William B. Howard died July 13, 1896 after four weeks of intense suffering. He was in his 76th year. He was born in Kentucky and married Maria Duncan Strother and brought her to Jackson County where they purchased a thousand acres of land. During the Civil War Mr. Howard was known to be a Southern sympathizer so he was imprisoned for thirty days in the Jackson County Jail. A friend posted bail and he took his family back to Kentucky for the duration of the war. Mr. Howard returned to his farm after the war, and on Oct. 28, 1865 filed the plot for the town of Strother, the original name of Lee’s Summit. He had selected the name of his first wife for the town. Mr. Howard’s wife, Maria, died when they were in Kentucky. Her body was returned here and buried on the farm. On Sept. 19, 1867, Mr. Howard married again. His second wife was Mary Catherine Jones, a school teacher from Waverly, Mo. They had six children.
William B. Howard was buried on his farm in the family cemetery. He was known to have been an active Democrat. He served a number of years as treasurer of the Lee’s Summit School Board. For 50 years he was active in the Lee’s Summit Methodist Church South.
– Compiled from the files of the Journal by Jim Carpenter.