Allison, Nathaniel Thompson. History of Cherokee County, Kansas, and Representative Citizens. Chicago, IL: Biographical Publishing Co., 1904. Online index created by Carolyn Ward, instructor at USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, and State Coordinator for The KSGenWeb Project.

Howard Randolph Crowell

HON. HOWARD RANDOLPH CROWELL, president of the Columbus Electric Company of Columbus, Kansas, has been a citizen and resident Cherokee County since 1871. He was born in Rahway, New Jersey, on the 25th of September, 1837, and was educated in that city and in Philadelphia. He became a student at law in the office of Judge M. Russell Thayer, of Philadelphia, in 1855 and was admitted to the bar in 1859.

Coming West in 1861 to visit a brother then living in Osage County, Missouri, Mr. Crowell remained there taking charge of his brother's business during the four years of the Civil War. The brother, R. C. Crowell, entered the army and was mustered out as major of the 26th Regiment, Missouri Vol. Inf., at the close of the war. H. R. Crowell was commissioned as the organizer and member of the Western Sanitary Commission for Osage County and spent a good part of his time in providing and forwarding hospital and sanitary stores for the wounded of the Union Army.

After the War, Mr. Crowell and his brother engaged in the forwarding and commission business in Kansas City, Missouri, under the name of R. C. Crowell & Company and continued in this business along the line of the old Missouri River, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad until that line reached Baxter Springs, Kansas. At that time the forwarding business from railway terminals was of great importance. The firm had a large and profitable business for some years.

In June, 1871, Mr. Crowell moved to Baxter Springs, where he remained about 20 years, engaged in various lines of business chiefly banking. He was vice-president and afterwards acting president of the First National Bank of Baxter Springs and finally closed out its business and established a private banking house. This bank was afterwards incorporated as the Baxter Bank and the business and was continued until l890, When Mr. Crowell finally sold out and moved to Columbus, where he established a bank. He withdrew from the banking business in 1894, selling to J. E. Tutt on, now the active president of the Columbus State Bank. Mr. Crowell and others incorporated the Columbus Electric Company in 1893, and he has in connection with his two sons Arthur and Frederick been actively engaged in supplying the city of Columbus with light and power since that time. The business is now managed by his son Frederick, and Mr. Crowell is withdrawing from any active participation in business affairs.

In politics Mr. Crowell is a Republican, having served two terms as mayor of Baxter Springs and one term as a member of the Legislature from the southern district of the county. He is a member and elder of the Presbyterian Church of Columbus.

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