April 2: William Barberie Howell (1927)

Today, a modern glass office building in lower Manhattan houses the U.S. Court of International Trade. This court has its origins in 1890 legislation passed by Congress establishing the Board of General Appraisers. The board had nine members appointed by the president and was empowered to review decisions of U.S. Customs officials regarding the amount of duties to be paid on importations. William Barberie Howell was appointed to this board in 1899 by President William McKinley. Howell continued to serve on the board and its successor, the U.S. Customs Court, until he became the Chief Judge in 1926.

Judge Howell was a native of Freehold, New Jersey. His grandfather had been mayor of Trenton and his father was the cashier of a bank. As a young man, Howell went to Washington, D.C. to take business courses. During his employment at the Treasury Department, he attended the Columbian Law School (now George Washington University Law School) and graduated before being admitted to the bar. During his time at Treasury, Howell worked with matters relating to customs. This thoroughly equipped him to become Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in charge of customs. Howell became associated with Epiphany soon after his arrival in Washington. His confirmation, marriage and the baptisms of his two sons appear in Epiphany’s parish register.

< Previous     Next >

No comments yet

Add comment