My Contribution: I played a major role in the improvement of Harrisburg’s green landscape as well as the city’s Black community. I served as a forester for the City Park Department. My father and I published a directory in Harrisburg in 1910 featuring Black businesses and prominent citizens in Pennsylvania. I served my country by registering for military service for World War I in September 1918.
My Legacy: The book that I wrote with my father in 1910, Pennsylvania Negro Business Directory, still exists in physical and digital form and remains a valuable historical source for information about and images of the state’s Black community of the early twentieth century.
About Me: “Mr. Howard”, a graduate of the Technical High School of Harrisburg, is employed by the Park Commissioner of the city and is prominent in forestry and in shrubbery.” — “Howard-Blalock Bridal Yesterday Afternoon,” Harrisburg Telegraph, June 22, 1918.
Full Name: Layton Leroy Howard
Birth Date: January 20, 1886
Death Date: October 13, 1918
Place of Birth: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Race: Black (1910 Federal Census)
Places of Residence: 306 S. 15th Street and 1013 S. 21st Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Connection to the Old Eighth Ward: Knew numerous individuals who lived, worked, and thrived in the Eight Ward, spotlighting them in the Pennsylvania Negro Business Directory.
Family Members: Father: James H. W. Howard. Mother: Ella D. Howard. Wife: Jane Grace Blalock, m. June 21-October 13, 1918. Brother-in-Law: Rev. M. L. Blalock.
Education: Technical High School graduate, 1908.
Occupations: Forester and Tree Surgeon.
Church Membership: Funeral conducted by pastor at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church; father-in-law, Reverent Blalock, worked at Wesley Union A.M.E. Zion Church.
Connections: James H.W. Howard, Jane Blalock-Charleston, and Esther Popel Shaw.