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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Albert P. Howarth

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 153-154 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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The city of Utica sustained the loss of one of its representative and highly esteemed citizens in the demise of Albert P. Howarth on the 26th of April, 1923. He had the first Ford agency in Utica and for a number of years conducted a drug store in connection with his automobile business but during the last decade of his life concentrated his attention upon the latter field of activity. He was in the forty-fifth year of his age when called to the home beyond, for he was born in Utica, New York, on the 20th of November, 1878, his parents being John W. and Jeannette E. (Vidvard) Howarth. The father, a lifelong resident of Utica, was likewise closely connected with the business interests of the city for many years. He was born here on September 2, 1850, and received his education in the common schools and at Professor Williams' private school on Blandina street. At the age of thirteen years he secured a position in the store of T. K. Butler on Genesee street, afterward known as Butler & Hamilton's Rock Bottom Store. Subsequently he became connected with the drug business as an employe of J. A. Hall & Company and from this place went to the store of Dr. Sawens & Company. In 1873 he formed a partnership with George S. Ballard and they opened a drug store in the Hackett block, twelve years later buying out the Sawens store. Their establishment became one of the principal places of the kind in the city. Mr. Howarth was also secretary and treasurer of the Utica Cabinet Company, whose plant was removed in 1899 from Utica to Knoxville. He also acted as one of the trustees of the Vidvard estate.

In 1874 John W. Howarth was married to Miss Jeannette E. Vidvard, a daughter of Peter and Catharine Vidvard. Five children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Howarth: Edgar John, now of New York city; Albert P., of this review; and Jeannette E., Julia M. and Robert B., all of Utica. Mrs. Howarth died April 21, 1894. In 1897 Mr. Howarth was married to Miss Elizabeth Louis, a daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth (Yaky) Louis, the former born in France, January 19, 1823, while the mother was born August 12, 1833. Joseph Louis learned the locksmith's trade and came to America, locating at Utica in 1850, where he engaged in business under the title of J. Louis & Brother, locksmiths and toolmakers. He was a man of excellent character and was very highly respected by all who knew him. He died May 19, 1883, Mrs. Louis surviving till February 17, 1907. John W. Howarth was a man of fine appearance, engaging address and recognized ability, his judgment often being sought by his friends and associates in important business matters. He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce and an attendant at St. John's Catholic church. Politically he was an independent republican. Called from a life of usefulness on September 18, 1909, he left a record of straightforward dealings and kindly acts which is more to be prized by his family than large earthly possessions gained through doubtful methods. Mrs. Howarth is living at 126 1/2 Kemble street and has an extensive circle of friends in Utica.

Albert P. Howarth, whose name introduces this review, was instructed by private tutors in his youth and studied pharmacy in order to prepare himself for the drug trade, passing the required examination in 1900. Two years later he embarked in the drug business in Utica and in 1909 also turned his attention to the automobile business, hoping that outdoor work would restore his health, which had become impaired. Mr. Howarth had the distinction of conducting the first Ford agency in Utica, and it was in 1913 that he disposed of his interests in the drug trade, in which he had been very successful, to concentrate his energies upon his automobile business, which had grown to extensive and profitable proportions. He conducted several automobile agencies at one time but in the last years of his life handled auto trucks exclusively. Upright and honorable in all his dealings, he enjoyed the confidence and support of the public and gained wide recognition as one of the substantial and representative business men of his native city.

On the 2d of September, 1903, Albert P. Howarth was united in marriage to Miss Mabel Scrafford, daughter of L. E. Scrafford of Utica. Their son, John Scrafford Howarth, who was born on the 6th of February, 1909, is at home with his mother. They reside at No. 2012 Genesee street in Utica, where Mrs. Mabel Howarth enjoys an extensive and favorable acquaintance.

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