Howard Alden Peebles
1879 - 1969
Howard Peebles was a modern language teacher, missionary, printer, and organist. He served the Seventh-day Adventist church in all four areas for 36 years, teaching at all levels in its school system.
Howard was born in South Lunenburg, Vermont, on September 2, 1879, one of four children of Haskell (Hascal) and Ella M. Harris Peebles. His father, a teacher, minister, and leader in the Adventist church, died on September 17, 1887, at age 41, just after Howard's eighth birthday.
At age eleven he began working on the job press at the Review and Herald under editor Uriah Smith. While attending Battle Creek church school, he had classes for four years under pioneer SDA educator Frederick Griggs. When he reached college age, he lived with his older sister, Winnifred Peebles Rowell, who had graduated from Battle Creek College in 1894 and been hired to teach that year at Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska.
He particularly enjoyed his classes in history, English, and music at UC and, after completing the classical program and graduating in 1899 as one of eight college graduates, he returned to Battle Creek, where he studied for a year with its music teacher, organist Edwin Barnes. He then taught music for two years at Bethel Academy, later Wisconsin Academy, and a year in public school before returning to Lincoln.
He taught in the church school in Lincoln and worked at the college print shop, which had started in 1898 while he was a student. In 1906 he accepted a position in Central America as a self-supporting missionary and printer of religious materials for that region. He became ill and had to return to Nebraska, where he taught for two years in the church school in Omaha before returning to Mexico. Following six years in Guatemala and Mexico, the last four serving as manager of the press in Mexico City, he returned to Lincoln to teach and work in the print shop, serving briefly as its manager.
In 1914 he was hired to teach Spanish at Southwestern Junior College, now Southwestern Adventist University. While there, he also played the organ for worship and chapel services and accompanied cantatas presented by the music department. During this time, he married Eva Harper, a teacher at the college, and they would have a daughter, Lenoa.
Peebles moved to Walla Walla College, now University, in 1922, where he taught Spanish and English. He completed a master's degree at the University of Washington and served as head of the modern language department at WWC for eleven years, before retiring in 1938. Era had completed a B.A. three years earlier.
They were living in Walla Walla, when she died on April 18, 1955, at age 62. Howard moved to Harper, Washington, in 1966, where he was living with his daughter and son-in-law, Dr. Robert E. Silver, when he died on June 15, 1969, at age 89.
Sources: Howard Alden Peebles obituary, North Pacific Union Gleaner, July 7, 1969, 15; Vermont Vital Records, 1720-190 8, Ancestry.com; 1880 and 1930 U.S. Federal Census records; Ancestry.com; Haskell (Hascal) Peebles obituary, A.S. Hutchins, Review and Herald, October 11, 1887, 63, 9; Alfred W. Peterson, "Thinking Spanish," Southwestern Union Record, February 4, 1919, 5,6; Winifred Peebles Rowell obituary, Review and Herald, October 30, 1947, 25; obituary, Lake Union Herald, January 13, 1948, 7; The Educational Messenger, July 1921, 11; Everett Dick, Union, College of the Golden Cords, (Lincoln, Nebraska, Union College Press, 1967), 383; "Departure of Howard A. Peebles," The Educational Messenger, February 15, 2006, 14; The Educational Messenger, September 1914, 19; Southwestern Union Record, September 25, 1917, 4; January 25, 1921, 7; March 14, 1922, 4; Howard Alden Peebles obituary, Review and Herald, August 7, 1969, 24; 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Ancestry.com; Claude Thurston, "60 Years of Progress, The Anniversary History of Walla Walla College," (College Place, College Press, 1952), 366 (Year of retirement has also been listed as 1936); Claude Thurston, Eva (sic) Harper-Peebles, 380; Eva Harper Peebles obituary, North Pacific Union Gleaner, August 8, 1955, 7; Washington, Select Death Certificates, 1907-1960, Ancestry.com; U.S. Social Security Death Index, Ancestry.com.