In 1795 Jacob Howry laid out a settlement “on the big rode in Botetourt County,” which he named Howrytown. On 1 June 1795 he began selling lots there. The buyers were Christopher Bauer, Michael Bishop, etc. (Deed Bk. 5:264-81). In all, he sold 40 lots to 23 people.

The name Howrytown was retained as late as 1841, but the area is part of the area of Botetourt County known as “Greenville.”

Although Howry conveyed the lots in fee simple, for each lot he required a quit rent of three shillings on May 1st of each year in perpetuity. The government of Virginia collected government quit rents on all lands within the colony, but the collection of private quit rents does not seem to have been common. It was common, however, in the Northern Neck of Virginia, an area far removed from where the Howrys lived. Beginning about 1742 Lord Fairfax began granting lands in the Northern Neck subject at a price of 10 shillings per 50 acres for issuing the patent (composition) and to an annual rent of 2 shillings per 100 acres (quit rents). The state legislature discontinued in 1779 and outlawed the collection of composition and private quit rents in 1785, but only in the Northern Neck. [I Henings 351.]

Further research would be required to determine whether the collection of private quit rents was common in other areas of the state. In 1845 Virginia abolished the manorial system [the collection of private quit rents?] and coincidentally that same year the Howerys moved to Wisconsin.

A Lutheran congregation was established at Howrytown in 1796 by Rev. J. G. Butler, who replaced Rev. Paul Henkel, a Lutheran minister who preached for many years at New Market in Shenandoah County. When Rev. Butler left Howrytown in 1805 the community was without a Lutheran minister and the Howrys, like many other families, became Baptists. The Mill Creek Baptist Church was organized in 1804 by W. Moorman. There were 12 original members of this church, including Banks, Brough, Falls, Howrys, Jordans, Kemper, McNeels, Secrist, and Simpsons (Stoner, 393).

Some books/links with references or bits of information or on Howrytown:

Related Families of Botetourt County, Virginia By John William Austin, Rebecca H. R. Austin (Copyright 1977) Printed for Clearfield Company, Inc., by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. Added content copyright 2000 by Genealogical Publishing Co, Inc.

On page 179 are details about the marriage of Polly Huff to Jacob Howry Jr., the son of Jacob Howry Sr. (the founder of Howrytown). Some other children of Jacob Howry Sr. are also listed. (contributor’s note: I have doubts that the son of Jacob Howry Sr. is the Jacob that married Polly Huff).

Seventeenth Annual Report of the Board of Public Works to the Legislature of Virginia (published 1835) Princeton University Library Samuel Shepard, Printer

Only the following reference is made: “The ridge between the two rivers is crossed at a wretched Hamlet called Howrytown. In passing through this place the road has diverged considerably west of the proper general direction, and continues by an even greater dereliction to reach the not much more important village of Amsterdam; after which it returns to the proper course as we approach Cloverdale furnace.

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