When his father, William H. Howard, died in 1901, young Edward (then 23 and the oldest surviving son of five children) was appointed executor of his father’s estate, which included a large cattle ranch. The Howard family had introduced the first short-horn cattle into California in 1857 and, through young Edward, the family continued to be known for their cattle operations well into the twentieth century.
From the time he was 26 until his death, Edward (also known as “Ted”) served on the California State Board of Agriculture. In 1905, Ted formed the Howard Cattle Company. The St. Paul’s-and-Harvard-educated Edward Whiting Howard became the head of a number of corporations in his brief lifetime, but he had two main loves in life: polo and cattle ranching.
In 1905, Edward married Olivia Lansdale of Philadelphia. The couple had five children in rapid succession: Olivia, William Henry, Anne, Gertrude and Marion. The young Howard family spent much of their time at their 46,000-acre ranch, called Quinto Ranch, located on the western side of the San Joaquin Valley.1
The ranch was a lucrative operation and Ted Howard became known as the “Cattle King of the Pacific Slope.” The Howard short-horn cattle won numerous prizes. In 1913, Ted and a few other business associates expanded their cattle business by purchasing an additional 66,000 acres of ranchland near Merced for an estimated price of $2.5 million.
In addition to cattle ranching, Edward, whose father William was a founding member of the equestrian-oriented Burlingame Country Club, was an avid and accomplished polo player. Ted bred polo ponies and was on the board of the San Mateo Polo Club, whose clubhouse on El Cerrito Avenue in modern-day Hillsborough was designed by his uncle George. Ted’s well-regarded polo ponies were shipped throughout the world.
Edward died in January 1915 from injuries he sustained in an elevator accident in San Francisco, where the Howard Cattle Company offices were located.2 He was 36 years old. He is buried in the Howard mausoleum, built in his honor, at St. John’s Cemetery in San Mateo, not far from the mausoleum built for his grandmother Agnes.3