William Henry Howerton Family Papers, PC.2025

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William Henry Howerton Family Papers, PC.2025

Abstract

Dr. William H. Howerton was born Feb. 9, 1831. After qualifying as a physician in the 1850s he opened a medical practice at Richlands, Onslow County, where he met and married Amanda Koonce. Moving to Rowan County prior to the Civil War, he served briefly as captain of Company H, 37th Regt., North Carolina Troops, in 1862. Following the war, Dr. Howerton became active in Republican Party politics and successfully stood for election to the office of Secretary of State on the Republican ticket in 1872. He later operated the Warm Springs Hotel and the Swannanoa Hotels in the western part of the state. He later moved to Morehead City and died there in 1885. The papers concern aspects of his career and his family, including a few photographs, and account books that were formerly housed in the Account Books area of the State Archives.

Descriptive Summary

Title
William Henry Howerton Family Papers and Account Books
Call Number
PC.2025
Creator
Howerton, William Henry
Date
1861-1917
Extent
1.00 boxes, 5.00 containers, 4.00 volumes
Language
English
Repository
State Archives of North Carolina

Restrictions on Access & Use

Access Restrictions

Available for research

Use Restrictions

Copyright is retained by the authors of these materials, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law (Title 17 US Code). Individual researchers are responsible for using these materials in conformance with copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item] in PC.2025, Dr. William Henry Howerton Family Papers and Account Books.

Collection Overview

Papers consist of of material and volumes pertaining to Dr. William Henry Howerton (elected N.C. Secretary of State in 1872) and his family, including three handwritten reminiscences of Howerton's daughter, Frances Jones Howerton; eight photographs; a manuscript letter written from Cuba, 1898, during the Spanish American War; a teaching certificate, 1917, and other material, circa 1861-1917. The following account books, apparently maintained by Dr. Howerton, were transferred to this collection, and include their previous account book numbers: Warm Springs Hotel Daybook, 1879. Call number: AB.510.2 Warm Springs Hotel Guest Arrivals and Departures, 1880. Call number: AB.510.3 Warm Springs Hotel Ledger of Accounts, 1881. Call number: AB.510.4 Warm Springs Hotel-Swannanoa Hotel Daybook, 1882-1883.Call number: AB.510.1

Biographical/Historical note

William Henry Howerton: William Henry Howerton (Feb. 9, 1831- Aug. 15, 1885) was born in Franklin County, son of Thomas and Maria Martin Moore Howerton. His father, Thomas Howerton (ca. 1795-1870), a native of Virginia, and his mother, Maria, were married in Franklin County, December of 1826.The 1850 United States Federal Census shows the Howerton family in Hillsborough, Orange County, N.C. where Thomas is listed as the hotel keeper of the Union Hotel, and William H. (age 18), along with a brother, Albertus W. is a student (three sisters at home were not). By the 1860 census, Thomas is a hotel keeper in Salisbury, Rowan County, N.C., assisted by son, Albertus, as clerk. Thomas apparently operated the Salisbury hotel until his death in 1870. In 1857 William Henry Howerton graduated from Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia (now Sidney Kimmel Medical College). After qualifying as a physician, he opened a medical practice at Richlands, Onslow County, where he practiced for about four years. There he met and married Amanda Jane Koonce (ca. 1843-1925)), daughter of Dr. Louis Calvin and Amanda Haywood Koonce, originally of Jones County. Moving to Rowan County prior to the Civil War, he served in 1862 as captain of Company H, 37th Regt., North Carolina Troops. His petition of resignation, for health reasons, was accepted 20 June 1863.The 1870 United States Federal Census shows Dr. Howerton as living in Salisbury, Rowan County, with his wife and five young children and working as a dry goods merchant. Also living with the family was Emily Howerton, age 30, a school teacher, and probably Howerton's sister.In the years following the war, Dr. Howerton became active in Republican Party politics. He successfully stood for election to the office of Secretary of State on the Republican ticket in 1872 and served until about 1877. During Dr. Howerton's service of one term, the family lived in Raleigh, and his daughters attended Peace Institute in Raleigh (subsequently, Peace College).Howerton later operated the Warm Springs Hotel and the Swannanoa Hotels in the western part of the state, circa 1879-1884. He later moved to Morehead City, Cartaret County, to operate the Ocean House Hotel and died shortly thereafter in 1885. See additional details below under "William Henry Howerton as a Hotel Proprietor." William Henry Howerton Family: According to family accounts, the ten children of William Henry and Amanda Howerton are as follows: Thomas Bailey (1859-1860); Amanda Haywood (Addie) (1860-1840); Mariah (Ridie) Martin (1862-1913); Frances Jones (Mannie) (1864-1940); Sarah Elizabeth (Bessie) (1866-1955); William Henry Jr. (1868-1924); Matilda Pauline (1873-1874); Maragret Calvine (1876-1945); Hayward Koonce (1878-1946); Ellie Hewitt (1880-1897). William Henry Howerton as a Hotel Proprietor: William Henry grew up in hotels, as the child of a hotel keeper in Hillsborough and in Salisbury, N.C. After completing a first term as Secretary of State in Raleigh, around 1877, Howerton moved with his family to Warm Springs (now Hot Springs), Madison County, N.C., and he became involved in the operation of hotels in the area. Initially he began operation of the Warm Springs Hotel. In November, 1882, Dr. Howerton negotiated for proprietorship of the Swannanoa Hotel in Asheville, and switched his operation from Warm Springs to Asheville in mid December, 1882. Finding it difficult to make payments toward purchase of the Asheville property, Dr. Howerton was obliged in October, 1883, to enter into a contract of trust with the former proprietors of the Swannanoa Hotel (see Buncombe County Deed Book 45, pages 114-131 for an inventory of the hotel's furnishings). During that period In Warm Springs, one of the Howerton's daughters, Mariah (Ridie) had married Madison Conrad Klein, a native of Mississippi. On the 1880 census the couple are shown living next door to the Howerton family and Madison was listed as a hotel proprietor, as was his father-in-law, Dr. William Henry Howerton. At some point the Howerton and the Klein family left the Warm Springs area, and lived for a while in New Bern, Craven County, N.C. Subsequently they moved to Morehead City, Cartaret County. In 1885, Howerton took charge of the Ocean House Hotel at Morehead City, dying suddenly of a paralytic stroke at the height of the season on August 15, 1885. He was buried in Bayview Cemetery. Notes on Hotels operated by Dr. William Henry Howerton: Warm Springs, N.C., was a community located in Appalachian Mountains of western Madison County (formerly Buncombe County) near the confluence of the French Broad River and Spring Creek. It drew its name from the natural thermal springs in the area. Since the early 1800s or before, the locale had been a destination for travelers seeking relief from their ailments. The most well known of the hotels and guest houses in the area was the Warm Springs Hotel.The hotel was originally owned by Philip Hale Neilson, followed by James W. and John E. Patton from 1832 until the end of the Civil War. The facility had over 300 rooms and its dining room could accommodate around 600 diners. In 1866 James H. Rumbough purchased the hotel along with the entire town and springs. In its heyday in the 19th century, Warm Springs Hotel was considered one of North Carolina's main summer resorts, boasting a ballroom that was the second largest in the state. The arrival of the train to Warm Springs further contributed to the influx of tourists and the potential expansion of resort accomodations. While this hotel burned in 1884, Rumbough did build within two years a successor, the Mountain Park Hotel. Also in 1886 the name of the town was changed to Hot Springs when springs of higher temperatures were discovered. Brief Chronology for the Warm Springs Hotel Before and After Operation by Dr. William H. Howerton: 1866: Warm Springs Hotel purchased by James H. Rumbough; 1877: Upon completion of term of office as Secretary of State, Dr. Howerton left Raleigh for Warm Springs (now Hot Springs) to operate the Warm Springs Hotel in Madison County; 1880, October: Completion of the Western North Carolina Rail Road; 1880: Completion and opening of the Swannanoa Hotel on South Main Street, now College St., in Asheville; 1882, November: Dr. Howerton negotiated for the proprietorship of the Swannanoa Hotel; 1882, mid-December: Dr. Howerton switched operation of the Warms Springs Hotel to that of the Swannanoa Hotel; 1884: The Warm Springs Hotel in Madison County burned; 1885: Dr. Howerton took charge of the Ocean House Hotel at Morehead City; 1885, August 15: At the height of the season Dr. Howerton died suddenly of a paralytic stroke.

Contents of the Collection

1. William Henry Howerton Personal Papers,1863-1883

Confederate Examining Board Acceptance of Resignation,June 20, 1863
Box PC.2025/folder 1
Membership Certificate, Raleigh Light Infantry,August 14, 1874
Box PC.2025/folder 2
Membership Certificate, Honorary, Raleigh Light Artillery,March 22, 1875
Box PC.2025/folder 3
Biography of Howerton (photocopy), Southern Illustrated Age,August 28, 1875
Box PC.2025/folder 4
Biography of Howerton (original) in issue of Southern Illustrated Age,August 28, 1875
Folder Map case/Oversize
Deed, Madison County, W. H. Howerton and M.C. Kline, 10 acres, 128 rods,September 13, 1883
Box PC.2025/folder 5

2. William Henry Howerton Children's Papers, 1898-1966

Letter of Haywood K. Howerton, Gunners Mate, U.S. Navy, from ship near Cuba,May 15, 1898
Box PC.2025/folder 6

3. Account Books,1861 - 1884

Scope and Content:

Dr. William Henry Howerton, trained as a physician, also worked as a merchant. He was named on the 1870 U.S. Federal Census as a dry goods merchant, Salisbury, Rowan County. Howerton, after serving as N.C. Secretary of State operated the Warm Springs Hotel from 1877 to 1882 and the Swannanoa Hotel from mid-December 1882 to about 1884. The Warm Springs Hotel was established near thermal springs of the same name, in Buncombe, later Madison County, around 1832. Until destroyed by a fire in 1884, the hotel was one of North Carolina's main summer resorts. It was located in the community of Warm Springs (renamed Hot Springs in 1886), in the Appalachian Mountains of western Madison County near the confluence of the French Broad River and Spring Creek. The Swannanoa Hotel opened in 1880 in Asheville, North Carolina. Both hotels at separate times were briefly under the proprietorship of Howerton.

Journal for dry goods/general merchandise, and misc. [Salisbury, Rowan],1861- 1886
Item PC.2025/Vol. 1
Daybook, Warm Springs Hotel,1879
Item PC.2025/Vol. 2
Guest Arrivals and Departures, Warm Springs Hotel,1880
Item PC.2025/Vol. 3
Ledger of Accounts, Warm Springs Hotel,1881
Item PC.2025/Vol. 4
Daybook, Warm Springs Hotel-Swannanoa Hotel Daybook,1882-1883
Item PC.2025/Vol. 5

Subject Headings

  • Howerton family
  • Howerton, William Henry
  • General stores--North Carolina--Salisbury
  • Hot Springs (N.C.)
  • Hotel management
  • Hotels
  • Resorts--North Carolina--Madison County
  • Warm Springs (N.C.)
  • Civil War, 1861-1865
  • Spanish-American War, 1898
  • Physicians
  • Secretaries of State
  • Madison County (N.C.)
  • Raleigh (N.C.)
  • Rowan County (N.C.)
  • Morehead City
  • Account books
  • Photographs
  • Acquisitions Information

    Judith Howerton Cooper Hines, Morehead City, N.C., June and August 2011. Information regarding account books in unclear, but Mrs. Hines thought that a descendant of Dr. Howerton from New Bern had deposited the volumes over time.

    Processing Information

  • Arrangement and description by Fran Tracy-Walls. Assistance from Lea Walker for encoding of account book volumes. Updated by Fran Tracy-Walls, November 2019, for publication in Discover Online Catalog (DOC).