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.

Benjamin W. Driggs, Sr.

Rosalia Cox Driggs

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.  
Center: Battle Creek Falls at historic Battle Creek site near Pleasant Grove.  
Right: First telegraph office in Pleasant Grove, in home of Sarah Driggs.  Rosalia Cox Driggs was a telegraph operator here.

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.

Click here to see the ancestral charts 
of Howard R. Driggs in the LDS 
Family History Center records.

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).

Howard R. Driggs and Eva May Frampton
after their wedding on September 8, 1897

Wayne, Eva and Perry Driggs

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.

Wayne Driggs and his wife, Elizabeth 
Swensen Driggs in 1951 with their 
children, Ralph and Susan (seated);
Frank, Arthur and Howard Jr. (standing).

Perry Driggs and his wife, Clara 
Creer Driggs, with their sons, 
H. Perry Driggs, Jr. (seated) and Paul 
Creer Driggs (standing), in 1950s.


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 Quarrier.  

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. 


1908: B.A., University of Utah
1918: M.A., University of Utah
1926: Ph.D., New York University

Public school teacher - Pleasant Grove, Utah

Group of Pleasant Grove school teachers in the early 1890s.  
Seated: Susan Brown (Swensen); Millie Robison (Paulsen); 
D. H. Robison (Principal); Alvira Smith (Olpin); Eliza Swensen.  
Standing: Samuel Smith, Howard R. Driggs; Carrie Neilsen; 
Neils K. Neilsen; (unidentified); May Beers (Brown).  

University of Utah

  • 1897-1905
    Instructor in English, Branch Normal School, 
    Cedar City, Utah (now Southern Utah University)
  • 1905-1906 
    On leave for study at University of Chicago
  • 1906-1912 
    Supervisor of English, School of Education
  • 1912-1914 
    Principal, Secondary Training School
  • 1914-1923 
    Professor of English Education; on leave 1918-1923 
    for study of English teaching in the United States

New York University

  • 1923-1924 
    Visiting Professor
  • 1924-1926 
    Associate Professor, English Education
  • 1927-1942 
    Professor and Chairman, Department of English Education
  • 1942-1963
    Professor Emeritus


President, 1908-1911: 
Utah Library and Gymnasium Commission

President, 1916:
Utah Education Association

Editor, 1917-1918:
Utah Educational Review

Vice President, 1919:
National Education Association

President, 1946-1947:
Horace Mann League

Phi Delta Kappa

Oregon Trail Memorial Association

American Pioneer Trails Association

Elected to Western Hall of Fame, 1952


Live Language Lessons 
Book Two

Live Language Lessons 
Second Book

Wild Roses
A Tale of the Rockies

Live Language Lessons 
First Book

The Art of Teaching

Our Living Language

Live Language Lessons
Fifth Grade

Live Language Lessons
Seventh Grade

Live Language Lessons
Teacher's Manual

Jacko and the Dingo Boy

Live Language Lessons
Sixth Grade

Live Language Lessons
Eighth Grade

Living English for Junior High Schools 
Book One

Living English 
Third Book

Living English for Junior High Schools 
Book Two

Covered-Wagon Centennial 

Living English 
Third Grade

Living English 
Fifth Grade

The Pony Express Goes Through
An American Saga Told by Its Heroes

Living English
Fourth Grade

Living English 
Sixth Grade

Westward America

Ben the Wagon Boy

The Master's Art
An Activity Course in Gospel Teaching

Mormon Trail
Pathway of Pioneers Who Made the Deserts Blossom

Timpanogos Town
Story of Old Battle Creek and Pleasant Grove, Utah

New Light on Old Glory

Pitch Pine Tales

Nick Wilson, Pioneer Boy

George, The Handcart Boy

The Old West Speaks

When Grandfather Was a Boy

A Western Cowkid

Driggs Family History
Book 1: Beginnings in America

Money Rock
A Drama of the Pony Express


The White Indian Boy
With E.N. Wilson

Ox-Team Days on the Oregon Trail
With Ezra Meeker

Hidden Heroes of the Rockies
With Isaac K. Russell

Frontier Law

Deadwood Gold
A Story of the Black Hills
With George W. Stokes

THE Texas Ranger
A Story of the Texas Frontier
With James B. Gillett

Red Feather

National Scales for Measuring Composition

The Pioneer Photographer
Rocky Mountain Adventures With a Camera
With William H. Jackson

Rise of the Lone Star
With Sarah S. King

Longhorn Cowboy
With James H. Cook

This is the West

Red Feather's Homecoming
With E. George Payne


American Trails Series - American Pioneer Trails Association

Editor and Producer

American Trails Films - American Pioneer Trails Association

Photo sources:  Benjamin Woodbury Driggs: Driggs Family History, Book Two Rosalia Cox Driggs; Old Central School; Battle Creek Falls; Telegraph office; Pleasant Grove school teachers: Timpanogos Town 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.