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James Eads How - "Millionaire Hobo"

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The first reference I found to this man was in the handwritten written notes kept by Stella Peden Churchill when her son, Fred Churchill, was born in 1914. Here is an excerpt:

Called doctor about 11 am.
Fred Bert Churchill, born Feb 12, Thurs, 1914 at about 3 o'clock PM. Dr. R.O.Crawford.
Apr 12 - Easter Sun. weighed 14 lbs. May 12 weighed 16 5/16.
Sun June 14 went out 4 1/2 mi to Martin Lee's.
June 15 met J. Eads How "Millionaire
Hobo" "King of the Hoboes" etc.
I found a clipping from the El Dorado Springs Sun "Millionaire Hobo Here. J. Eads Howe, Eccentric Tramp, Pays Visit to El Dorado". Its an undated clipping but I'd guess its June of 1914. Notice that the clippings from the ElDo Sun newspaper spelled his name "Howe",
El Dorado Sun, El Dorado Springs, MO

2 Jul 1914
El Dorado Sun, El Dorado Springs, MO

Then I found the letter from How addressed to Fred Churchill which is puzzling. Maybe it should have been addressed to Frank:

1930 Death of James Eads How:

22 July 1930
James Eads How is Dead

End of an Idealist

An article from TIME Magazine 4 Aug 1930.

There were no photos of How in Stella's stuff.

Reference: 1) "James Eads How: Portrait," Collier's, p. 16, June 26, 1926. A depiction of the millionaire-hobo.
2) Kenny, Raymond, "The Hobo Convention," Survey, pp. 862-864, September, 23, 1911. A report on "The Hobo Convention" (officially "The Convention of the Unemployed") organized by James Eads How held in Washington, D.C. September 1-6, 1911, and the fifty or so hoboes that attended.
3) "Millionaire Hobo is Dead," Christian Century, p. 1020, August 20, 1930. An obituary-like account of James Eads How, his life and accomplishments, with particular focus on his work for the betterment of hoboes and their condition.

I got this email:

Date:         Wed, 21 Feb 2007 21:57:15 -0800 (PST)
From:    Aaron Akins <>
Subject:      James Eads How


I came across one of your genealogy web sites (the Churchills) while doing  some research on James Eads How. I'm a PhD student at Washington University in St. Louis, and I'm researching How's efforts to organize hoboes and the unemployed.
I was wondering if it would be at all possible to get a photocopy or scanned  image of the El Dorado Springs Sun article that you found regarding How.  I only ask because the only two archives of that paper are several hundred miles away from me.

Thanks for you time.

Aaron Akins

I found the newspaper clipping and a couple of others about How.

Other that what you see written on each clipping I don't have any more info as to Newspaper or dates. I can supply a few guesses:

1. The first clipping "Millionaire Hobo Here" was most likely from the El Dorado Springs Sun, from sometime in June 1914. This is based on the notebook reference that you saw on my web site.

2. The small clipping is hand dated July 2, 1914 is also is most likely from the El Dorado Springs Sun.

3. The last clipping was most likely from the Kansas City Star. Sometime around when How died in August 1930.

Good luck with your research. When you publish, I would love to see a copy of the work.


Thank you very much. I really appreciate it. When I'm all done, I'll send the finished product your way. Thanks again.


A couple more links:

On Hobos and Homelessness By Nels Anderson, circa 1920.
BOWERY GREETS HOBO KING.; James Eads How, Millionaire Tramp, Came from Canada in Immigrant Train  October 18, 1909, Monday

I have dontated these clippings to the Preserve Our Past Society (P.O.P.S.) in El Dorado Springs, MO.

So this famous man, along with Janet Malbon (opera singer and teacher) and George Allan England (science fiction writer) all somehow touched the lives of Frank and Stella Churchill in El Dorado Springs, MO.

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