SOUTH CAROLINIANA LIBRARY
UNIVERSITY SOUTH CAROLINIANA SOCIETY
Byron C. Howell Papers, 1872-1888
Nine letters, 1872-1888, of Byron C. Howell document his work as a contractor engaged in government-funded public works projects following the Civil War. Eight of the letters are addressed from Howell to his brother Milo at Ludlowville, N.Y.; the ninth letter is from Milo Howell to his wife, Ella. The letters originated from various locations in Ohio, New York, and West Virginia as well as Charleston and Moultrieville in South Carolina.
The earliest letter, 31 Aug. 1872, advises Milo not to give up farming without first seeking the counsel of his father-in-law. It intimates that there would be "more of this kind of work to do in the south this coming fall," enough that "we could both of us make a good thing during the winter besides probably benefitting our families by wintering in the south."
The four letters written by Howell from South Carolina, 6 July-29 December 1885, are indicative of the large sums of money he was making in the dredging business. "The Govt," he reported on 6 July, "will have nearly $4,000,000 of this kind of work to do in the next 5 years so I look for a good business from it."
The 2 August 85 letter, originating from Moultrieville, speaks of continuing successes and plans to build a new dredging steamer capable of earning $1500 per dayŚ"there is over $1,000,000 worth of this kind of work to be let next year." Five months later, the final letter from South Carolina, penned on Charleston Iron Works letterhead, indicates that Howell's dredging contract was ending since the appropriation had run out.
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