Howards (Howard's Switch) was on the Orange and Northwestern Railway 3½ miles north of Bleakwood in west central Newton County. The rail siding was established after the Orange and Northwestern line to Newton was completed in 1906. The site, located in a heavily timbered area, was named for Newton County lumberman T. T. Howard. Howard and a partner, C. A. Mixson, owned land and timber rights to the north of the siding. The J. M. Grubbs Company sawmill there was mortgaged to Mixson in 1907. Local records claim that during its heyday the Howards community comprised as many as 800 residents. The sawmill, however, was soon dismantled, and the lumbermen moved on. Locally cut timber products continued to be shipped from Howard's siding until the rail line, acquired by the Missouri Pacific system in 1956, was discontinued in 1963.
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