Several members of the Howard family are buried at Congressional Cemetery, in the area near the small pond known as the “doggy day spa.” All of these graves remain unmarked, but by sharing the information we have about the family, we are hoping to carry on the legacy of this family.

The Howard family is buried to the left of the two Veteran’s headstones. Their plots are currently unmarked.

In 1864, Theophilus Howard, Sr. (Range 22, Site 253) worked a sexton at Christ Church. His position as a sexton likely meant that he was freed. In 1864, Theophilus Howard and Jeremiah Cross, a sexton of Congressional Cemetery, were both drafted into the military to fight in the Civil War. Theophilus Howard survived the war. According to the 1880 census, Theophilus, who was about 62 years old at the time, worked as a “white washer,” could not read or write, and was suffering from rheumatism. Theophilus Howard died on April 1, 1891. In his will, Theophilus Howard left his “estate to his four grandchildren, with the proviso that if any become drunkards or gamblers or pursue an immoral life the proceeds of the estate shall be shared only by those who do not violate the moral law.” His wife, Diana Howard (Range 22, Site 255), who was born in circa 1815, died from cardiac failure on May 14, 1885.

Theophilus Howard, Sr. had at least one child, Theophilus Howard, Jr., who was born in circa 1853. In the 1880 census, Theophilus Howard Jr. (Range 22, Site 254) was listed as 26 years old. Theophilus Howard Jr. could read and write and worked as a teacher. By 1880, Theophilus Howard Jr. was married to Mary Ella (Echdige) Howard (Range 22, Site 252), who was born in August 1860. In the 1880 census, Mary Howard and Theophilus Howard Jr. had two children, Eugene, 3, and Alice, around 1. Theophilus Howard Jr. died on December 8, 1883. According to census records, after her husband’s death, Mary Ella Howard worked as a house servant in 1900, and as a laundress in 1910. Mary Ella Howard could read and write, and she owned a house in Washington, DC. Mary Ella Howard died on February 24, 1937. When she died, Mary Ella Howard was a widow and living at with her daughter and son-in-law, James F. Butler, at 35 Florida Avenue in Northeast, Washington D.C. Mary Ella Howard was the mother of Eugene, Alice, and Losceola Howard, all of whom preceded her in death. Additionally, she had a son, Herman W. Howard, and a daughter, Grace Howard Butler, who died later.

In 1905, the Howard family experienced two deaths: Eugene Howard and Alice Howard. Eugene Howard (Range 22, Site 251) was born on February 11, 1877 and died on March 27, 1905 from pulmonary tuberculosis. In the 1900 census, Eugene was listed as a 22-year-old porter who could read and write. Eugene Howard’s obituary sheds some light on the role of religion on the family and indicates that the family was Christian: “Sleep on, our darling; We love thee well, But Jesus loves the best.” Alice Howard (Range 22, Site 252) died on June 26, 1905 from military tuberculosis. Alice was born in April 1879 and worked as a house servant in 1900.

Eugene and Alice’s sister, Losceola Howard (Range 22, Site 254), died over twenty years later, on March 3, 1931 from a cerebral hemorrhage. Losceola Howard was born in October 1881, and she worked as a house servant in 1900. She may have gone by the name “Cenie.” Additionally, she may have worked as a cook in 1910. Losceola Howard could read and write.

Herman Howard (Range 22, Site 251) was born in July 1884 and died on May 31, 1946 from bronchial pneumonia. Herman Howard worked as a porter in 1900. In 1910, Herman, who was about 23 years old at the time, worked as a laborer at a government printing office. In his obituary, Grace Howard Butler was listed as his half-sister, and Marietta Howard was his wife. Marietta Howard is not buried at Congressional Cemetery, but Grace Butler, who was born in September of 1894, is buried in Range 22, Site 252. It is not known who Grace Butler’s father was since she was born after Theophilius Howard Jr. died. Grace Butler died on April 9, 1972 from a pulmonary embolism. Grace Butler was married to James F. Butler (Range 22, Site 253), who died about two years before her on September 18, 1970 from carcinoma of the colon.


howard family tree

It is likely that there are surviving family members of the Howard family. If you or someone you know is related to the Howard family, please feel free to reach out to us. We would love to hear from you to learn more about the Howard family. Alternatively, none of the family members have marked graves. If you are interested in raising money to memorialize the Howard family, please email us at

Works Cited

District of Columbia, Select Births and Christenings, 1830-1955

Year: 1900; Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Page: 6; Enumeration District: 0123; FHL microfilm: 1240163

Year: 1910; Census Place: Precinct 5, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T624_152; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 0100; FHL microfilm: 1374165