After beginning her career as a teacher in Bath Township, Roxana Howe began a second career in community leadership in Akron following her marriage. Born in Bristol, N.Y. in 1805, Roxana King Jones married Richard Howe in 1827 in Bath, Ohio. The couple had six children.
It’s difficult to track Howe’s antebellum community activism. The Beacon lists her as being on the Ladies Committee for the 1852 Fireman’s Festival. Her involvement during the Civil War is more clearly documented. In 1861, she was a director of Akron’s Soldiers Aid Society and served for a time as vice president of the group. She also contributed money, food and goods to the organization during the Civil War. The Akron Soldiers Aid Society was affiliated with Cleveland’s Sanitary Commission and contributed literally thousands of dollars worth of food and clothing . Soldiers Aid Society members spent evenings knitting mittens and socks for soldiers. They also packed food and other goods for the Army in a small room above a store on South Howard Street. The food and goods were shipped to Cleveland’s Sanitary Commission and then onto the hospitals that cared for the wounded soldiers. In addition, the organization raised much money by holding “dime parties,” socials and dinners.
Throughout her life, Howe attended and worked at the Methodist Episcopal Church in Akron. She also utilized her experience as an educator to teach Sunday school at the church. Howe was memorialized with a window in the First Methodist Episcopal Church in Akron.
Photo courtesy of the Beacon Journal.