JOHN DAVID HOWLAND, M.D., Deputy Medical Examiner for Erie County, is a well-known physician and surgeon of Buffalo, and a recognized authority on military surgery. Dr. Howland holds the rank of Major in the 65th Eegiment, National Guard of the State of New York, and was in active service in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. He is a leading member of the United Spanish War Veterans, and is identified with other organizations, lay and medical.
John Howland, the first of the American branch of the Howland family, came over in the Mayflower. His brother, Henry, was a freeman of Plymouth Colony in 1633, and was one of the earliest inhabitants of Duxbury, Mass. At the time of the Quaker controversy in 1658, Henry Howland and his brother, Arthur, were converts to the new faith, and suffered much from Puritan persecutions.
Henry Howland's son, Zoeth, was the father of Nathaniel, whose son, James, was the father of Thomas Howland, who was born in 1718 and died in 1798. He was the father of John W. Howland, whose son, John W., Jr., was the father of George William Howland, father of the subject of this sketch. George William Howland was born at Westport, Mass., February 9, 1817, and died October 27, 1901. He was a building contractor, and carried on business at New Bedford and Fall River, Mass. September 4, 1842, he married Lydia A. James, who was born March 24, 1825, and died in 1866. They have had twelve children.
Dr. John David Howland was born in New Bedford, Mass., June 12, 1865. When he was a year old his mother died, and he came to Buffalo to be reared by his sister, Mrs. John H. Wilkins. He attended the public schools, and pursued a course in the Central High School. In 1889 he entered the Medical Department of the Niagara University of Buffalo, graduating with the degree of M.D., in 1891. After his graduation, Dr. Howland entered the United States Marine Hospital service in Buffalo, continuing in this connection till January 1, 1898. January 1, 1902, he was appointed physician at the Erie County Penitentiary, serving until April of that year, when he was appointed Deputy Medical Examiner for Erie County, which place he has filled with signal capability. In December, 1905, he was reappointed for a term of three years. In politics Dr. Howland is a Republican.
In 1884 Dr. Howland became a member of the old Cadet Corps of the 65th Eegiment, and was later advanced through the intermediate grades to the rank of Captain. March 20, 1889, he was commissioned Second Lieutenant of Company D, of the 65th Eegiment. He became First Lieutenant November 27, 1889, receiving the commission of Captain December 28, 1892. On November 10, 1902, he attained the rank of Major, and the command of the Second Battalion, which office he still holds. When the Spanish -American War broke out. Major Howland was commissioned Major of the 65th Eegiment U. S. Volunteer Infantry, and served with the regiment until it returned home. He then became Regimental Adjutant of the 202d Regiment, N. Y. V. I., and served in camp and field in Cuba six months, until the command was mustered out at Savannah, Ga., in April, 1899. Maj. Howland was for ten years President of the Delinquency Court in the State military service, and was also the Summary Court Officer in the Volunteer United States Service. He is the possessor of a fifteen-year medal awarded for “long and faithful service," and as a marksman is qualified as “distinguished expert," the highest grade of proficiency attainable. Ever since the organization of the United Spanish War Veterans, Major Howland has been a prominent member of that body, having served as Chaplain, Commander of Seyburn Camp, Surgeon-General of the national organization, and senior Vice-Commander-in Chief.
Dr. Howland is a member of the Erie County Medical Society, the Academy of Medicine, the Knights of Pythias, and the Heptasophs. He attends the Episcopal Church.
In 1895, Dr. Howland married Susan Hibeck, daughter of Zachariah Hibeck, and Eleaza Steele of Erie, Pa. They have one son, Howard H. Howland, born November 21, 1896.
SOURCE: Memorial and Family History of Erie County New York; Volume I