Joseph Edwin Howe
Howe Greatest of Acadia Track Stars
Born in New Brunswick, Joe Howe entered Acadia University in 1902 and soon became one of its leading athletes. He was an outstanding football player, was captain of the 1905 team, and earned his “A” for football. In an era when there was no football coach, Howe, as captain, was effectively the coach as well as a player. Of a game with Mt Allison University on 16 November 1904, the Athenaeum commented: “Howe...distinguished himself by aggressive tackling and bucking.”
Track and field was where he made his name. In 1930, Halifax’s Acadian Recorder called Joe Howe “the greatest of all Acadia track and field stars” over twenty years after his graduation. During the early 1900s, Howe was not only a fixture at track meets in Atlantic Canada, he won many of the events. At a 1902 meet in Kentville, Nova Scotia, he won 5 of the 8 events while at a 1905 meet in Windsor, Nova Scotia, he won the 100, 220 and 440 yard dashes, the 120 yard hurdles and placed in both broad jump and high jump. His college and a Maritime intercollegiate records in the 120 hurdles were not broken until 1930 when Vern Eville set a new standard. Howe’s half mile Maritime intercollegiate record stood until 1929, when Harvey Denton of Acadia established a new one.
Howe taught and coached sports at Horton Academy from 1905 to 1912 and was a housemaster there the last four years. He also coached the track team at Acadia. After graduate work in history at Yale, he taught for three years in Saskatoon, then taught history at the University of Manitoba from 1921 to 1943. After retirement, he returned to Wolfville and taught at Acadia from 1947-1949.
(Acadia Athenaeum, December 1904, 70; Acadian Recorder, 15 May 1905 & 11 May 1930)