Joshua Calvin “Josh” Howard
Howard born 15 March 1850,
was the 6th child of 14 born to Pleasant and Abigail
Wright Howard in pre-Civil War
Josh always said that he was born in Overton County,
Tennessee but the 1850 census of Morgan County, Tennessee shows
Pleasant and his family with Josh being 7 months old on 25th
of November, so I think he was born in
but grew up in
His father joined the Confederate cause on
in Murry’s 4th Tennessee Cavalry Regiment.
After the Civil War Pleasant was killed as a result of the
discontent of the post war era.
According to family lore George W. Howard witnessed his
father’s killing and later killed the men responsible, then left for
of Pleasant & Abigail:
Nathan bn abt 1841, served in Murry’s 4th Tennessee
Cavalry, no more known.
bn abt 1842, nothing more is known
W. bn 1844, served in Murry’s 4th Tennessee Cavalry, was
first of brothers to come to
Served and constable until he died in 1899.
His son Lon was assistant
for many years’, he work in Postal service for 50 years.
bn 1846 died before 1860 census.
Alexander Portman bn 1848, came to Montague
1900 then went on to
Frost, bn about 1852 stayed in
and was a farmer, Justice of Peace and Deputy Sheriff.
Henry bn 1855, came to
for short time then on to Greer County Oklahoma and finally to
Catherine bn 1855, married W.B. “Brinkly” Howard in Overton Co. and
came to Montague Co. near Bonita.
Anse bn 1858 came to
and Bonita with Josh and had a dry goods store in Bonita.
Elizabeth was born in 1857 and married John Landon Andrews, had two
sons, George & Will Andrews.
John either died or they divorced because Mary and the boys
then went on to Stephens County, Oklahoma.
H., bn 1859, in 1897 with about 30 other people left Overton Co. and
came to Montague Co., stayed a couple of years and went to Munday
and later Crosby Co. He was
for a time.
“Mandy” married Joe Richardson and stayed in Overton Co.
Tennessee bn 1864 married Jehu Houston Price and came to Bonita in
1896 by wagon train according to her daughter’s diary. This diary is very
Pleasant and Abigail’s children settled in or came through
with a host of other Overton County Tennessee folks.
Josh and others left
and settled in
at Pilot Point. His
wife to be Nancy Langford, daughter of Thomas Jefferson Langford,
was also from
and they had come to Pilot Point with nine wagons and 15 people..
About 1871 they married and lived in Pilot Point until about
1878 when they decided to move on to Bonita in Montague County.
Here they joined people from
and other states to form a town.
Josh settled ¼ mile West of Bonita and lived there for over
58 years. His house had
a porch all the way around it and had a separate building that was
called the summer kitchen so that it would not heat up the house.
Nancy had 8 children:
Ellen married James Lisaac Snodgrass, she died at age 26
H. “Buck” married Myra T. Ice settled in
married Pearl Phillips, he died when he was 23
married Spence Phillips, lived in Bonita until she died in 1958
married Myra Jane Wheeler, died in Nocona in 1953
married Mary Jane McMillan, died in 1940
married James “Boss” Armstrong, lived in
died in 1950
married Dave B. Jones, lived in
died bef 1964
nephew George Andrews wrote an article published in the 3 July 1953
Nocona News that he as a lad had watched the cattle herds go by
Uncle Josh’s place in Bonita and that sometimes small calves
stranded on the trail would be left by the trail drivers in Uncle
Josh Howard’s front yard as a gift.
his brother John Anse donated much land for schools, churches,
railroad station and businesses to help the town to grow.
John Anse operated a dry-goods store and Josh operated a
large cotton gin and gristmill combination for 27 years.
The cotton gin received cotton from all the surrounding
counties and from counties in
Josh took a very active role in running his gin and there is
a picture of downtown Bonita with Josh climbing up on a wagon
inspecting a load of cotton.
The grist mill stones are located at the Nocona Carpenter
Shop after being donated by R. D. Tompkins and his wife, a plaque
was placed on the stones by Cecil Fenoglio in 2007.
appears that two banks were started in Bonita in 1906, The First
National Bank of Bonita with Josh Howard as President and the Bonita
State Bank with C. M. McCall elected President,
according to an article in the April 19, 1906 Nocona News.
The First National Bank may have been started before 1906 as
there is a picture dated 1906 with Josh Howard, directors
and employees standing beside the new building which still
stands today. On
the Bonita State Bank was absorbed by the First National Bank of
Bonita and the officers elected were: J. C. Josh Howard, President;
C.M. McCall, Vice-President; S. H. Camp, Cashier; the directors, J.
C. Howard, C. McCall,
S. H. Camp, J. M. Fleming and J. R. Modrall.
First National Bank of Bonita. was founded in 1906 and the list of
shareholders that appeared in the February 8, 1924 issue of the
Saint Jo Tribune were J. N. Agee, J. A. Borrows, W. A. Childress, G.
H. Fooshee, M. M.
Gilbert, N. J. Haggard, E. E. Holland, William Holland, J. C. Josh
Howard, J. A. Howard, J. L. Janeway, C.ad McCall, W. A. McCall, Mrs.
J. R. Modrall, Helen Modrall, Richie Modrall, L. T. Mosley, A.
Parsons, W. E. Warren and Albert Willet..
Past Cashiers were Perry Ward, W. L. Billingsley, S. H. Camp,
and M. M. Gilbert. Joe
L. Janeway would later join the bank after teaching school at Shady
Grove and would serve as assistant cashier and director before
becoming President of the Peoples National bank of Nocona
Bonita National Bank issued money, and a picture of a $20 bill dated
March 1912 has been found with the signature of M. M. Gilbert,
cashier, Joe L. Janeway and C. McCall appears on the bill.
It is not known when this bill was put in service because M.
M. Gilbert was not cashier until 13 February 1914
and Joe Janeway was teaching school at Shady Grove (Packer school)
McCall became President of the F & M National Bank in Nocona after
his father’s death in 1915, he had served as President &
Vice-President of both banks for several years.
Bonita Bank in 1913 had assets of $129,000, in 1917 assets were
$134,000, in 1923 assets were $147,000 and in 1925 assets were
$152,000. The bank was
absorbed by the F & M Bank of Nocona after the crash of 1929 and the
the Security National Bank of Nocona was organized with Josh Howard,
President and M. M. Gilbert as cashier.
There is a stock certificate that was sold to Isaac
for two shares at $100 each issued on the 16th day of
March 1928, this certificate was found in a building downtown by Dan
Fenoglio, the old mattress building.
This was not a good time to be starting a bank and it too was
absorbed by the F & M National Bank which is now the Wells Fargo
Bank in Nocona.
Howard, son of Josh, purchased the cotton gin at Rowland in 1918
after borrowing $2,000 from the Bonita Bank and paid the loan off in
1920 according to a letter signed by M. M. Gilbert.
Port then bought a gin in Nocona and kept for a short time
before buying the store at Rowland.
While at Rowland the Port Howard’s would travel to Bonita
each Sunday for dinner and the children would rush in to claim a
chance to listen to Josh’s radio that had two headphones.
a buggy while in Bonita and one of his grandsons pushed it into a
creek and destroyed it.
also had the distinction of buying the last buggy in
He bought it at the J.B. Marsh Hardware and Furniture
closeout sale from Clark A. Hood.
Josh’s son Port Howard traded a Shetland pony that belonged
to his sons, Jody and Hag for a horse to pull the buggy.
Josh had a model T at one
time as his grandson Jody Howard remembers riding in it.
lived with his
family the last two years of his life and not long after his death
on 30 September 1938,
oil was discovered on Howard land in Bonita.
Howard #1 gushed in and brought
lots of lease hounds to town looking for space to drill for
oil. Port Howard gave a
free barbecue at the M-K-T depot to the largest crowd ever gathered
in February of 1940.
Harlason remembers Josh being called “Mr. Bonita” during his life
National Bank $20 note 1912
certificate for Security National Bank of Nocona only existed for
short time before F & M Bank absorbed it after crash
side of Security certificate
showing where Port Howard paid of note from buying a gin and a check
from old checkbook
National Bank employees in 1906, Josh Howard is second from left