Guide to the Earl Dean Howard (1876-1956) Papers

Collection Title: Earl Dean Howard (1876-1956) Papers
Dates: 1887-1978
Identification: 12/1/8
Creator: Howard, Earl Dean, 1876-
Extent: 3 Boxes
Language of Materials: English
Abstract: The Earl Dean Howard Papers document Howard's life as an educator and authority on labor-management relations. The Papers span the period from 1896 to ca. 1978 and are arranged in four subseries including: biographical materials, general correspondence, journals and scrapbooks, and writings.
Acquisition Information: Mrs. Douglas Cooper, daughter of Earl Dean Howard, donated Professor Howard's Papers to the University Archives via Professor James Worthy on October 22 and November 12, 1982 (Accessions # 82-142 and # 82-155).
Processing Information: Judith S. Rosenthal; January 1983. Margaret Faverty; May 1983.
Conditions Governing Access: None.
Repository: Northwestern University Archives
Deering Library, Room 110
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL, 60208-2300
Phone: 847-491-3354

Biographical/Historical Information

Earl Dean Howard, Professor of Sociology and Economics at Northwestern University from 1907 to 1941, was born in Fayette, Ohio in 1876. His research interests included industrial progress in contemporary Germany, banking and labor agreements. In addition to academics, Howard worked for Hart, Schaffner & Marx as a Labor Manager and Vice President, as well as serving as the City of Chicago's Labor Director and Mediator and the Deputy Administrator of the NRA under Roosevelt. Howard died in 1956.

Educated at local public schools, he attended the Fayette Normal University from 1891 to 1893. Howard came to Chicago with his family and was employed as a salesman at his father's lumber company, during which time he traveled throughout the Midwest selling lumber and writing occasional articles for the Chicago Tribune. Howard was admitted to the University of Chicago in the spring of 1897. Studying German, Finance and Economics, he earned a PhB in 1902, a PhM in 1903 and a PhD in 1905. In 1900, Howard founded the Daily Maroon, the first daily newspaper at the University of Chicago.

In 1904-1905, on a fellowship from the University of Chicago, Howard went to Germany where he attended the University of Berlin. It was there that he completed his thesis requirement for the PhD. His thesis, “The Cause and Extent of the Recent Industrial Progress of Germany,” later won the first Hart, Schaffner and Marx Prize ($600) for an essay in economics. Houghton, Mifflin published his thesis in 1907. Upon his return from Germany in 1905 Howard accepted an appointment as Instructor of Banking and Economics at the Wharton School of Finance of the University of Pennsylvania. He remained at Wharton until 1907. In 1907 he met Margaret Allen, who he married on June 19, 1907.

Returning to Chicago in 1907, Howard was appointed Assistant Professor of Economics at Northwestern University. In 1915 he was appointed Professor of Sociology and Economics, a position he held until his retirement in 1941.

While at Northwestern, Howard also held positions as Labor Manager and Vice President and Director of Hart, Schaffner & Marx –a large, prominent Chicago men's clothing firm. He held these positions from 1911 to 1932. Along with Sidney Hillman, President of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, Howard was instrumental in negotiating a labor agreement between Hart, Schaffner and Marx and the ACWA during the ACWA strike in 1910 and 1911. He and Hillman became life-long friends. In 1922 Howard took an extended tour of Europe culminating with a visit to the Soviet Union with Hillman and other labor union members from the United States. While in Moscow and Petrograd they met with Soviet labor leaders and the Minister of Trade and visited clothing and textile factories.

In addition to his appointments at Northwestern and work at Hart, Schaffner & Marx, Howard held visiting lectureships at Harvard (1920-1922) and Stanford (1931). He also served as a Fuel Administrator for the State of Illinois during 1917-1918, and as Deputy Administrator of the NRA in the Roosevelt administration. Under Mayor Edward Kelly, Howard became Labor Director and Mediator for the City of Chicago (1941-1944) and served also as Chicago Area Rent Director during 1941-1942.

Howard returned to the Northwestern faculty after World War II and also served on the faculty of the John Marshall Law School before his retirement. Howard's publications include: The Cause and Extent of the Recent Industrial Progress of Germany (1907), Money and Banking:

A Discussion of the Principles of Money and Credit (in collaboration with Joseph French Johnson, ca. 1910), The Hart, Schaffner & Marx Labor Agreement: Industrial Law in the Clothing Industry (1920), Developing Intelligence by the Socratic Method (1923), and Society Tomorrow (with others, 1929).

Scope and Content

The Earl Dean Howard Papers document Howard's life as an educator and authority on labor-management relations. The Papers span the period from 1896 to ca. 1978 and are arranged in four subseries including: biographical materials, general correspondence, journals and scrapbooks, and writings.

Comprising one folder, the biographical materials span the period 1899 to 1959 and include curricula vitae, genealogies, documentation of awards and appointments, and clippings.

The general correspondence spans the period from 1905 to 1951 and is arranged chronologically by date within six folders. The bulk of the correspondence consists of letters between Howard and Margaret Allen from the period 1906 to 1907 and chronicles their meeting, courtship, and plans for marriage. Interspersed among these letters are others from family, friends, and academic associates. Undated correspondence, arranged at the end of the subseries, includes letters from Joseph Schaffner.

Howard kept rather detailed journals documenting his activities as a young man in Chicago and later at the Wharton School in Philadelphia. The earliest journals, in three volumes, include almost daily entries for the period 1896 to 1897 when he worked for his father at the family lumber company. These journals portray Howard as a serious young man with a strong desire to resume formal education. Howard also loved music and the theatre and participated in many professional theatrical productions as a “super” with actresses such as Ellen Terry. No journals exist for the period from spring 1897 to 1906 when, after a rigorous course of preparatory study, Howard studied at the University of Chicago. A 1906 journal, entitled, “Trip to Covington,” begins with an account of his meeting with Margaret Allen in Covington, Virginia, but extends beyond that event and includes notes for articles on economics. Howard also kept a journal of his 1922 trip to Europe and the Soviet Union. His notes describe Soviet industry and its need of foreign investment capital.

Howard's scrapbooks date from 1899 through the early 1940s. They are arranged chronologically within three folders and one oversize container. The scrapbooks include Howard's early school records, honors and awards, and numerous newspaper clippings pertaining to his college activities, editorship of the University of Chicago's Daily Maroon, and his public life as a labor negotiator. There are also mementos from his travels abroad and souvenirs from White House dinners attended during his government service in Washington, D.C.

Howard's writings span the period from ca. 1887 through 1951 and include childhood works as well as notes, outlines, drafts, and published versions of books, articles, and addresses pertaining mainly to economic theory, industrial relations, and government regulation of business and industry. The writings are arranged in ten folders chronologically with shorter articles and lectures foldered together at the end of the subseries.

Arrangement of Materials

The Papers are arranged in four subseries including: biographical materials, general correspondence, journals and scrapbooks, and writings.


Corporate Name

Hart, Schaffner & Marx

Personal Name

Howard, Earl Dean, 1876-


Arbitration, Industrial--United States

Industrial relations--United States

Container List / Contents

  • General Correspondence
    • General Correspondence, 1905-1906Box 1, Folder 2
    • General Correspondence, 1907, January-MarchBox 1, Folder 3
    • General Correspondence, 1907, April-OctoberBox 1, Folder 4
    • General Correspondence, 1908-1910Box 1, Folder 5
    • General Correspondence, 1917-1943, 1951Box 1, Folder 6
    • General Correspondence, n.d.Box 1, Folder 7
  • Journals
    • Journal, 1896Box 1, Folder 8
    • Journal, 1897Box 1, Folder 9
    • Journal, “Trip to Covington”, 1906Box 2, Folder 1
    • Journal, 1922Box 2, Folder 2
  • Scrapbooks
    • Scrapbook, 1889-1909Box 2, Folder 3
    • Scrapbook, 1918-1925Box 2, Folder 4
    • Scrapbook, 1926-1933, 1940Box 2, Folder 5
  • Writings
    • “The Fayette Sun,” and early writings, 1887, n.d.Box 2, Folder 6
    • “The Cause and Extent of the Recent Industrial Progress of Germany”, 1905Box 2, Folder 7
    • The Hart, Schaffner & Marx Labor Agreements, 1916, 1922Box 2, Folder 8
    • “The Observations of a Labor Manager”, 1920Box 2, Folder 9
    • The Socratic Institute "Guide Book", 1924Box 2, Folder 10
    • "Popular Economics", notes, 1947Box 2, Folder 11
    • “Economic Concepts”, 1951Box 2, Folder 12
    • “Centralized Theory of Economics”, n.d.Box 3, Folder 1
    • “The Heart of Business-the Mechanism of Finance”, n.d.Box 3, Folder 2
    • Articles and Addresses, 1905-1951, n.d.Box 3, Folder 3
  • Oversize Folders
    • University of Chicago Bachelor of Philosophy diploma, 1902Oversize 1
    • Courtesy permit (passport) from the United States Embassy to the German Empire, 1904Oversize 1
    • Poster–Scott Nearing-Earl Dean Howard Debate, October 30, 19— (?)Oversize 1
    • ScrapbooksOversize 2
    • Newspaper Clippings, 1933-1934, 1941-1942Oversize 2
  • Biographical Materials, 1899-1978, n.d.Box 1, Folder 1