HOWLAND, Robert Spencer

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HOWLAND, Robert Spencer “Bert” (1880-1948), seventh and last child of William Roberto Garcia Howland and his wife, Sarah Ann Simmons. Robert Spencer Howland became an oil company executive in Los Angeles. He died on June 3, 1948 at age 68 and was survived by his wife, Orma (1895-1960). He is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery.

In the News~

1908. “During 1908 I [C. B. Linton] added the following species to my early list of the birds of San Clemente Island, California. I wish to tender my sincere thanks to Mr. Charles T. Howland, lessee of San Clemente Island; and to Mr. Robert Howland and the ‘boys’ of Mr. Howland’s various ranches, for the many fine favors extended to myself and party while working this island.” [Linton, C. B. 1909 Further Notes from San Clemente Island in Condor 11:6 (193-194) November-December].

March 31, 1908 [LAT]: “Mile after mile of sheep ready for shearing, not to mention mile after mile of goats for butting, was the sight that greeted Superintendent Zimmer of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, when he visited San Clemente, from which Island he returned yesterday. Next month the sheep and goats will be separated; not in the old biblical way, but in modern style and after an exciting round-up. San Clemente Island is twenty-eight miles long and to Mr. Zimmer it seemed as if he saw twenty-eight miles of sheep. He was not there on business, but as the guest of the owners of the island, Robert and Charles Howland and Mrs. Howland...”

February 3, 1909 [SDET]: “Los Angeles, Feb. 3.— On the south side of San Clemente Island John S. Hendrickson killed a remarkable sea lion. Hendrickson had been on the island about a week, with Robert Howland. During a storm at sea yesterday they saw the monster lion fighting its way to shore. As it slopped upon the rocks Hendrickson shot it. It was jet black in color which is rare in southern waters where most of these animals are tawny, and weighed nearly 1,500 pounds. Great tusks protruded from its jaws and the hair on the mane was eight inches long. The lion measured more than 16 feet, and the hide is said to be worth $500.”

May 12, 1909 [SDET]: “That a large schooner, having aboard more than 200 Chinese to be smuggled into the country, is lying off San Clemente Island, about sixty miles north of this city, has been reported to the revenue officials. The vessel is said to be flying the British Union Jack, but a sail cloth has been swung across her stern to hide the name written there. R. S. Howland, one of the lessees of the island, is said to have reported the matter to the authorities. The vessel arrived off the island yesterday afternoon and a boat containing several English-speaking sailors, apparently Englishmen, put our for the shore. The inquired if they could lay in a supply of water at that place, but were informed that there was no water to be obtained. They then went back to the schooner, which lay at anchor in plain view of the island for several hours. It was seen that her decks swarmed with Asiatics, who were enjoying to the fullest the opportunity of breathing the fresh air after their long voyage under cover.”

September 15, 1909 [LAT]: “Lost on one of the many little canyons on San Clemente Island, with no water and but little hope of being found by other members of his party, Senator Flint spent a very unpleasant afternoon Monday. The experience was one that will be pleasant to relate back in Washington this coming winter, but at the time the novelty of being at the bottom of a fissure, in the mountain and night coming on, was anything but pleasant. Senator Flint was a member of a party composed of Gifford Pinchot, United States Forester; Stewart Edward White, a well-known California author of Santa Barbara, and Charles F. Holder. As the guests of Robert S. Howland, lessee of San Clemente Island, they went there some time ago to enjoy the excellent fishing afforded in the waters of the various bays and inlets. Clemente lies about thirty-five miles oceanward from Catalina. The party had an excellent time fishing, tramping and experiencing the Indian mounds, of which there are many on the island. Monday they started on one of these expeditions. While they were returning, Senator Flint saw what he thought was a short cut to camp. He tried it. He soon found himself working down the narrow runway of a deep canyon. Knowing that the party had climbed to a considerable height he thought that he was taking a course toward camp, and would arrive safely. He had reckoned, however, without taking the peculiar formation of the height he thought that he was taking a course toward camp, and would arrive safely. He soon found himself at the bottom of the gorge. The sides rose almost straight to the skies. He turned to go back but found that he could not. The canyon walls, like many on the island, were of decomposed granite… His only way out was to keep straight on down and he turned his steps in that direction. No one but a Californian could have made the trip over the rocks. It was desperately hard work… He scrambled down the last hundred yards or so and came out on a small sheltered part of the beach… Finally a fishing boat hove in sight… He shouted and at last attracted the attention of the fishermen, who ran in under the lee of the land and sent a small boat ashore for him.”

December 19, 1910 [LAT]: “Robert S. Howland and party of San Clemente Island, were compelled to put back into port owing to the rough weather encountered in the channel. While off Church Rock, Catalina, the launch Margarita shipped several heavy seas, one wave took overboard the compass and several small things which were lying on the deck of the craft. The party left San Pedro on Saturday morning. The storm was unexpected.”