HOWLAND, Joseph Garcia

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HOWLAND, Joseph Garcia (1862-1923), oldest born son of William Roberto Garcia Howland, born in San Pedro, California. Joseph Garcia Howland was manager of Santa Catalina Island after it was acquired by William Banning in 1892, until it was sold to William Wrigley, Jr. in 1919. J. G. Howland also leased multiple California Channel Islands from the federal government.

His earliest lease was on San Clemente Island, and taken in the name of the San Clemente Wool Company. Consecutive leases were issued 1901-1905; 1905-1910; 1910-1934. In 1918, the lease was transferred to the San Clemente Sheep Company. The lease agreement forbade the removal of minerals of any kind from the island. In 1909, he took leases on both Santa Barbara and San Nicolas islands. The San Nicolas Island lease ran from 1909-1914 and was renewed 1914-1919. He was the first to lease Santa Barbara Island beginning July 1, 1909 for five years at a rate of $26/year.

Although Howland’s lease forbade the subletting of the island, in October, 1909 he rented a portion of Santa Barbara Island to C. B. Linton of Long Beach for $125 for the propagation of pearls in abalones. Howland also issued fishing rights for a fee to Japanese and Chinese fishermen. J. G. Howland continued to lease Santa Barbara Island until 1914 when the lease went to Alvin Hyder.

In 1885 Joseph Garcia Howland married Dora Irene Burton (1866-1944), from Nova Scotia, and they had eight children:

  • Gertrude Emma Howland [Adam] (1886-1956)
  • Myrtle [Knowlton] (1888-1942)
  • Hazel (1891-1973)
  • Glenn H. (1894-1966)
  • Roy (1896-1969)
  • Eloise H. (1899-1978)
  • Thaddeus Joseph (1903-1953)
  • Bessie L. (1906-1976)

After J. G. Howland died, Dora remarried Henry Ward Beach. Howland died on February 2, 1923 at age 70. He is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Los Angeles.

In the News~

July 13, 1883 [LAT/SCat]: “Timms’ Landing, Catalina Island… A party of select company, invited by Mr. Hancock Banning, started up the coast to Swain’s Valley, a distance of seven miles, in Mr. Hancock’s new yacht. This valley contains the establishment of Messrs. Howland, Whittley and Harris for shearing sheep. We found Messrs. Howland and Whittley very kind and obliging. After enjoying the hospitality of Messrs. Howland and Whittley, we started for Timms’ Landing…”

August 19, 1886 [LAT/SCat]: “Santa Catalina Island, An enthusiastic Angeleños count of the resort… A German who seems to have taken up his retreat there, replied: ‘vell dere ish seven or eight thousand vild goats und about twenty wild cows, und ofer fifty vild jackasses’…in addition can be mentioned twenty thousand sheep, the property of Howland, Whittley & Co., who rent the island from the Lick estate. Mr. Whittley, who has immediate care of the island, does not object to the shooting of the goats, not the many quail…”

July 17, 1910 [LAT]: “…’Is the price of wool up?’ I asked J. G. Howland as he was looking over the situation at Middle Ranch Santa Catalina Island] yesterday. ‘Up? Well, I should say not,’ he replied. ‘We got 19-1/2 cents in Boston last year, and this year we have been offered only 12 cents, or practically that. There is something the matter. Some fellow is getting an immense profit out of the woolen business, and it isn’t the sheep man. I can remember when I got 32 cents for wool at the Isthmus, without even shipping it away, and I sold four tons in the one lot’…”

April 20, 1917 [OC]: “J. G. Howland, who leases San Nicolas Island from the government, has filed his annual tax report with County Assessor Barry as the island is a part of Ventura County. Mr. Howland lists 1400 head of sheep. The island is 60 miles from shore. Howland lives there alone.”

June 7, 1919 [SBMP]: “Uncle Sam has a pair of islands to rent. He wishes to lease San Nicolas and Santa Barbara for a period of five years, reserving the right to take any timer, stone, sand or other materials he may require. The highest and best bidder will get the lease, with the approval of the secretary of commerce. San Nicolas Island is 55 miles west of Santa Barbara. It is approximately seven and three-fourth miles long, and the average width is two and one-half miles. The highest point on the island is 890 feet. Most of the area, about two thirds, is covered with sand; the balance has coarse grass and scrub oak. All rights to maintain post lights, roads and landings are reserved by the government, and the lease may be revoked at any time. J. G. Howland of Los Angeles is the present holder of the lease…”

June 19, 1919 [SBDNI]: “Santa Barbara and San Nicolas islands that lie about midway between the Santa Barbara Channel Islands and Catalina and about sixty miles off shore are for rent. In the Ventura courthouse the terms of lease and description of the islands are filed. San Nicolas Island is now under lease to J. G. Howland of Los Angeles. The island is described as being 65 miles off shore and 44 miles westward from San Clemente, seven and one-half miles long and a general width of two and one-half miles. The highest point is 890 feet. Two-thirds of the island is covered with sand and the balance with coarse grass and a few patches of scrub oak. The present holder has a good flock of sheep on the island.”