Charles Howard (Detroit)

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Charles Howard
Mayor of Detroit
In office
Preceded byFrederick Buhl
Succeeded byJohn Ladue
Personal details
BornAugust 7, 1804
Chenango County, New York
DiedNovember 6, 1883 (1883-11-07) (aged 79)
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


  1. ^ a b c d e f Silas Farmer (1889), THE HISTORY OF DETROIT AND MICHIGAN, p. 1039
  2. ^ a b Montrose Jonas Moses (1911), The American dramatist, Little, Brown, and company, pp. 78–79
  3. ^ a b c "The Late Ex-Mayor Howard, of Detroit". The New York Times. November 9, 1883.
  4. ^ a b c d Lloyd Anton Frerer (2001), Bronson Howard, dean of American dramatists, Edwin Mellen Press, pp. 13–16, ISBN 0-7734-7667-9
  5. ^ Arthur M. Woodford (1974), Detroit and its banks: the story of Detroit Bank & Trust, Wayne State University Press, p. 74, ISBN 0-8143-1521-6
  6. ^ Carlisle, Fred, ed. (1890), Chronography of Notable Events in the History of the Northwest Territory and Wayne County, Detroit: O.S. Gulley, Bornman, pp. 206–207, OCLC 13694600