Thomas Howard, aged 66, a Revolutionary War Veteran, arrived at the head of the great rapids of the Maumee from New York State in 1822. Three cabins were erected for his family and the families of his two sons Edward and Robert. The first death in this settlement was Thomas Howard in 1825; and this plot, then a wooded bluff on a sharp ravine, was chosen as a burial place. Other Howards were buried here, and in 1850, Tee-na-Beek, a family friend and one of the last of the Ottawa Indians in this area, was laid to rest in a corner of the family cemetery.
WPA workers leveled the ground and relocated many graves in 1938. The Howard Cemetery is now owned and maintained by the Village of Grand Rapids.