zimri Howland Howe (1833-1911), son of John H. and Katherine (Howland) Howe of Bridgewater, Washtenaw County, MI. One of his ancestors, George Howe, served as a lieutenant under Gen. George Washington in the Revolutionary War with service in Bridgewater, NY.

After the Civil War was declared, Zimri joined the Union Army as a member of the 2nd Iowa Infantry, Company B.. He saw action at Fort Donelson, Corinth, Iuka and several other battles and was wounded at Fort Donelson and Iuka. He transferred to the 55th U.S.C. Infantry, Companies R, M, F and A.


Union soldiers under fire at Fort Donelson, TN
Famous Leaders and Battle Scenes of the Civil War


At some point during the war, the couple agree to marry, and Zimri invited her to join him where stationed in Natchez, MS. She made the trip, of hundreds of miles, whether alone or not is not known. After arriving and reuniting with Zimri in Adams County, MS on Oct. 30, 1865, they were united in holy matrimony.

Many years later, in its "A Fact a Day About Iowa City" column, the Iowa City Press-Citizen recounted their unusual wartime marriage.

Darts of "Dan Cupid" the little blind god, who shoots a "mean arrow," and who has been known through the ages as "Eros" and "Amor", respectively by Athens and Rome, were no less unknown to Civil War soldiers than were the bullets from the guns of the enemy. Romance, in other words, played its role in the drama of the internecine strife of the 1860's, and helped to relieve the tragic scenes. Testimony thereof was given by Miss Emily O. Younkin, a loving bride of these longgone days. From Iowa City, she traveled slowly, but surely, to Natchez, Miss., where she was wed.... In an old Southern church, they were made one. After the war, they came back to Iowa City, and later removed to Beatrice, Nebr., where the romantic warrior was "mustered out" by the Great Commander, not long before the eightieth anniversary of his birth.


The Howes made their home in Mississippi for a brief period of time but in about 1866 returned to where her parents were living in Iowa City.


The Howes were the parents of at least four children -- Effie Thomas, Laura McCann, George H. Howe and Catherine M. Fowler.

During the administration of President Grover Cleveland, Zimri was named postmaster in the town of Odeil, NE. Later, he was appointed as superintendent of the county home. He and Emily were charter members of the Christian Church of Beatrice, and he served as an elder circa 1911.

When the federal census was enumerated in 1910, the Howes lived on Ashland Avenue in Beatrice, with 33-year-old unmarried son George and 22-year-old daughter Catherine in the household.


Bridge and mill, Beatrice, Nebraska


In recognition of his wartime wounds, the U.S. government awarded Zimri a military pension on Jan. 11, 1887. [Invalid App. #593.711 - Cert. #999.720]

Zimri was cut down by the Grim Reaper on Oct. 10, 1911 at home in Glenover near Beatrice. An obituary in the Nebraska State Journal of Lincoln noted that death was due to "a complication of diseases, he having failed in health for the past year."

After Zimri's death, Emily was awarded his monthly pension payments. [Widow App. #973.480 - Cert. 732.592]

Emily passed away in Omaha.

Emily and Zimri rest for eternity in Beatrice Cemetery in Beatrice, Gage County, NE.


~ Daughter Effie (Howe) Thomas ~

Daughter Effie Howe (1866- ? ) was born in December 1866 in Iowa.

In 1900, at the age of 34, she earned income as a dressmaker and apparently resided with her parents.

Circa 1908, she filed a claim for land in Colorado and traveled there in October 1908 with her sister Laura McCann.

Effie eventually married (?) Thomas. In the 1930s, her home was in Fairbury, Jefferson County, NE.


~ Daughter Laura (Howe) McCann ~

Daughter Laura Howe (1869- ? ) was born in about 1869. At the age of five, she and her parents and siblings moved into the community of Beatrice, Gage County, NE.

Laura is believed to have wedded Joseph McCann ( ? - ? ).

They produced at least one known son, Richard McCann.

She made her residence in Beatrice, NE circa 1951. In July 1957, the 88-year-old Laura was "clared to have lived the longest in Beatrice," reported the Beatrice Daily Sun.

Son Richard McCann ( ? - ? ) was married and had at least one daughter, Laura Jo McCann. Circa 1950, he was employed as production manager with the radio station KBON-AM in Omaha


~ Son George H. Howe ~

Son George H. Howe (1877- ? ) was born in February 1877 in Nebraska.

He served in the U.S. Army during the Spanish American War. After peace was declared, he established a home in Puerto Rico, where he was named manager of a plantation. After six years of the plantation work, he became seriously ill in 1904 and was sent to a hospital in St. Louis, MO.

By July 1904, he had recovered sufficiently enough that he was brought home by his father. George obtained employment in Beatrice as a telephone lineman. He dwelled in Beatrice circa 1911 with his parents.


~ Daughter Catherine M. (Howe) Fowler ~

Daughter Catherine M. Howe (1887- ? ) was born in April 1887 in Nebraska.

At the age of 23, in 1910-1911, she was a teacher in the Omaha school system and dwelled at home with her parents.

She married Daniel M. "Dan" Fowler ( ? - ? ).

She resided in Omaha, NE in 1963.


Copyright 2016-2018 Mark A. Miner

Research for this page graciously shared by the late Olive (Rowan) Duff, the late Donna (Younkin) Logan and Robert LeFevre Younkin working with Robert J. Libby.