About George Howland, Jr.
George Howland Jr. was born in New Bedford in 1806, the son of George Howland and Elizabeth (Howland) Howland and died there in 1892. After leaving school at the age of fourteen, he entered the office of his father, one of New Bedford’s leading merchants and agent for many whaling vessels. In 1829, he married Sylvia G. Allen, daughter of James and Sarah (Howland) Allen. His wife died in 1888.
Howland was a pillar of the local community. He was trustee of the New Bedford Institution for Savings, first President of the New Bedford Five Cents Savings Bank, and a shareholder and later director of the New Bedford and Taunton Railroad.
His November 1839 election as Representative began a long political career. He was reelected in 1840 and 1852. In April 1842, he was elected Selectman of the Town of New Bedford and reelected every year until 1847, when a City government was begun. In 1855, he was elected Mayor of New Bedford and reelected in 1856. After serving on the Governor’s Council in 1857, he returned to city office and was elected member and President of the City Council in 1858, 1861, and 1862. In 1862, on the death of the incumbent Mayor, George Howland Jr. was chosen to fill out the unexpired term and reelected without opposition in 1863. His handling of city affairs during the Civil War, when Howland encouraged recruitment and looked after the welfare of departing troops, led to his reelections in 1864 and 1865.
In 1855, he became a Trustee of the New Bedford Free Public Library, a post he also held until his death. He had a lifelong interest in education. In 1843, he was named to the New Bedford School Committee, a post he held until after 1869. After 1852, he served as a Trustee of Brown University, which awarded him an honorary degree in 1852 He long served as a manager of Haverford College. He was a committee member of the Friends’ School in Providence after 1847 and held the combined post of President and Secretary from 1875 until his death.
He was elected President of the New Bedford Port Society in 1866, an office he held for twenty years. A lifelong Quaker, George Howland Jr. served for many years as Treasurer of the New England Yearly Meeting of Friends. In 1870, he became a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers in recognition of his lifelong interest in engineering.
Source: "The Orchard Street Manor"