Howard R. Driggs was born August 8, 1873 in Pleasant Grove, Utah, the second of nine children born to Benjamin Woodbury Driggs, Sr. (1837-1913) and Rosalia Ellen Cox (1846-1924). He was a member of the seventh generation of the Driggs family born in America.
The first member of the Driggs family born in America was Joseph Driggs (1682-1748). Joseph's father, Josias Janszen Deraet Driggs (1641-1701), came to America from Holland and settled in Brooklyn, New York, where he was married to Aeltje Adams Brouwer (1648-1707). Joseph married Elizabeth Martin (1689-1725) in Connecticut.
Howard's ancestors in the first three generations resided largely in Connecticut. His ancestor in the third generation, Daniel Driggs (1741-1800), fought in the American Revolution. One of Daniel's sons was Urial Driggs (1780-1846) who married Hannah Ford (1780-1848) in 1800 in Berlin, Connecticut. Later, while living in Ohio, Urial and Hannah became members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
The Driggs Family History recognizes Urial as the "father" of the Mormon branch of the Driggs family. Urial and Hannah were among the Mormon families who left Nauvoo, Illinois in the conflict that followed the assassination of Joseph Smith and his brother. They resettled in Iowa where they later died.
Their son, Shadrach, his wife Elizabeth White Driggs and their children, including Benjamin (Howard's father), were among Mormon pioneers who left Iowa in 1851, migrated west over the trails to Utah Valley and settled in Pleasant Grove. Benjamin was 14 at the time. The trek is described in Howard's book, Ben The Wagon Boy. In its dedication he stated: "This little book, inspired by a constant call from my story-loving grandsons to tell them about when I was a boy, is affectionately dedicated to my father, whose pioneer boyhood is faithfully mirrored in its pages."
Left: Old Central School, first school house in Pleasant Grove, Utah,
built in 1852.
Howard's ancestors on his mother's side are traced back to England in the LDS Family History Center records and include many who became early settlers of Massachusetts. Rosalia Ellen Cox was born in Nauvoo, Illinois and married Howard's father in 1867 in Salt Lake City. Rosalia was Benjamin's second wife. She was a teacher in the early 1870s, member of the Home Dramatic Association and pioneer telegraph operator of Pleasant Grove. Howard dedicated one of his earliest books, Wild Roses: A Tale of the Rockies, to Rosalia: "To My Mother - who loved the wild roses."
Howard's brothers and sisters were: Frank Milton (1870-1959), Ida Lenora [Dowd] (1875-1963), Maude Rosalie [Christensen] (1877-1941), Clarice Lillia (1880-1881), Claire Lucille [Heller] (1882-1920), Geneva Pearl [Halverson] (1885-1980), Burton Wells (1888-1968), and Ralph Emerson (1890-1895). He also had eleven half-siblings from his father's marriage to Olivia Pratt.
On September 8, 1897 Howard married Eva May Frampton (1874-1947) in the Mormon temple in Salt Lake City. Eva was also a native of Pleasant Grove and taught in the public schools of Pleasant Grove, American Fork and Cedar City, Utah. She was also an accomplished soprano, and a leader in church and community organizations in Utah and New York. Howard and Eva had two sons, Howard Wayne (1902-1951) and Harold Perry (1907-2003).
Wayne Driggs was a graduate of the University of Utah and received his Ph.D. from New York University. He held teaching positions in Utah, New York and New Jersey. At the time of his death in 1951 he was President of the Branch Agricultural College, in Cedar City, Utah which later became Southern Utah University. In 1934 he married Susan Elizabeth Swensen (1910-2002), who was born in Pleasant Grove, Utah.
Perry Driggs graduated from the University of Utah and was an advertising executive during his career with the J. Walter Thompson Company in Chicago. He is also an artist and was the illustrator for his father's book, Ben the Wagon Boy, and collaborated with him in other historical projects. In 1934 he married Clara Creer (1912-2001) who was born in Spanish Fork, Utah.
On September 26, 1948 Howard
married Margaret Brazier Quarrier (1909-2008) in Lawrence, Kansas in the chapel at the
University of Kansas, of which she was a 1930 graduate. Following her
graduation she was a reporter for the Kansas City Star. After her
marriage to Howard she worked with him in the field activities of the American
Pioneer Trails Association and the editing of his books and film strips. Margaret had three children from her prior marriage, John, Philip and Camille
Dedication of the Oregon Trail Marker on the University of Kansas campus, 1954. Left to right: Professor Robert Taft, Chancellor Franklin D. Murphy, Howard Driggs, Dean Wood, president of the Kansas City chapter of the American Pioneer Trails Association, Professor George Anderson, Margaret Driggs, and librarian Robert Vosper. The marker (right) was donated by Howard and Margaret Driggs, and the granite stone work was a gift of the University's class of 1916.
Public school teacher - Pleasant Grove, Utah
American Trails Series - American Pioneer Trails Association
Editor and Producer
American Trails Films - American Pioneer Trails Association
Benjamin Woodbury Driggs: Driggs Family History, Book
Rosalia Cox Driggs; Old Central School; Battle Creek Falls; Telegraph office; Pleasant Grove school teachers:
Howard and Eva Driggs; Wayne, Eva and Perry Driggs; H. Wayne Driggs family; H. Perry Driggs family: Driggs
Family History, Book One
Oregon Trail Marker
dedication: On the Hill: A
Photographic History of the University of Kansas, University of Kansas
Press, 1983. Career summary from Who's Who in America.