James Howell (politician)
James Howell Jr. (October 16, 1829 – January 27, 1897) was a partner in Howell & Saxtan Ironworks, and served two consecutive terms as 19th Mayor of Brooklyn, New York 1878–1881.
James Howell Jr.
|19th Mayor of Brooklyn|
|Preceded by||Frederick A. Schroeder|
|Succeeded by||Seth Low|
|Born||October 16, 1829|
Bradford, Wiltshire, England
|Died||January 27, 1897 (aged 67)|
Brooklyn, New York
|Resting place||Green-Wood Cemetery|
|Occupation||Howell & Saxtan Ironworks|
Howell was born October 16, 1829 in Bradford, Wiltshire, England. At the age of six he moved with his parents to New Lisbon, Ohio. Howell moved to Brooklyn in 1845. He first tried a career as a grocer, but before long switched careers to become a foreman in an iron foundry. By 1855, he had started the firm of Howell & Saxtan.
Howell & SaxtanEdit
Howell & Saxtan were in business in Brooklyn, N. Y. from approximately 1866 until the early 1890s. The proprietors were James Howell (1829-1897) and Daniel Y. Saxtan (1824-1904). Their mark can be found on manhole covers and cast iron buildings in Brooklyn, especially around Fulton Avenue and Grand Street, and lower Manhattan. The address on the foundry mark is 353 Adams St, Brooklyn.
Mayor of BrooklynEdit
James Howell was elected mayor of Brooklyn for two terms. He was a Democrat in a highly Democratic-leaning town; Democrats had a majority of about 8 to 10 thousand voters by population.
Brooklyn politics at this time were dominated by Democratic party boss Hugh McLaughlin. Graft and corruption were widespread practices of the day; although Howell was not personally involved in any scandal, he was widely considered a "mediocre" mayor.
The tax rate in Brooklyn fell during Howell's two terms, from $3.17 to $2.36, this despite rapid growth in Brooklyn, including the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge during those years. Brooklyn had seen a huge increase in population leading up to, and during, this time.
Howell lost his third term contest to Republican Seth Low, 45,434 votes to 40,937, a margin of less than 5,000 votes. An estimated 15,000 Democratic voters crossed party lines to vote for Low. Newspapers attributed the loss to a general upswing in the good government movement and a dissatisfaction with McLaughlin machine, not dissatisfaction with Howell personally.
Howell became a trustee of the Brooklyn Bridge in 1883, and in 1885 elected president of the trustees, an office which he held until his death. He was credited for "carrying out many great improvements" on the bridge.
- "Ex-Mayor James Howell obituary". The New York Times. 28 January 1897. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
- Grutchfield, Walter. "Howell & Saxtan / 353 Adams St / B'klyn". waltergrutchfield.net. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
- "Mayor Howell on His Own Defeat". Brooklyn, NY: The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. 13 November 1881. p. 4. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
- Kurland, Gerald (1971). Seth Low: the Reformer in an Urban and Industrial Age. Ardent Media. p. 48.
- James Howell at Find a Grave
- James Howell at Find a Grave
- Foundry marks of Howell & Saxtan includes more detailed biography of Howell and Saxtan.
Frederick A. Schroeder
| Mayor of Brooklyn
1878 – 1881