Fred Matteson Howk, alderman, and who for 30 years has occupied the office of justice of the peace, is one of
the highly respected citizens of Joliet. He was born at Watertown, Jefferson County, N. Y., Feb. 26, 1850, the
son of Hon. Henderson and Emily (Matteson) Howk.
Hon. Henderson Howk, who served as a member of the New York senate as representative from his district, was a native
of Jefferson County, N. Y. He came to Illinois about 1840 and located at Joliet. His family removed here from New
York in 1853. Mr. Howk was a contractor on the Rock Island Railroad and was actively engaged in the original construction
work between Joliet and Chicago. He later was associated with the late Geo. W. Hyde, and they were owners of the
flour mills at Joliet which bore their names. Mr. Howk was a Democrat. He and his wife are deceased and are buried
at Joliet. She was a sister of the late Governor Joel A. Matteson, of Illinois. There were three children in the
Howk family: Augustus H., deceased, was a Civil War veteran, and a prominent citizen of Joliet; Andrew J., deceased,
was a pioneer merchant of Joliet and Fred Matteson, the subject of this sketch.
Fred Matteson Howk was educated in the public schools of Joliet and attended the preparatory college of the University
of Chicago. For several years he was interested in mining operations and later became a well known merchant of
this city, having established a grocery business in the Seventh Ward. In 1898 Mr. Hawk was elected to the office
of justice of the peace. He has also served for two terms as a member of the Joliet city council.
Mr. Howk was married at San Jose, Calif., in 1872, to Miss Emma Grant, the daughter of William and Sophia (Smith)
Grant. Both are deceased. Mrs. Howk was born in the State of Michigan. To Mr. and Mrs. Howk four children were
born: Charles, lives in Chicago, where he is connected with the Commonwealth Edison Company, married Miss Marie
Brandan; Ray, identified with the Herald-News, Joliet; Mrs. Alfred Caulkins, and Mrs. William Downing, both deceased.
Politically Mr. Howk is a Republican. He has been affiliated with Matteson Lodge, A. F. and A. M., No. 175, since
March 18, 1884, making a period of 44 years to 1927.
History of Will County, Illinois
By: August Maue
Historical Publishing Company
Will County, Il
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