Marlborough, Massachusetts
Simon Herbert Howe
Simon Herbert Howe was born December 21 1835 in Marlborough, Massachusetts to Samuel (1800-1864) and Charlotte Howe (1800-1839). Howe was a direct descendant of John Howe (1602-1680) who arrived in Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630 from Brinklow, Warwickshire, England and settled in Sudbury, Massachusetts. Howe was also a descendant of Edmund Rice
another early immigrant to Massachusetts Bay Colony. Simon Howe married Harriett A. Brigham on January 1, 1857, they had four children. S. H. Howe was President of the S. H. Howe Shoe Company and the President of the Marlborough Savings Bank. When Marlborough became a city, S. H. Howe was the first mayor of City of Marlborough and had an image of his main shop factory located on the corner of Pleasant and Elm streets incorporated into the city seal, where it remains to this day. City Marlborough Seal
"It was said, when Marlborough voted in July 1890 to accept a city charter, that S. H. Howe was practically chosen mayor, so strong was his hold on the respect and confidence of his fellow-citizens. It is safe to say that not one of Marlborough's prominent men has, to a greater degree, the esteem of all classes and conditions of men than has Simon Herbert Howe, the subject of this brief biographical sketch. He is the son of Samuel and Charlotte Howe, his mother's maiden name being likewise Howe. Born Dec. 21 1835, he grew up to youth and manhood on the breezy hills of Marlborough. He began shoemaking at the age of eleven, and is familiar with all the details of the craft. He graduated from school at the age of twenty.

In 1855 he commenced the manufacture of shoes in a shop on Pleasant Street, in company with his brother, Lewis A. Howe. He subsequently purchased his brother's interest and removed the business to the corner of Pleasant and Elm streets, the site of what is now the main shop in the trio of large factories operated in his name. This shop has been enlarged many times, until it stands as one of the larges in Eastern Massachusetts. On March 12, 1878, he purchased the "Diamond F" shop on Pleasant Street from James Tucker. This shop, too, has been successively enlarged. On June 4, 1889, he purchased the "Diamond O" shop from C. L. & L. T. Frye and added it to his already large plant. The S. H. Howe Shoe Company, of which hi is the president, now operates these three factories, the daily output being ten thousand pairs.

Mr. Howe has been frequently called to public position by his fellow-citizens. He held the office of town selectman in 1866, 1873, 1875 and 1877 and as intimated in the opening lines of this sketch, was the choice by an overwhelming majority for the position of the first mayor of the new city. He served in that capacity for one year, retiring with the respect of all citizens. Mr Howe was for a long time chairman of the School Committee of the town. He represented the district in the lower branch of the Massachusetts legislature in 1877.

In the commercial life of Marlborough, Mr. Howe has ever been prominent. He was elected trustee of the Marlborough Savings Bank in 1875, and in 1882 was chosen president of that institution. He was in 1879, one of the original incorporators of People's National Bank, and has always been on the Board of Directors thereof. Jan 1, 1857, he was married to Harriet A. Brigham. Four children are the result of this union, the eldest, Louis P., being vice-president of the corporation which bears his father's name. Mr. Howe has always been a prominent member of the Unitarian church, standing high in its councils and doing much to further its interests. He stands to-day the foremost citizen of Marlborough, the one to whose business energy, as much as to any other cause, is due her material prosperity. The man who supplies the world with sixty thousand pairs of shoes a week, and finds time to devote to public interests, commands the respect of his fellow-men."

Source: Massachusetts of Today by Daniel P. Toomey and Thomas Charles Quinn. Massachusetts Board of Managers, World's Fair 1893. Harvard College Library.