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William Alanson Howard

Gov. William A. Howard

William Alanson Howard (April 8, 1813– April 10, 1880) served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from Michigan from March 4, 1855 to March 3, 1859 and from May 15, 1860 to March 3, 1861. Howard was the sixth Governor of the Dakota Territory from 1878 to 1880.


William Howard was born at Hinesburg, Vermont. When he was fourteen, Howard apprenticed to a cabinet maker at Albion, New York. He graduated from Middlebury College at Middlebury, Vermont in 1839. Howard taught school before moving to Michigan for health reasons. Howard spent a year teaching mathematics at the University of Michigan. Then, Howard studied law and was admitted to the Michigan bar in 1842 before practicing law in Detroit. In 1854, Howard successfully ran for Representative in Congress from Michigan's 1st congressional district as a member of the Whig Party. In 1856, he was elected to the House as an Oppositionist. In 1860, he supported Abraham Lincoln's bid for the presidency.

Howard left Congress in early 1861. He became Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party from 1862 to 1868. From 1869 to 1871, Howard served as land commissioner of the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railway. In 1871, Howard ran unsuccessfully as a Republican candidate for the United States Senate. From 1872 to 1878, Howard was

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