Charles Howard (Detroit)

Charles Howard (Detroit)
Charles Howard
Mayor of Detroit
In office
Preceded by Frederick Buhl
Succeeded by John Ladue
Personal details
Born August 7, 1804
Chenango County, New York
Died November 6, 1883
New York
Spouse(s) Margaret Vosburg

Charles Howard (August 7, 1804 – November 6, 1883) was mayor of Detroit in 1849.


Charles Howard was born August 7, 1804, in Chenango County, New York.[1] His family moved to Port Jervis, New York; when Charles Howard was an adult he moved to Sackets Harbor, New York and worked as a schooner captain.[2] He later joined the firm of Alvin Bronson and Company (later Bronson, Crocker, and Company) as a shipping and forwarding commission merchant,[2] and moved to Oswego, New York, to represent to firm.[1]

In 1834 he married Margaret Vosburg. The couple had two children: Mrs. William J. Waterman and well-known dramatist Bronson Howard.[1]

In 1840, Howard came to Detroit, now a partner in the shipping firm of Bronson, Crocker, and Howard, to establish an agency for the firm.[3] In 1848, he entered a partnership with N. P. Stewart, continuing his shipping and forwarding business and also as a railroad contractor, building substantial portions of the Detroit and Milwaukee Railroad line,[1][4] although his firm lost $280,000 in the project.[3] In 1854, Howard dissolved his partnership with Stewart and formed another one with his brother, Sebre.[4]

Howard was simultaneously president of the Farmer's and Mechanics Bank and the Peninsular Bank,[5] and in 1848 he was elected mayor of Detroit.[1]

The Panic of 1857 caused the failure of the Peninsular Bank,[4] and in 1858, Charles Howard moved to New York City.[6] There, Charles and Sebre Howard opened the business "Howard Brothers, Firearms," which was in business from 1863 to 1874.[4] Charles Howard died November 6, 1883, at the house of his son-in-law.[1][3]

Political offices
Preceded by
Frederick Buhl
Mayor of Detroit
Succeeded by
John Ladue


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