Recollections of My Life and Reflections on Times and Events During It: A Memoir by Father W. J. HowlettMain MenuIntroductionTable of ContentsPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52Page 53Page 54Page 55Page 56Page 57Page 58Page 59Page 60Page 61Page 62Page 63Page 64Page 65Page 66Page 67Page 68Page 69Page 70Page 71Page 72Page 73Page 74Page 75Page 76Page 77Page 78Page 79Page 80Page 81Page 82Page 83Page 84Page 85Page 86Page 87Page 88Page 89Page 90Page 91Page 92Page 93Page 94Page 95Page 96Page 97Page 98Other Writings by Father W. J. HowlettTimelineHowlett Family TreeWilliam J. Howlett Family TreeMaps and Geography: Howlett's First Trip WestFr. Howlett moved with his family to Denver when he was a child, and then moved to St. Thomas Seminary in Bardstown, KY several years later. This map recounts the path he took to get to both places.Maps and Geography: Howlett's European travelsFr. Howlett traveled far and wide during his trip to Europe. Here is a map of the places he recorded visiting.Maps and Geography: Howlett in Paris, 1872-1873This map shows the locations that Fr. Howlett mentioned visiting while in Paris, France.Maps and Geography: Howlett in London, 1874This map shows the locations that Fr. Howlett mentioned visiting while vacationing in London, EnglandMaps and Geography: Colorado Missions with TerrainFr. Howlett's Colorado mission locations, with Colorado terrain.IndexAcknowledgementsContributors' BiographiesCaroline Sherman66a71275ddeb8af1c1d88afae82e839e1097bec8Alvaro Cestti9cbe672718f2639644bd64e01d3ccbd427b50135Rebecca Lemon6b79a9a87a74d12f9288641e66ba0cdddcc2dc70Thomas Lynch079bdd3d2111c84d632cad76a596db20227e1e4bMaria Letizia6062382c70a421e32af463b8d74b84d42cc4692cDaniella Montesanobf55c9c5d63232ad4c740968bbc26fd662a7be27Veronica Smaldone8faa362cf8b51bf3f3a3b904503dd87a653500eeAshley Trimble922ced99a1a653270a76468ea189bc6540cdcc7eHIST 394 at CUA, Spring 2020
My father was born in the County Wexford and my mother in the County Kildare, Ireland. They were married at Castledermot, and two years later they emigrated to Canada with one child (Margaret) who died at the age of four years. Four more children were born in Canada within the next eight years, and in 1838 the family crossed from Canada and settled in Monroe County, New York. Here seven more children were born; twelve children in all, of whom I was the tenth. With such a family it was necessary to plan for the future. My father was no longer young, and none of his children had taken up any trade. The mill had degenerated to a mere grist mill, and in 1852 had ceased to operate. I do not know if Horace Greeley had sounded the slogan, “Go West, Young Man,” at that time, but my father decided his plan was to go to Chicago. It was a growing city at that time and the surrounding country was open to settlement for all who preferred farming. The idea of a quiet life in the country, where he and his children would own their own homes within neighboring distance and live where the family ties would still prevail was in the mind, and he concluded that it could be realized in the vicinity of Chicago.
I have a recollection of the night of his return. Like little children, we searched his coat pockets to find out if he had brought us anything good to eat. We found only some broken crackers in the pocket where he carried his smoking tobacco, and I have still in mind the taste of those crumbs mixed with tobacco. And this brings to my mind [an] experience of a year later, but that in good time. I do not know whether the winters were colder there than elsewhere, but I do recollect seeing the snow piled so high that the fences would not show through the crust.
My recollections of the people are rather vague. Attending the school were the Howell children of Cartersville, and Minnie Ackley whose family managed the Phoenix Hotel at that place. Minnie was about fifteen years old and not very bright in arithmetic. Dan Bromley was a friend who boarded at the hotel, and one day came in very hungry. Minnie was deputed do wait on him and she said he was so hungry that he ate sixteen biscuits all but four. How many that was she did not know, but she knew the pan held sixteen and there were but four after Dan finished. The Eddys were another family I remembered, but I fancy they were not very clean, for when my big brothers wished to shame my sisters if their smocks were not clean they said; “You look like Sal Eddy.” Another family was the Jarvis Lords who lived at the locks of the Erie Canal. I believe they got into politics later and were mixed up in some unsavory business at Washington. I must not forget the old guide-post at the corner near the school with [a] sign pointing east and reading; “Palmyra, 19 miles.”
In the Fall of 1852 we went to live in the Village of Pittsford with my Uncle John Doyle, a brother of my mother.