(June 13, 1857-Mar. 26, 1934). Journalist, author, and longtime Indianapolis News editor, Louis Howland was born in Indianapolis. He was the son of John D. and Desdemona (Harrison) Howland, who had moved to the city from Brookville. An 1879 graduate of Yale University, Howland returned to Indianapolis to study law under John T. Dye. In 1888, Howland moved to New York, where he worked for the Reform Club and later joined the staff of Forum magazine.

Indianapolis News Building, 1931 Credit: W.H. Bass Photo Company Collection, Indiana Historical Society View Source

Howland returned to Indianapolis in 1892 and became an editorial writer for the Indianapolis News. He was named News editor in 1911 and remained in the job until 1934 when he became the newspaper’s editor emeritus.

Along with his duties as editor, Howland wrote the column “Case and Comment” that appeared each Saturday on the News’ editorial page. One column, involving the Panama Canal’s construction, caused President Theodore Roosevelt to sue the newspaper for libel. A federal court dismissed the charge. Howland is also credited with being the first to suggest Woodrow Wilson as a possible presidential candidate in a 1902 letter to the News that was signed “Old-Fashioned Democrat.”

Howland, who never married, helped found the Indianapolis Literary Club and served as the organization’s treasurer from 1883 to 1887, as its secretary from 1895 to 1898, and as its president from 1898 to 1899. He wrote such books as Day Unto Day (1911), Stephen A. Douglas (1920), The Mind Of Jesus (1926), Case And Comment: Meditations Of A Layman On The Christian Year (1927), and Autobiography Of A Cathedral (1927). He died in Indianapolis.

Revised February 2021

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