Sewell Howard was born November 23, 1856 in Morgan County, Tennessee, the son of Nathan and Christine Cook Howard. He attended the public schools of Morgan County before moving to Rockwood with his parents at the age of ten.
His coming to Rockwood antedated by two years, the founding of the town and the establishment of the Roane Iron Company here in 1868. When a young man, he became an employee of that industry, remaining with the Company until 1885, when he formed a partnership with J.N. Baker and entered the general contracting business. Shortly after the new organization, the firm obtained a large contract for mining iron ore south of the Tennessee river to supply the local furnaces. A few years later he was instrumental in organizing the Brown Mining Company with extensive mining operations in East Tennessee. He continued with the Company as managing director until it was absorbed by the Roane Iron Company in 1918. Mr. Howard was a director of the Roane Iron Company, and Vice president of First National Bank for many years. He was one of the founders and a director of the Rockwood Hosiery Mill, and President of the Rockwood Stove works since its organization in 1916 and until his death in 1932. He served as a member of the board of Alderman and for many years was a member of the local school board.
Mr. Howard married in 1881 Miss Tennie Renfro from Cumberland County. She died in 1900. To this union were born four children, Welter, Ava, Mildred, Harry. In 1902 he was united in marriage with Miss Margaret A, Acuff of Roane County. There were four children of this marriage: George Sewell, Jr., Margaret, Cornelia Kendrick, and Martha Christine.
Mr. Howard was a member of the First Christian Church and an elder there for twenty two years. He was very civic minded and wielded a great influence for good in this area. He is held in high confidence and esteem by all who knew him.