Woman of the Century/Belle Howard
BELLE HOWARD, HOWARD, Mrs. Belle, dramatic reader, born in Center county, Pa., 27th August, 1857. She is the only daughter of Samuel and Mary S. Gill. With her parents, at the age of eight years, she removed to Emporia, Kans., where she was placed in the model department of the State Normal School, and remained a student in that institution for ten years. At the age of eighteen years she began to teach, and not many months later contracted an unfortunate marriage, and at the end of three years, with her two infant children, she launched upon the world alone. Among other duties the care of an invalid mother fell to her lot After years of struggles she failed in health and was forced to abandon labor of all kinds After two years of rest she gained strength enough to take up again life's duties, and with her twelve-year-old daughter, May Belle, began to give musical and elocutionary entertainments. Mrs. Howard inherited from her father musical talent of a high order, and literary talent from her mother Her musical studies have gone hand in hand with her literary work. She gave lessons in music with her school-teaching. After seven years of successful work in the public schools of Lyon county, in the vicinity of Emporia, Mrs. Howard removed with her family to El Dorado, Kans., teaching in the El Dorado city schools with marked success for a period of three years. Her work was of the character that imbued her pupils with life's lofty purposes. She resigned her position there to devote her energies exclusively to musical and literary work, and organized a prosperous music school at her home, when Garfield University was opened in Wichita, Kans., she moved there from El Dorado for further study and development for herself and children. She obtained a position in the Wichita schools with a salary sufficient to meet all her expenses, tuition in the University and support of her family. Many painful experiences came to her, accompanied by the serious and protracted illness of her mother, herself, and lastly of her son, but she persevered in the work of her life's effort and ambition. Her daughter became at the same time a violinist, elocutionist and vocalist of marked skill. Twenty-five years of Mrs. Howard's life have been spent in the school-room, as student and teacher. She now lives in Wichita with her daughter May Belle and son Guello P., a bright lad of fifteen years. She is connected with the Mozart Conservatory of Music and the Western School of Elocution and Oratory. Her entertainments are generally given in churches, and she is assisted by her daughter.