Sam Howdy and wife and three children
[By Glen Villa Jr., Last Revised July 31, 2011]

Sam Howdy was born on May 19 1858 (1928 BIA APP) (1859 some other reference) in Jackson, California. His father was Jim Howdy, a White man or may have been of Spanish decent, and his mother was Polly, a full-blooded Indian born in 1831 in Jackson, California.

Sam Howdy married Betsy or Betty Peter in 1884 (1910 Census), Sam’s second marriage. Betsy or Betty was a full-blooded Indian born in Oleta, California to Old Pete and Mollie. Both of her parents were born in Oleta, California. Old Pete was thought to be over 115 years old and was thought to be the oldest living male Indian in 1915.

Sam and Betsy had several children including Isaac Howdy (born 1882); Johnie Howdy (born in September of 1888, died in 1904), Lulu Howdy (born in March of 1892), Nancy Howdy (born in October of 1894), Emma Howdy (born in December of 1897), and Annie (born December 18, 1897). Betty Peter already had a daughter Queenie Wessel (born May 19, 1880) and a son Dick Wessel (born in1872).

According to the 1900 Census, Sam Howdy (38) was residing Township 3, Volcano, of Amador County with his wife Bettie (age unknown), son Isaac (17), son Johnnie (11), daughter Lulu (8), daughter Nancy (5), daughter Emma (2), mother Old Pollie (age unknown), and Boarder Peter (age unknown). Sam was a placer miner, Isaac was a day laborer and Johnnie was attending school.

On May 28, 1902, ethnographer John Hudson visited Sam Howdy, near Volcano. John Hudson described the visit as follows:

May 28, 1902 Sam Hardy head man ½ breed of village 7 ½ miles NE Volcano. [illegible] has 7 children all shades of color. 3 very old Miwuk full bloods living in the modern type of O’mutca or rather a small modern Hungi (drawing has 20’ dia and 5’ high sidewalls) circular of rough lumber, smoke hole in apex, very low at door often protected by small porch. Interior quite dark but suited to Ind needs. Fleas etc everywhere. Few modern houses, shanties. Snow often damages the roof. The ancient sule surface was made of very massive timbers covered with poles, brush & earth. Acorn mush milled & leached in usual manner. Cooked with hot stones. Pair straight pokers.[Hudson Fieldnotes; Accession #20010]

Johnnie Howdy died on April 18, 1904 and was buried in the Sharp Indian Cemetery near Fiddletown.

In 1910, Sam Howdy was residing with his wife and children in Township 2, Ione, of Amador County. Sam Howdy was 55 and Bettie was 54 years old at the time. Sam and Betty had been married for 26 years, the second marriage for both of them. Sam was born in Jackson as was his mother. Sam Howdy was identified as a laborer at a clay mine.

In 1915, Sam Howdy (58) and wife Betsy (75), daughter of Old Pete (115), and 3 children, Ruby (20), Queen-lives at Ione, wife of Henry Miller, other not recalled 18 years old all appear on Terrell’s census for the Aukum-Indians near Aukum, El Dorado County.

In 1916, Sam Howdy was listed in the West Ione Precinct of the Supplement #1 Index to Registration Affidavits.

According to the 1920 Census, Sam Howdy and wife and Lulu Howdy were residing in West Ione, Township 2 of Amador County. Sam was a laborer on a farm.

According to the 1930 Census, Sam Howdy was widowed residing in Township 2, Ione, of Amador County. Sam Howdy was identified as 75 years old at the time. Sam Howdy was a laborer chopping wood.

Sam Howdy died on February 3, 1940 from Tuberculosis and was buried in the Sharp Indian Cemetery near Fiddletown.

One time, Lucy Villa heard owls around her house and she got tired of them bothering her so she went outside and asked them what they wanted, who were they talking about. The owls replied “Sam Howdy.” Not long after that Sam Howdy died.

Articles Concerning Sam Howdy

AMADOR LEDGER
APRIL 22, 1904
OLETA
Joe Putt, of Shake Ridge, has taken to himself a bride. Miss Louisa Beavers was the name of the young lady. They were married in Jackson last Saturday.

Johnny Houty, son of Sam Houty, died at his home last Monday morning. Deceased was aged 18 years, and apparently a large, strong, and healthy boy.

AMADOR DISPATCH
February 9, 1940
Sam Howdy Was Called By Death
Funeral services were conducted on Monday, February 5th, for Sam Howdy, well known Indian character of this county, who passed away at his home at Ione on February 3rd.

Deceased was a native of this county where he was born at Fiddletown eighty-two years ago. He had spent practically all of his lifetime in this county, residing at Fiddletown until about thirty-five years ago when he moved to Ione to make his home. The funeral was conducted from the late home at that place and interment occurred at the Indian burial grounds at Fiddletown.

Amador Ledger
February 8, 1940
Sam Howdy, Well Known Indian, Dies At Ione
A well known Amador county Indian, Sam Howdy died at his home in Ione, Saturday, February 3rd. He was a native of Fiddletown and was 82 years of age. For the past thirty-six years he has resided in the town of Ione and lived practically all of his life in this county. The funeral was conducted Monday, February 5 from the late residence and interment took place in the Indian Cemetery near Fiddletown.

Betsy Howdy

Betsy or Betty was a full-blooded Indian born in Oleta, California to Old Pete and Mollie. Both of her parents were born in Oleta, California. Old Pete was thought to be over 115 years old and was thought to be the oldest living male Indian in 1915.

By 1880, Betsy Peter had two children with a man named Wessell, Dick Wessell and Queenie Wessell. Dick Wessell was born in 1872 and Queenie Wessell was born May 19, 1880.

Betsy Peter married Sam Howdy in 1884 (1910 Census), the second marriage for both of them.

Betsy and Sam had several children including Isaac Howdy (born 1882); Johnie Howdy (born in September of 1888, died in 1904), Lulu Howdy (born in March of 1892), Nancy Howdy (born in October of 1894), Emma Howdy (born in December of 1897), and Annie (born December 18, 1897.

According to the 1900 Census, Bettie Howdy was residing Township 3, Volcano, of Amador County with her husband Sam Howdy (38), son Isaac (17), son Johnnie (11), daughter Lulu (8), daughter Nancy (5), daughter Emma (2), mother-in-law Old Pollie, and Boarder Peter. Sam was a placer miner, Isaac was a day laborer and Johnnie was attending school.

In 1910, Bettie Howdy was residing with her husband and children in Township 2, Ione, of Amador County. Betty and Sam Howdy had been married for 26 years, the second marriage for both of them. Bettie was born in Oleta as were both of her parents. Bettie had given birth to 8 children, 4 of them were still living. In 1920, Betsy Howdy, Sam Howdy and Lulu Howdy were residing in West Ione, Township 2 of Amador County.

Betsy Howdy died prior to 1930 and was buried in the Sharp Indian Cemetery near Fiddletown.

Articles Concerning Betty Howdy

AMADOR LEDGER
FRIDAY MARCH 6, 1908
T, H. Gartlin, justice court township 2.—Criminal action against Betty Howdy on a misdemeanor brought by Gertrude Howdy. Complaint withdrawn at request of complaining witness.

Lulu Howdy 

Lulu was born in Oleta on May 19, 1891 to Sam and Betsy Howdy.

In1910, Lulu was residing with her parents in Township 2, Ione, of Amador County. Lulu was 17 years old and was born in Oleta. Lulu worked as a servant for odd places.

In 1920, Lulu was living with her parents in West Ione, Township 2 of Amador County.

By 1923, Lulu married Jess Clifford. Jess and Lulu had three sons, Richard Stanley Clifford (September 28, 1923 – May 16, 1970), Roy Everett Clifford (February 10, 1926 – January 29, 1951), and James (Jim) Melvin Clifford (May 10, 1929 - October 26, 1990).

In 1930, Lulu Clifford was residing with her father Sam Howdy in Township 2, Ione, of Amador County. Lulu had three children residing with her.

Lulu Howdy Clifford died on May 28, 1982 and was buried in the Buena Vista Indian Cemetery.

Articles Concerning Lulu Howdy

Amador Dispatch
June 2, 1982
Obituaries
Lulu Howdy Clifford
Ione—Lulu Howdy Clifford, a resident here, died Friday, May 28, 1982 in Jackson. She was 91 years old.

A native of Amador County she was a homemaker.

She was the mother of Jim Clifford of Ione and the sister of Nancy Custino of Ione.

Graveside services were held Sunday, May 30 at 2 p.m. at Buena Vista Indian Cemetery. Pastor Thomas Reed of Ione officiated.

Nancy Howdy

Nancy Howdy was born in Oleta on May 19, 1894.

In1910, Nancy was residing with her parents in Township 2, Ione, of Amador County. Nancy was 16 years old and was born in Oleta.

By 1920, Nancy Howdy married John Custino, the son of Ida Chandler and a Portuguese man named Custino.

According to the 1920 Census, John Custino and Nancy Custino were residing in East Ione, Township 2 of Amador County. John Custino was 26, Nancy, 23, Sarah 7, Dolores 4, Irene 2. John Custino was a laborer at a sand mine.

In 1930, John Custino was living with his wife Nancy in Township 2, Ione, of Amador County. John and Nancy had 5 children at the time. John Custino was 32, Nancy 31, Dolores 14, Irene 12, John10, Ardine 8, William 6. John Custino was a laborer at a clay mine.

On March 13, 1934, Nancy and John Custino’s children William, John and Ardine were attending the Ione Grammar school.

Nancy died on December 17, 1987 at the age of 93 and was buried in the Ione Public Cemetery.

Articles Concerning Nancy Howdy

Amador Dispatch
July 14, 1939
Three Ione Women in Auto Accident
Three Ione women were the victims of an accident near the Eagle Nest on the Jackson-Sacramento highway on Wednesday, when a tire on their machine blew out causing it to leave the highway and overturn twice. The injured women were Mrs. John Custino and Genevieve and Dolores Custino. The car was being driven by Dolores Custino and her injuries were the most severe, being severe lacerations about her face. The ladies were brought to the hospital in this city by Traffic Officer Joses.

Amador Dispatch
December 21, 1987
Obituaries
Nancy Custino
Memorial Services will be held tomorrow, Tuesday at 1 p.m. at Daneri Mortuary Chapel in Jackson for Nancy Custino, who died in Sacramento on December 17, 1987 at the age of 93.

Mrs. Custino was a native of Fiddletown and made her home in Ione. She is survived by her children. Sarah Coran of Sacramento, Dolores Custino of Sacramento, Irene Huss of Pine Grove, Ardine Keith of Santo Monica, June Larrabee of Sacramento, Genevieve Denton of Sacramento and Roberta Cooper of Sacramento.

She is the sister of Lulu Clifford of Ione, the grandmother of 21, great grandmother of 17 and great great grandmother of three.

She was a member of the Amador Tribal Counsel of Ione.

Visitation will be held today, Monday from 3-8 p.m. at Daneri Chapel.

The family requests that memorial contributions be made to the charity of choice. Arrangements are being handled by Daneri Mortuary.

Annie Howdy

Annie Howdy was born in Oleta on December 18, 1897 to Sam and Betsy Howdy.

In1910, Annie was residing with her parents in Township 2, Ione, of Amador County. Annie was13 years old and was born in Oleta.

About 1915, Annie Howdy married Louie Oliver, the son of Casus Oliver and Lizzie Ganor. Annie and Louie had four children Lucille Evangeline (January 29, 1919 – March 19, 1995), Eleanor (January 23, 1921 - ?), Enos (September 8, 1923 – August 31, 1978) and Marie (August 7, 1925 – July 15, 1929).

According to the 1930 Census, Annie residing with husband Louie Oliver in Mokelumne Hill, Township 2 of Calaveras County. Annie was 32 and Louie was 40. Annie and Louie had been married for 15 years. Louie Oliver was a sheep shearer for a stock farm.

On November 1, 1933, Annie Howdy Oliver’s children Elinor, Enos, and Lucille were attending the Union Grammar school in the Ione area.

On March 13, 1934, Annie Howdy Oliver’s children Elinor, Enos, and Lucille were attending the Union Grammar school in the Ione area.

On September 30, 1934, Annie Howdy Oliver’s children Elinor and Enos were attending the Union Grammar school in the Ione area.

In the 1936-1937 school year, Annie’s children Eleanor and Enos Oliver attended the Buena Vista school.

On March 28, 1941, Annie and Louie Oliver were residing on the Buena Vista Rancheria.

Annie Howdy Oliver died on July 11, 1972 and was buried in the Buena Vista Indian Cemetery.

Articles Concerning Annie Howdy

Amador Dispatch
July 19, 1972
Annie Oliver
Graveside funeral services were held Friday at the Buena Vista Cemetery near Ione for Annie Oliver, 74, of Ione.

A Fiddletown native and lifelong Amador County resident, Mrs. Oliver died last Tuesday in a Jackson hospital.

She is survived by her husband, Louie Oliver of Ione; a daughter, Lucille Lucero of Ione; a son Enos Oliver of Ione; sisters Queenie Miller, Lulu Clifford, and Nancy Custino, all of Ione; and a grandson, Jesse Popo of Ione.

The J. J. Daneri and Son Funeral Home of Jackson directed arrangements.

Photographs of Sam Howdy and wife and three children

Photographs of Annie Howdy
Photographs of Annie Howdy Oliver at CSU Chico; photo 1, photo 2, photo 3.