William Henry Howerton (1831-1885), born in Franklin County, moved with family to Hillsborough and Salisbury, where his father was a hotel keeper. A 1857 graduate of Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Howerton practiced in Rowan County before enlisting in 1862, and served one year as captain of Company H, 37th Regt., North Carolina Troops. Active in Republican Party politics, Howerton successfully stood for election to the office of Secretary of State in 1872. He also operated a general merchandise store in Salisbury during the 1860s, the Warm Springs Hotel, Madison County, circa 1879-1884, and the Ocean Home Hotel, Morehead City, 1885.Papers consist of of material pertaining to Dr. Wi ... (more below)
William Henry Howerton Family Papers and Account Books
William Henry Howerton (1831-1885), born in Franklin County, moved with family to Hillsborough and Salisbury, where his father was a hotel keeper. A 1857 graduate of Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Howerton practiced in Rowan County before enlisting in 1862, and served one year as captain of Company H, 37th Regt., North Carolina Troops. Active in Republican Party politics, Howerton successfully stood for election to the office of Secretary of State in 1872. He also operated a general merchandise store in Salisbury during the 1860s, the Warm Springs Hotel, Madison County, circa 1879-1884, and the Ocean Home Hotel, Morehead City, 1885.Papers consist of of material pertaining to Dr. William Henry Howerton (aspects of his career) and his family, including three handwritten reminiscences of Howerton's daughter, Frances Jones Howerton; eight photographs; a manuscript letter written from Cuba, 1898, during the Spanish American War; a teaching certificate, 1917, and other items, circa 1861-1917, including five account books.
Howerton, William Henry
State Archives of North Carolina
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William Henry Howerton:
William Henry Howerton (Feb. 9, 1831- Aug. 15, 1885) was born in Franklin County, son of Thomas and Maria Martin Moore Howerton. His father, Thomas Howerton (ca. 1795-1870), a native of Virginia, and his mother, Maria, were married in Franklin County, December of 1826.
The 1850 United States Federal Census shows the Howerton family in Hillsborough, Orange County, N.C. were Thomas is listed as the hotel keeper of the Union Hotel, and William H. (age 18), along with a brother, Albertus W. is a student (three sisters at home were not). By the 1860 census, Thomas is a hotel keeper in Salisbury, Rowan County, N.C., assisted by son, Albertus, as clerk. Thomas apparently operated the Salisbury hotel until his death in 1870. In 1857 William Henry Howerton graduated from Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia (now Sidney Kimmel Medical College). After qualifying as a physician, he opened a medical practice at Richlands, Onslow County, where he practiced for about four years. There he met and married Amanda Jane Koonce (ca. 1843-1925)), daughter of Dr. Louis Calvin and Amanda Haywood Koonce, originally of Jones County. Moving to Rowan County prior to the Civil War, he served in 1862 as captain of Company H, 37th Regt., North Carolina Troops. His petition of resignation, for health reasons, was accepted 20 June 1863.
The 1870 United States Federal Census shows Dr. Howerton as living in Salisbury, Rowan County, with his wife and five young children and working as a dry goods merchant. Also living with the family was Emily Howerton, age 30, a school teacher, and probably Howerton's sister.In the years following the war, Dr. Howerton became active in Republican Party politics. He successfully stood for election to the office of Secretary of State on the Republican ticket in 1872 and served until about 1877. During Dr. Howerton's service of one term, the family lived in Raleigh, and his daughters attended Peace Institute in Raleigh (subsequently, Peace College).
Howerton later operated the Warm Springs Hotel and the Swannanoa Hotels in the western part of the state, circa 1879-1884. He later moved to Morehead City, Cartaret County, to operate the Ocean House Hotel and died shortly thereafter in 1885. See additional details below under "William Henry Howerton as a Hotel Proprietor."
William Henry Howerton Family:
According to family accounts, the ten children of William Henry and Amanda Howerton are as follows: Thomas Bailey (1859-1860); Amanda Haywood (Addie) (1860-1840); Mariah (Ridie) Martin (1862-1913); Frances Jones (Mannie) (1864-1940); Sarah Elizabeth (Bessie) (1866-1955); William Henry Jr. (1868-1924); Matilda Pauline (1873-1874); Maragret Calvine (1876-1945); Hayward Koonce (1878-1946); Ellie Hewitt (1880-1897).
William Henry Howerton as a Hotel Proprietor:
William Henry grew up in hotels, as the child of a hotel keeper in Hillsborough and in Salisbury, N.C. After completing a first term as Secretary of State in Raleigh, around 1877, Howerton moved with his family to Warm Springs (now Hot Springs), Madison County, N.C., and he became involved in the operation of hotels in the area. Initially he began operation of the Warm Springs Hotel. In November, 1882, Dr. Howerton negotiated for proprietorship of the Swannanoa Hotel in Asheville, and switched his operation from Warm Springs to Asheville in mid December, 1882. Finding it difficult to make payments toward purchase of the Asheville property, Dr. Howerton was obliged in October, 1883, to enter into a contract of trust with the former proprietors of the Swannanoa Hotel (see Buncombe County Deed Book 45, pages 114-131 for an inventory of the hotel's furnishings). During that period In Warm Springs, one of the Howerton's daughters, Mariah (Ridie) had married Madison Conrad Klein, a native of Mississippi. On the 1880 census the couple are shown living next door to the Howerton family and Madison was listed as a hotel proprietor, as was his father-in-law, Dr. William Henry Howerton. At some point the Howerton and the Klein family left the Warm Springs area, and lived for a while in New Bern, Craven County, N.C. Subsequently they moved to Morehead City, Cartaret County. In 1885, Howerton took charge of the Ocean House Hotel at Morehead City, dying suddenly of a paralytic stroke at the height of the season on August 15, 1885, and was buried in Bayview Cemetery.
Notes on Hotels operated by Dr. William Henry Howerton:
Warm Springs, N.C., was a community located in Appalachian Mountains of western Madison County (formerly Buncombe County) near the confluence of the French Broad River and Spring Creek. It drew its name from the natural thermal springs in the area. Since the early 1800s or before, the locale had been a destination for travelers seeking relief from their ailments. The most well known of the hotels and guest houses in the area was the Warm Springs Hotel.
The hotel was originally owned by Philip Hale Neilson, followed by James W. and John E. Patton from 1832 until the end of the Civil War. The facility had over 300 rooms and its dining room could accommodate around 600 diners. In 1866 James H. Rumbough purchased the hotel along with the entire town and springs. In its heyday in the 19th century, Warm Springs Hotel was considered one of North Carolina's main summer resorts, boasting a ballroom that was the second largest in the state. The arrival of the train to Warm Springs further contributed to the influx of tourists and the potential expansion of resort accomodations. While this hotel burned in 1884, Rumbough did build within two years a successor, the Mountain Park Hotel. Also in 1886 the name of the town was changed to Hot Springs when springs of higher temperatures were discovered.
Brief Chronology for the Warm Springs Hotel Before and After Operation by Dr. William H. Howerton:
1866 Warm Springs Hotel purchased by James H. Rumbough 1877 Upon completion of term of office as Secretary of State, Dr. Howerton left Raleigh for Warm Springs (now Hot Springs) to operate the Warm Springs Hotel in Madison County. 1880, October Completion of the Western North Carolina Rail Road. 1880 Completion and opening of the Swannanoa Hotel on South Main Street, now College, in Asheville. 1882, November Dr. Howerton negotiated for the proprietorship of the Swannanoa Hotel. 1882, mid-December Dr. Howerton switched operation of the Warms Springs Hotel to that of the Swannanoa Hotel. 1884 The Warm Springs Hotel in Madison County burned. 1885 Dr. Howerton took charge of the Ocean House Hotel at Morehead City. 1885, August 15 At the height of the season Dr. Howerton died suddenly of a paralytic stroke.
[Identification of item] in PC.2025, Dr. William Henry Howerton Family Papers and Account Books.
Judith Howerton Cooper Hines, Morehead City, N.C., June and August 2011. Information regarding account books in unclear, but Mrs. Hines thought that a descendant of Dr. Howerton from New Bern had deposited the books over time.
Additional information on topics found in this collection may be found in the Manuscript and Archives Reference System (MARS) http://mars.archives.ncdcr.gov/BasicSearch.aspx
Papers consist of of material and volumes pertaining to Dr. William Henry Howerton (elected N.C. Secretary of State in 1872) and his family, including three handwritten reminiscences of Howerton's daughter, Frances Jones Howerton; eight photographs; a manuscript letter written from Cuba, 1898, during the Spanish American War; a teaching certificate, 1917, and other material, circa 1861-1917. The following account books, apparently maintained by Dr. Howerton, were transferred to this collection, and include their previous account book numbers: Warm Springs Hotel Daybook, 1879. Call number: AB.510.2 Warm Springs Hotel Guest Arrivals and Departures, 1880. Call number: AB.510.3 Warm Springs Hotel Ledger of Accounts, 1881. Call number: AB.510.4 Warm Springs Hotel-Swannanoa Hotel Daybook, 1882-1883.Call number: AB.510.1
Written to sister, M.C. [Margaret Calvine] Howerton, 123 Yarmouth St., Norfolk, Va., from the U.S.S Manning. Describes some military action, including a skirmish. 6 pages.
Dr. William Henry Howerton, trained as a physician, also worked as a merchant. He was named on the 1870 U.S. Federal Census as a dry goods merchant, Salisbury, Rowan County. Howerton, after serving as N.C. Secretary of State operated the Warm Springs Hotel from 1877 to 1882 and the Swannanoa Hotel from mid-December 1882 to about 1884. The Warm Springs Hotel was established near thermal springs of the same name, in Buncombe, later Madison County, around 1832. Until destroyed by a fire in 1884, the hotel was one of North Carolina's main summer resorts. It was located in the community of Warm Springs (renamed Hot Springs in 1886), in the Appalachian Mountains of western Madison County near the confluence of the French Broad River and Spring Creek. The Swannanoa Hotel opened in 1880 in Asheville, North Carolina. Both hotels at separate times were briefly under the proprietorship of Howerton.
Entries made between 1861 and 1872, pages 1-272 appear to be transactions made primarily in a store, probably in Salisbury, Rowan County. Items purchased include produce, staples, dry goods, hardware, and other commodities such as molasses, wine, whiskey, and certain services such as telegraph, messenger, and livery services. Most page headings include the name of one customer, though there are sometimes companies listed. Page 269 includes charges to the account of the Western N.C. Railroad. Some of the account names are family members, including William H. Howerton, A. W. Howerton, Emily Howerton, Calvin Koonce and more.
The daybook, for the year 1879, January 25 - October 17, records daily receipts and expenditures of the hotel as they occur. Each entry is recorded so as to show on the left the name of the account in the ledger that is to be debited, and on the right the name of the account to be credited in the ledger. The descriptive phrase for the transaction is reported on the line just below the names of the two accounts. The sum that is to be posted as a debit and as a credit in the two accounts is reported in the right margin of the pages.
Of the daybook's 578 pages, the first 92 have had newspaper clippings mounted over the manuscript entries; page 548-552 have been razored out.
An account book, for the year 1880, June 1 - September 20, recording the number of guests registered during the day and during the night, accounting for all departures and the amount paid. Consists of 1 volume (125 pages). The spine of the book is labelled At Home.Day and Night.Warm Springs, N.C., 1880.
The left side of the book records Arrivals, with a column for listing each guest's surname, usually with first and middle initials; a column for enumerating the total quantity of adult guests in the party, the number of children guests, and the number of servants. The right side of the book labeled Departures, includes identical categories, with an additional column to list the amount paid. The left side of the book also records in red ink the total number of guests on the premises at night. There are entries every few days for expenditures for supplies. At the extreme left side there is a column listing the number of guests on the same date during the previous year of 1879.
It should be noted that a number of pages have been razored out. The title Swannanoa [Hotel] had been written at the top of a page following Warm Springs Hotel accounts, but no entries were made.
General ledger from pages 9 to 239 contains accounts posted from a daybook now missing from the collection. The index to the accounts has been partially obscured by the overwriting of children. The volume includes guests accounts due the hotel as well as accounts that were owed by the hotel to staff for supplies, advertising, and other expenses. The names of each guest are listed with the corresponding hometown or city. Many staff members and workers are identified by their jobs or area of service, such as Laundry or Band.
Incidental charges to guests and to staff are included for various infractions, such as breaking glass and crockery. Pages 239 to 273 are filled with what appears to be practice correspondence and essays (Page 257 having, however, a farcical song The Lime Kiln Club, parodying initiation into a black fraternal organization.
Note that four pages are missing from the beginning of the ledger. Also, some pages or portions of pages have been cut from the latter part of the ledger, but these do not appear to have contained entries.
A supplementary index of name, city/town, and page number has been abstracted, and is available upon request to the Private Manuscripts Archivist. The list indicates that visitors and suppliers came a variety of states. Well-known guests included former Confederate generals, G.T. Beauregard (Gustave Toutant), and Stephen Dill Lee.
Daybook records daily receipts and expenditures during the last eight months Dr. Howerton operated the Warm Springs Hotel (April 24 - December 14, 1882), and for the first seven months he operated the Swannanoa Hotel at Asheville (December 15, 1882 - July 20, 1883). The entries for each day are recorded as they occur, and each entry is arranged with the name of the account to be debited reported to the left, the name of the account to be credited reported to the right, the descriptive phrase for the transaction reported on the line just below the names of the two. accounts, and the sum to be posted as a debit and as a credit in the two accounts is reported in the right margin of the page.
Receipts are generally for incidental charges incurred by hotel guests, such as baths in the Warm Springs, tobacco and bar bills, stamps, papers of pins, haulage of baggage from the depot, and so forth. A special receipt recorded in the daybook is for fines levied against tardy or delinquent hotel staff and includes fines for reporting late to work, for failure to answer a bell, for leaving duty without permission, for breakage of glass and crockery. Operating expenses for the hotel are reported on a day-by-day basis and include kitchen and retail bar provisions, salaries of staff, laundry costs, staff uniforms (jackets and aprons), and occasional purchases of items of furniture. Since the names of debit accounts for incidental charges are the names of hotel guests (the name of the credit account being Cash), it is possible to determine the names of a large number of the guests staying at the two hotels during the period covered by this daybook.