The Hood River County Sun, Hood River, OR., January 4, 1939, page 1


     City recorder for 26 years and never had a court decision reversed. That is the record of Henry L. Howe, who this month retires as City Recorder for Hood River, after having served continuously since 1912. Cases of law violation coming before him have numbered well into the thousands. At that time of his retirement, he could point to a longer record than any of the other present city recorders in Oregon except one. John W. Butler, recorder at Marshfield, has been in office since 1912.
     Prior to becoming city recorder, Mr. Howe, who had been a pioneer school teacher in Hood River County, had served two years as a councilman. During this term the way was paved for Hood River's first municipal water system. He took office as recorder at the time the plant was completed for the municipal water works, known as Tucker Springs, which went out of existence with the development of the Cold Springs system. During his term of office Howe saw all the bonds for this first municipal water system retired. Lucille Johnson, sister of Thos. F. Johnson of Hood River, was the first water department clerk, the recorder recalls. She now resides in White Salmon.
     Mr. Howe was in office to see further development in the city's water system when a bond issue passed 462-193 calling for construction of the Cold Springs system. He participated in the dedicatory ceremony in 1929 of the new system. He maintained a book of newspaper clippings, identified with captions lettered in ink. A photostat was made of this scrap book, which Mr. Howe keeps on file in the City Hall.
     At the time he took office in 1912, the city recorder post was deemed a part-time position, paying a salary of $50 per month. Mr. Howe engaged in the real estate and insurance business as a sideline, and after one or two contracts in this line, the recorder's duties became so large that he spent his whole time on city business. Much street improvement at that time necessitated a great deal of detail work, though the water department business, he estimates, was only about one-third the work it now calls for.
     Mr. Howe first took office in the city hall located on Fourth street, between Oak and State, which was later moved to lower Oak Street, then to the Smith Block, now the Gross Building, where offices were maintained on Third Street between Oak and State. The recorder's office was moved to the present City Hall building when this structure was completed in 1920.

©  Jeffrey L. Elmer