George Matthew Howton

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George Matthew Howton

Birthdate: (75)
Birthplace: Fayette, Fayette County, Alabama, United States
Death: August 28, 1957 (75)
Fayette, Fayette County, Alabama, United States
Place of Burial: Fayette, Fayette County, Alabama, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Matthew Howton and Miranda Jane Howton
Husband of Hattie Geneva Howton and Mamie Lee Howton
Father of Clarence Matthew Howton; James Curtis Howton; <private> Howton; <private> Howton; David Augustus Howton and 3 others
Brother of James Lee Howton; Julia Nonomie Dunnavant; Anna Yarbrough; Charles (Martin) Mortimer "Mort" Howton; Joshua Willis Howton and 4 others

Managed by: Erica Howton
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About George Matthew Howton

Birth: Jan. 13, 1882, Fayette County,AL, USA

Death: Jul. 28, 1957, Fayette County, AL,USA

George Matthew Howton Family Story

George Matthew Howton was born into the Howton family on 13 Jan 1882 in Fayette County, Alabama along with his twin brother Robert Lee Howton. Unfortunately, George's twin brother did not make it and died most likely at time of birth or shortly there after. George M. Howton's father Matthew Howton and family were living in Fayette, Fayette County, Alabama when George M. Howton was born. George M. Howton grew up on a farm his father Matthew Howton owned and was a large amount of land where the city of Fayette, Alabama now sits upon. George M. Howton grew up with 4 brothers and 6 sisters on a family farm all helping with the farm chores and daily life.

Life for George Matthew Howton was by far an easy life. There were a lot of hardships to hit the Howton family and all relied on the family farm. George M. Howton was taught many things by his father Matthew Howton to include how to grow crops, raising livestock, to include fishing and hunting as ways of being self-sufficient. There had to be a few times at least that George's father Matthew Howton sat down with George and talked about the service days in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, The War Between the States. Many a time were family stories told of past experiences over the fire at the Howton family home. One topic may have arisen out of curiosity as to inquire who the Howton children's grandfather was. George's father Matthew Howton never personally knew his father Abraham Howton but may have been told stories of him. This is most likely where the Howton family started losing track of its family ancestry because of the death of Abraham and Matthew being too young to know him.

As George Matthew Howton was growing up, things around to include people, the city of Fayette, and the way of life was dramatically changing. George had seen a change from the old way of life to a new age emerging. George in his early twenties saw the first cars making its way into the main stream and seen people leaving behind the horse and buggy as a main means of transportation. The horse still maintained its presence for some time as a means of transportation. Also making its way into everyday life was electricity into homes and businesses. The city of Fayette, AL was expanding and becoming larger. Dramatic changes were happening but not always for the better such as later when the Great Depression hit. When George was in his early 20s, he had fallen in love with a woman named Mamie Lee Middleton. They were very attracted to one another and found common interest that made the spark happen. George became a father in 1902 when his first child Lee Matthew Howton was born. Tragedy hit hard for George M. Howton and Mamie Lee Middleton when their first born son died in 1903, just one year after being born. This would be devastating for anyone to lose a child and took its toll.

However, on 11 May 1904, 2 years after their first child was born, George M. Howton age 22 and Mamie Lee Middleton age 22 got married at George Washington Middleton's home in Conecuh County in south Alabama. There had to be more than them being the same age to attract these two together and was something special to both of them.

Despite the lost of their first child, George and Mamie had their second child Nellie Howton on 10 Sept 1906. All seemed to be going well for the Howton family. From 1906 to 1911, they would have two more children to add to the Howton family. George M. Howton was living down in Jamestown in Conecuh, Alabama in 1910 with Mamie and two children. Despite all that seemed to be going well, the dark cloud lingered and fell upon George M. Howton's wife Mamie. When Mamie gave birth to their last child on 05 Nov 1911, Mamie died most likely during giving birth to David Augustus Howton or within the year most likely due to complications from child birth. George M. Howton was devastated and felt his whole world had fallen from beneath his feet. He was left with three children to take care of. This was too much for George M. Howton and so his new born son David and oldest son Firmon Howton was taken in by the Middleton family and raised. David and Firmon took the Middleton last name instead of Howton for it was the Middleton family that cared for them and raised them. George M. Howton did however keep his daughter Nellie and raise her. George M. Howton was now alone and with a child. A most traumatic experience for all the Howton family.

As George and his 5 or 6 year old daughter tried recovering from the tragedy that befell on them, at some point, George met a woman named Hattie Geneva Patterson. Whether George came out and told Hattie about his first wife and his other children is unknown. However, as the two were growing affectionate for one another a closer relationship unfolded itself. Talks of marriage filled the air many times between the two. It seemed as though a new Howton family was emerging from the torn ashes. George and Hattie Geneva Patterson sealed the deal and got married on 8 Feb 1913. George M. Howton will never forget the pain of losing a son, his wife and having gave up his two other sons to another family. One year later about 1914, George and Hattie would have a child together. This child's name was Ruth Howton.

George and Hattie would have 10 more children between 1916 and 1935. George Matthew Howton on 12 Sep 1918 filled out a Draft registration card while World War 1 was raging on. The possibility for being drafted was high but George Matthew Howton never got the call and did not serve in any branch of service. Although we do learn about some of George's features from this record. He was a white man who was of medium height, medium build, with brown eyes, and dark hair. It is still stated on the registration card though that George Matthew Howton was still farming on his property and this is how he made his living. The Howton family in 1920 was living in Ridge, Fayette, Alabama according to census records where George Matthew Howton rented a home there in Ridge. I believe the town of Ridge is meant as Pea Ridge and not just Ridge as reported. Of George Matthew Howton and Hattie Geneva Howton's children comes my grandfather Clarence Matthew Howton who was born 10 May 1921. For Hattie Geneva Howton, everyone called her just Geneva. This family too however was in for some hardships as the Great Depression hit home.

George M. Howton was a farmer who worked his land to provide a means of life and like many farmers was making more than could be sold because nobody had any money so the farmers lost money. Before the Great Depression reached home people were using the buy and pay later plan and when the depression hit, people couldn't pay it back so factories lost money and the farmers started to produce less and needed less workers so workers lost jobs and almost 2/3 of the working population were jobless. Without George being able to sell his crops to make a living the family had a hard road to live through. George could not afford to pay for the necessary items needed like so many others of the time. The Great depression hit right down to the lowest man across our nation.

However, The Great Depression did not last forever and those families had to endure through it to the other side and survive. George was hard on his children, especially his son Clarence Matthew Howton. The Howton family lived as the situation came to them. As the years rolled by and George Matthew Howton's children left home to find their own destinations, George and Geneva were getting much older. Life had taken its toll on the Howton family through all the struggles, hardships, and pain. Not all was gloom though as happiness was found in the most simplest of things. One lesson learned was be grateful for the things you do have and not dread on what you don't.

The world was vastly changing and not slowing down; not one bit. . More innovation and inventions were being made as the first part of the 20th Century kept rolling. Technology, science, and inventions progressed at an accelerated rate during the hundred years of the 20th century, more so than any other century. George Matthew Howton got to see a lot change in the first half of the 20th Century. It began with the infancy of airplanes, automobiles, and radio, when those inventions dazzled people with their novelty and wonder. A few examples are the old outhouses that began to disappear with the advent of indoor plumbing. But even as recently as the 1930s, the old familiar outhouse was the most common way to deal with human waste. The motorized farm tractor change the way farms tended their land and no longer had to solely use horses. Television sets first appeared on the market in 1939. Due to World War 2 popularity was delayed because there were virtually no stations or established programming. Washing machines were invented and drastically changed. By the early 1950s, many American manufacturers were supplying washing machines with a spin-dry feature to replace the wringer which removed buttons, and caused accidents involving hair and hands. In 1957, GE introduced a washing machine equipped with 5 push buttons to control wash temperature, rinse temperature, agitation. The invention of the refrigerator and several alike machines appeared almost simultaneously on the frigid scene. General Electric unveiled one of the earliest refrigerators in 1911 and continued to progress. All of these inventions have one thing in common; electricity. It is theses kinds of inventions and innovations that George Matthew Howton seen old world to meet new world.

As the years progressed, George Matthew Howton at the age of 64 lost his wife Geneva of 31 years died on 25 Nov 1944 at the age of 45. The cause of death is unknown but was hard hitting for George. Hattie Geneva Howton was buried at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Fayette County, AL. George Matthew Howton would spend the next 13 years living the remainder of his days being a Grandfather and loved his grandchildren. Finally on 28 Jul 1957, George Matthew Howton at age 75 took his last breath as his life faded from him. He was buried at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Fayette County, Alabama where a lot of his children would be buried as well to include George Matthew Howton's son Clarence Matthew Howton who is my grandfather. George Matthew Howton's farm land was disputed over but not a single one of the family members wanted to pay the taxes on it. All they had to do was pay for the taxes for 5 years but no one wanted to so his land was taken by the state. My father Roger Dale Howton, Clarence Matthew Howton's son, told me he knew his grandfather George Matthew Howton and can remember some things about him even though Roger was a small child being somewhere under 10 years old. My father told me that George Matthew Howton was a strict and stern man who sometimes was hard on his children but worked hard all his life. My father told me he remembers George Matthew Howton had a rifle and would go up on this hill to shoot cans. The man had a love for guns.

George Matthew Howton

13 Jan 1882 - 28 Jul 1957

"May we Never Forget

Your Hardships"

George Matthew Howton possessed a will not to give in when all seemed lost. He was a husband, a father, a farmer, and a grandfather to all his grandchildren. This is the legacy of George Matthew Howton. May his life be remembered and the stories told for many generations to come. We honor his life by doing so.

Author: Ronnie Dale Howton

Born March 14, 1982 of Druid City Hospital,

Tuscaloosa County, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Currently Residing in Clarksville, TN.

Dated: 7 Aug 2010

  • Military draft registration: Between 1917 and 1918 - Fayette County, United States, Alabama
  • Residence: 1920 - Ridge, Fayette, Alabama, United States
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George Matthew Howton's Timeline

January 13, 1882
Fayette, Fayette County, Alabama, United States
Age 28
Age 38
August 28, 1957
Age 75
Fayette, Fayette County, Alabama, United States
Age 74
Fayette, Fayette County, Alabama, United States