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Emily Martin Howerton


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At a Glance

Emily is descended from the Howertons of Halifax County, VA. Her father operated a hotel in Hillsborough, and later in Salisbury, NC. Emily and Maria Louise Howerton were second cousins to William Matthew Howerton who built the home “Seaton” in Halifax County, VA.


At least two Howerton girls attended the Burwell School and appear in the 1848-1851 Burwell School catalogue. They were the daughters of Hotelier Maj.Thomas Howerton, Jr and his wife, Maria Martin Moore. Maj. Howerton (we have no data on why that title was applied to him) descended from the prominent Howerton family of Halifax County, VA. Mrs. Howerton descended from the Moore family of Franklin County, NC. Two of their sons attended the Caldwell Institute.

There are two incidents reported by Mary Claire Engstrom of interest in a narrative of the Howertons of Hillsborough. Unfortunately, neither is cited and thus require further research to confirm or clarify.

Mrs. Engstrom reports that Maj Howerton “…kept the old Union Hotel in downtown Hillsborough where Mrs. Burwells music-masters and even an occasional Burwell girl resided. When the hotel burned, Maj. Howerton removed to W King Street and opened a hostelry, Howerton House, just east of the Masonic Hall.” The family appears in the 1850 federal census of Hillsborough, residing at the Union Hotel. However, by the 1860 census, Thomas, his wife, and offspring Emily and Albertus appear in Salisbury, NC. The census taker made the notation “Hotel” at the place where the Howertons and others were enumerated. It is known that Maj. Howerton operated a hotel that was at one time called “Howerton House” and later the Empire Hotel.

The second incident involves Mrs. Howerton, Emily and Maria Louise’s mother. Mrs. Engstrom reports that she “was set upon, in a passageway of the hotel and struck a heavy blow on the back of her head and neck. The Hillsborough Recorder noted the death on June 13, 1864, of Mrs. Maria M.M. Howerton, wife of Maj. Howerton, in its issue of June 22, 1864.” The death was also reported in the Daily Watchman of Salisbury, NC. At the time of her death, Mrs. Howerton was living in Salisbury, a fact not noted by Mrs. Engstrom. The Hillsborough Recorder’s obituary is more extensive than the obituary in the Watchman and refers to the suffering of Mrs. Howerton for many years. It is possible this statement refers to injuries received in an attack but that is not clear in the obituary.

At age 36, Emily Howerton marriedThomas Atchison Boone, a former insurance agent who had become a Methodist minister. Thomas Boone’s first wife Emma apparently died after the 1870 census where the family was enumerated in Anson County, NC and before his marriage to Emily in 1975. Emily Howerton and Thomas Boone were married in Wake County, NC. Apparently Emily joined in the raising of his younger children. His children were named Jane, Robert, Emma Eddie, Minnie, Ella, and John. As was often the case, they lived in several different communities as Thomas Boone served a succession of churches. In the 1880 census they were in Person County, NC and in the 1900 census in Hickory, Catawba County, NC. They are buried together in Rose Cemetery in Mocksville, Davie County, NC.

Thanks to the following for information on the Howerton Family:

The Howerton Heritage website newsletters 1996-2007, edited by John F. Howerton and Bryan R. Howerton.

Judith Cooper Hines, Morehead City, NC.

Biographical Data

Important Dates

Emily Martin Howerton was born on July 14, 1837, in Franklin County, NC. She died on December 23, 1905, and was buried in Rose Cemetery in Mocksville, NC.

Places of Residence

Schools Attended