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RUNNELS, HOWELL WASHINGTON (1823–1895). Howell Washington Runnels, farmer, businessman, and state legislator, was born in Lawrence County, Mississippi, on March 31, 1823. He was the son of Hardin D. and Martha B. (Darden) Runnels. Runnels was raised in Mississippi. Around 1842 he immigrated to Texas with his family and three brothers—Hardin, Edmond, and Hiram—who would all assume leading positions in the Texas state government. Runnels initially settled in southeast Texas along the Brazos River. Soon afterwards, however, he relocated with his family to Bowie County and established a farm and homestead in the town of Boston where he was an active Baptist and Democrat. Runnels married Martha Caroline Adams on October 1, 1859, in Harrison, Texas. He represented Bowie County in the House of the Sixth Texas Legislature from November 21, 1855, to November 2, 1857. Subsequently, he served in the Seventh Texas Legislature until November 7, 1859. The 1870 census listed Runnels as a store clerk in Boston, Texas, and listed his wife and five children in the household. Around 1876 Runnels moved to Texarkana, Bowie County, where he lived for the remainder of his life. He died on November 7, 1895, and was buried in Rose Hill Cemetery in Texarkana, Texas.


Frank W. Johnson, A History of Texas and Texans (5 vols., ed. E. C. Barker and E. W. Winkler [Chicago and New York: American Historical Society, 1914; rpt. 1916]). Legislative Reference Library of Texas: Howell Runnels (, accessed July 16, 2014.

Aragorn Storm Miller
Aragorn Storm Miller


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Aragorn Storm Miller, "RUNNELS, HOWELL WASHINGTON," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 26, 2015. Uploaded on July 17, 2014. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.