return to Irving Archives Collection Guide  

Guide to the

Mike E. Howard Papers

3.5 linear ft.

Accession Numbers: 9697-29; 9798-41; 9798-44; and 9899-11

Collection Number: 49

Prepared by
Kevin Kendro
April 2006

CITATION: The Mike E. Howard Papers, Collection 49, Box number, Folder number, Irving Archives, Irving Public Library.

Biographical Sketch

     Michael “Mike” E. Howard was born in Port Arthur, Texas, in 1942.  He graduated from Port Arthur’s Thomas Jefferson High School in 1960.  After high school, he worked one year in the Merchant Marines. He then enrolled in Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, where he graduated with a B.B.A. degree in Accounting in 1965.  After graduation, he served two years in the United States Navy Reserve aboard the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt. Part of the tour was spent in the Tonkin Gulf off Vietnam.

     After leaving the Navy, Howard worked in business management and accounting for two different companies.  In 1970, he was hired by the Dallas County Community College District as an accountant.  He was promoted to Chief Accountant and later Comptroller for the District.  He left the college district in 1975 and spent two years working for the School of Allied Health Sciences. 

     When the Dallas County Community College District opened its North Lake College campus in Irving in 1977, Mike Howard was hired as the school’s vice president of Business Services.  Howard remained at North Lake until the late-1980s, when he took a position as vice president of the Business and Professional Institute of the Dallas County Community College District.

     Mike Howard has a long history of involvement in service and civic organizations.  He was a member and president of the Irving Rotary Club.  He was a vice president and a director of the Irving Chamber of Commerce.  He received the Distinguished Service Award for his work with the Boy Scouts of America and served on the education committee of the Irving Community Hospital and on the YMCA sustaining campaign.  He was recognized for his community service with Irving’s High-Spirited Citizen award in 1990.

     In addition to his involvement in local organizations, Mike Howard ran for and won a seat on the Irving city council in 1981.  He was elected to a second two-year term in 1983. He chose not to run for re-election in 1985.    

     In 1986, Mike Howard wrote and published a limited edition book entitled Texas Is. . . .  The book is a compilation of viewpoints on what Texas means to various celebrities, national and local politicians, and civic and business leaders. Interspersed among the musings are 150 photos of scenes from around the state of Texas.  The book was produced during the Texas Sesquicentennial year.  One thousand numbered, limited edition copies were printed. 

     The Irving Heritage Society produced a book on the history of the city of Irving called Irving A Texas Odyssey in 1989.  Mike Howard participated in the production of that book.

     From September 1984 through May 1988, Howard was the editor of the Irving Rotary Club newsletter, The Blade.  An item in The Blade was entitled the Controversial Committee Report.  The item tweaked club members and club activities.  In 1988, Howard expanded the Controversial Committee Report into a two-page sheet that commented primarily on local politics.  This was distributed with the club’s newsletter.  Shortly after, a further expanded version of the Controversial Committee Report became available to subscribers by mail.  The Report had a subscription list of between 400-500.  It was published under Howard’s pen name, Mark Holbrook.  The Report commented on local politicians and the local political scene.  The Controversial Committee Report was published for 14 years, until January 31, 1998.  Howard also edited the Las Colinas Rotary newsletter and the Thursday Noon Plano Rotary newsletter for a period during the 1980s.

     In addition, Mike Howard wrote a newspaper column under his pen name Mark Holbrook.  The column was called “Raging Bull.”  The column ran in The Journal, a newspaper focused on activities in the Las Colinas section of Irving.  After The Journal folded, the column ran in another local newspaper, Las Colinas People, from November 1991 until March 1993.  The articles offered comment on the local political scene.

     Mike Howard married his college sweetheart, Judy Linthicum, in 1966.  They moved to Irving in 1968.  Judy Howard and her parents, Pat and Neva Linthicum, owned and operated the Irving Ben Franklin Store for twenty-five years.


The Mike E. Howard Papers, Collection 49, Irving Archives, Irving Public Library.

Series Description 

Series I. Campaign Mailers, 1980s-1990s    5 linear in. (1 manuscript box, 10 folders).
Arranged by type of campaign, i.e. city council, then alphabetically by candidate name.  Material includes campaign fliers and letters sent to voters in municipal, county, and state election campaigns.

Series II. Invitations, 1980s-1990s    5 linear in. (1 manuscript box, 6 folders).
Arranged chronologically.  Material includes invitations to a wide range of events received by Mike Howard in conjunction with his political, civic, and professional activities.
Series III. Correspondence, 1978-1996    4 linear in. (9 folders).
Arranged chronologically.  Relates primarily to events during Howard’s terms as a city councilman, 1981-1985.  Also included is correspondence on specific subjects such as term limitations.

Series IV. Subject Files, 1981-1998    3 linear in. (5 folders).
Arranged by subject. Material includes files on the Irving Rotary Club, the Irving Chamber of Commerce, North Lake College, the book Texas Is. . ., and the book Irving A Texas Odyssey.

Series V. Publications, 1977-1998    1 linear ft.
Arranged by type then chronologically.  Material includes newspaper articles; newsletters; The Controversial Committee Report; "Raging Bull" newspaper columns; various publications relating to the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Clubs, and local politics.

Series VI. Photographs, c. 1970s-1980s    1 liner in. (1 folder)
Material includes photographs of Mike Howard at various events.

Series VII. Artifacts, c. 1970s-1980s    1 linear ft.
Material includes various types of artifacts, such as paperweights, from groundbreakings, dedications, and other events attended by Mike Howard in connection with his position as a city councilman or employee of North Lake College.

Scope and Content Note

     The Mike E. Howard Papers are contained in five manuscript boxes, one flat box, one cubic foot box, one oversize folder, and space in the bookcase.  The papers are arranged in seven series.

     Mike Howard served as an Irving city councilman for four years.  He was a long-time employee of the Dallas County Community College District and helped open North Lake College.  He also had an interest in political commentary.  He was involved in the publication of two books, and spent many years producing a political newsletter.  This collection provides a look into, and Mike Howard’s opinion of, the local political scene during the 1980s and 1990s through his city council records, his newsletter, the Controversial Committee Report, and his “Raging Bull” newspaper columns.  It also contains information on the opening of the North Lake campus of the Dallas County Community College District, 1977.  The collection is also an excellent source of information on the Irving Rotary Club during the 1980s and 1990s due to the extensive collection of the club’s newsletters.

     A large portion of the collection was in labeled folders when it was received.  The original order was maintained as much as possible.  For example: the campaign mailers in Series I were in three folders when received.  The processing archivist broke the material down by type of campaign and arranged it alphabetically by the candidate’s name, but maintained the campaign mailers grouping.       

     Series I consists of political campaign mailers from various candidates who ran for city, county, and local state offices during the 1980s and 1990s.

     Series II, Invitations, consists of invitations to a wide range of events sent to Mike Howard in connection with his position on the city council and his job at North Lake College.  See the container list for a sample of the types of invitations. 

     Series III, Correspondence, consists primarily of letters to and from Mike Howard while he was a city councilman. Zoning issues and airport noise are two of the topics often addressed.  See the container list for details.  The series also consists of a group of letters honoring Mayor Bob Pierce on the event of a roast in his honor.  The later correspondence in the series tends to be requests by Howard to city officials for information on various issues.

     Series IV, Subject Files, is made up of five files created by the donor addressing specific topics: Rotary Club; the Irving Chamber of Commerce; North Lake College; the book Texas is. . .; and the book Irving A Texas Odyssey.  Each file contains material specific to its topic.  In addition to the Rotary Club subject file, newsletters for the Irving Rotary Club, the Las Colinas Rotary, and the Plano Rotary can be found in Series V, Publications.

     Series V is made up of various types of publications.  Included in the series are Mike Howard’s monthly political commentary newsletter the Controversial Committee Report, 1988-1998, and The Blade, the newsletter of the Irving Rotary Club.  This collection contains issues of The Blade ranging from January 1981– December 1992 (excluding 1983 and up through August 1984).  Mike Howard was editor of The Blade from September 1984-May 26, 1988.  Also included are the newspaper columns entitled “Raging Bull” written by Mike Howard for local newspapers during the 1990s.  The columns critique the local political scene.  A copy of Howard’s book, Texas is. . . , is also found in this series.

     Series VI consists of 24 photographs and a proof sheet.  The photos are primarily of Mike Howard at various functions or posing with members of the city council.

     Series VII is made up of artifacts that Mike Howard received at dedications, groundbreaking, and other events while on the city council and in his capacity as vice president of Business Services at North Lake College.

Provenance Statement

     The Mike E. Howard Papers were donated to the Irving Archives by Mike Howard in four accessions. Accession number 9697-29 was donated August 11, 1997; accession number 9798-41 was donated December 22, 1997; accession number 9798-44 was donated December 31, 1997; and accession number 9899-11 was donated October 7, 1998.  Prior to its donation to the Irving Archives, the material was in the possession of Mike Howard.

A newsletter entitled the Juntogram has been restricted until 2018 at the request of the donor.

Literary Rights Statement

Permission to publish from the Mike E. Howard Papers must be obtained from the Irving Archives.

Container List

Series I. Campaign Mailers, 1980s-1990s 

Box 1


 1-10     Campaign Mailers, 1980s-1990s
Contains campaign fliers and correspondence from candidates running for city council, school board, county offices, and state offices, and concerning various issue elections.

Series II. Invitations, 1980s-1990s

Box 2

 1-6     Invitations, 1980s-1990s
Contains invitations to various events received by Mike Howard.  The bulk of the invitations were received while he was a member of the Irving city council.  The invitations are from churches, businesses, clubs and organizations, and city departments requesting his attendance at various events.  Of particular interest are invitations to the opening of The Studios at Las Colinas, 1982; the groundbreaking for the Las Colinas Urban Center, n. d.; the opening of the Valley Ranch development, n. d.; the groundbreaking for the Irving Arts Center, 1985; the dedication of Williams Square, 1984; the topping out of the Towers at Williams Square, n. d.; and the inauguration of Texas Governor Mark White, 1983.

Series III. Correspondence, 1978-1996 (bulk 1981-1985)

Box 3

  1     Correspondence, 1978-1981 (bulk 1981)
Contains letters to and from Mike Howard related primarily to his city council duties such as: airport noise due to testing on runway 13L: liquor sales; and zoning concerns.

  2     Correspondence, 1982
Contains correspondence to and from Mike Howard related primarily to his city council duties. Included are requests to attend a wide range of events; constituents’ concerns about zoning cases, especially Cavalry Temple’s attempt to open a school on its property; and airport noise.

  3     Correspondence, 1983
Contains correspondence to and from Mike Howard related primarily to his city council duties. Included are a number of letters congratulating Howard on his re-election to the city council and a summary of projects and issues accomplished in the city of Irving, 1981-1983.

  4     Correspondence, 1984
Contains correspondence to and from Mike Howard related primarily to his city council duties.

  5     Correspondence, 1985
Contains correspondence to and from Mike Howard related primarily to his city council duties.  Included is Mike Howard’s farewell speech to the city council and the council agenda from his final meeting signed by fellow council members.

  6     Correspondence, 1986-1989
Contains, among various topics, correspondence relating to Mike Howard’s role as Mayor Robert Pierce’s campaign manager and the city of Irving’s sign ordinance. 

  7     Correspondence, 1988
Contains letters from a wide range of individuals praising Dr. Bob Pierce as part of a roast that was held in his honor.  Mike Howard organized the event.

  8     Correspondence, 1990s
Contains correspondence concerning various topics, but primarily city council term limits.  Also contains the typescript of Make Howard’s comments to a group conducting citizen input on a study of the city’s management staff requested by the city council. 

  9     Correspondence, undated
Contains correspondence to and from Mike Howard related primarily to his city council duties.  Also included is a copy of the 1968 agreement between the City of Irving and the Dallas Cowboys concerning Texas Stadium.

Series IV. Subject Files

  10     Book - Texas Is. . .The Sesquicentennial Remembered
Contains articles from various publications promoting the book; letters to recipients of the book from the author; letters of regret from individuals who were unable to give quotes for the book; letters from the author presenting the book as a gift to selected individuals.

  11     Book - Irving A Texas Odyssey
Contains a promotional folder from Windsor Publishing; congratulatory letters to the Irving Heritage Society on the completion of the project; news articles on the release of the book; and the typescript of the introduction to the Partners in Progress section of the book by Mike Howard.

Box 4


  1     Rotary Club File, 1981-1992
Contains programs from the annual banquet, 1981, 1985, 1987, 1992; a pamphlet and a section from the Irving Daily News celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Irving Rotary Club, Feb. 22, 1987; and other Rotary related correspondence.  Issues of the Irving Rotary Club newsletter, the Las Colinas Rotary newsletter, and the Plano Rotary newsletter are in the Series V “Publications” in Box 5.

  2     Chamber of Commerce File, 1981-1986
Contains Irving Chamber of Commerce material (The Irving Chamber of Commerce later changed its name to the greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce):

“1982 Annual Report” from the North Texas Commission 11th Annual Membership Meeting, Oct. 25, 1982

Irving Insight, Irving Chamber of Commerce newsletters, Feb. 1981, April 1981, and Jan. 1983

The Journal’s 1986 Corporate Guide to Las Colinas and Greater Irving

Irving Chamber of Commerce New Directions, 1983-84

Pamphlet entitled “Irving Chamber of Commerce Program of Action, April 1, 1981-March 31, 1982”

Program entitled “A Salute to Gerald Stavley for the Easter Seals Society, 1981”

Directory of Irving Clubs and Organizations, 1981-82 produced by the Irving Chamber of Commerce

  3-4  North Lake College, 1977-1987

Contains material related to North Lake College:
Newsletter – The New College News, June 1977, contains article on Mike Howard
DCCCD newsletter Outlook, Aug. 1977, North Lake College opens for first students
North Lake College dedication program, 10/23/1977
North Lake College catalogue, 1977-78 (first issue)
North Lake College catalogue, 1978-79 (second issue)
Invitation to a reception for newly appointed chancellor of Dallas County Community College District, R. Jan LeCroy, 1981
Article about North Lake vice president Mike Howard running for City Council Place 5, January 15, 1981
North Lake College Speakers Bureau booklet, 1982
Letters regarding groundbreaking of North Lake Natatorium, 1983
Program from North Lake College’s presentation of “Arsenic and Old Lace,” 1984
Invitation and program to the dedication of the North Lake Natatorium, 1984
Typescript of Mike Howard’s introduction of Jim White at Honor’s Day Ceremony, May 6, 1987
Mike Howard’s North Lake College business card

Series V. Publications

Controversial Committee Report, 1988-1998

  5     Controversial Committee Report, 1988-1993
Contains issues of the Controversial Committee Report, February 6, 1988-November 24, 1993.

  6     Controversial Committee Report, 1994-1995
Contains issues of the Controversial Committee Report, January 24, 1994-November 30, 1995.

  7     Controversial Committee Report, 1996-1998
Contains issues of the Controversial Committee Report, January 31, 1996-January 31, 1998.

  8     Newspaper Clippings, 1980s-1990s
Articles concerning the books Irving A Texas Odyssey and Texas is. . . ; letters to the editor written by Mike Howard under his penname, Mark Holbrook; articles concerning Mike Howard’s career and his involvement in various organizations; and articles relating to politics.

  9     Newspaper Column “Raging Bull”, 1991-1993 
Photocopies of the newspaper column “Raging Bull” found in the Oversize Folder 49-01. Photocopied for preservation purposes.

Box 5  

Rotary Club Newsletters, 1981-1992

  1    Newsletter, 1981-1982
Contains bound issues of the Irving Rotary Club newsletter, The Blade, June 2, 1981-June 17, 1982.

  2    Newsletter, 1984-1985
Contains issues of the Irving Rotary Club newsletter, The Blade, Sept. 6, 1984-June 20, 1985.

  3    Newsletter, 1985
Contains issues of the Irving Rotary Club newsletter, The Blade, July 11, 1985-December 26, 1985.

  4    Newsletter, 1986
Contains issues of the Irving Rotary Club newsletter, The Blade, January 2, 1986-December 18, 1986.

  5    Newsletter, 1987
Contains issues of the Irving Rotary Club newsletter, The Blade, January 8, 1987-December 31, 1987.

  6    Newsletter, 1988
Contains issues of the Irving Rotary Club newsletter, The Blade, January 7, 1988-December 29, 1988.

  7    Newsletter, 1989
Contains issues of the Irving Rotary Club newsletter, The Blade, January 5, 1989-December 5, 1989, and June 7, 1990, and June 28, 1990.
  8    Newsletter, 1987
Contains issues of the Las Colinas Rotary Club newsletter, January 13, 1987-September 29, 1987.

  9    Newsletter, 1988-1993
Contains issues of the Thursday Noon Plano Rotary Club newsletter, 1988-1993 (sporadic).  Mike Howard edited the newsletter during this time period.  Also contains a single issue of the Redford Lions Club newsletter, January 10, 1989.

Bookcase - Texas Is. . . The Sesquicentennial Remembered, by Mark Holbrook , Ringtail Productions Limited, 1986, limited edition number 969/1000.

Box 6  

General Publications:

Irving Police Association survey of employees re: cost of living, health insurance, step pay plan, July 2, 1984, given to council members.

Part of an article about Janis Joplin’s and Mike Howard’s school days in Beaumont.

Newsletter, Insight, from the Irving Community Hospital Foundation, Spring 1984.

Program for the Irving Arts Center, 1983.

Pamphlet “Pairings and Starting Times for Byron Nelson Classic Pro-Am, 1986.”

Booklet “Dr. Pepper Recipes.”  

“City of Irving Cable System Performance Evaluation, 1983.”

Texas Independence Community Handbook of Organization (deals with Texas Sesquicentennial matters).

Directory of Private Sector Services to Cities, 1984.

Letter to Management on Internal Accounting Control, 1983.

“Summary Park Avenue,” January 4, 1984, report by developers in response to opposition to their development plans.

Booklet “Irving Chamber of Commerce: The First 50 Years, 1932-1982”

A Remarkable 10 Years a souvenir commemorative magazine from D/FW Airport’s tenth anniversary, January 1984.

Las Colinas Corporate Directory, Nov. 1991 (second annual).

Opportunity Irving – A Leadership Development Program of the Irving Chamber of Commerce, 1987.

Episcopal Church of the Redeemer Annual Parish Directory, 1982.

Oversize Folder 49-01 - Complete newspapers or sections of papers:
Pages containing Mike Howard’s “Raging Bull” columns that appeared in the newspaper Las Colinas People, Nov. 28, 1991-March 18, 1993.

Metroweek, July 7, 1986, contains an article about the book Texas Is. . . and a “Raging Bull” article by Mike Howard.

The Journal, January 28, 1985, contains an article about Mike Howard not seeking re-election to city council.

The Journal, April 1, 1985, April Fools edition of the paper with an article by Mike Howard.

The North Lake News, June 5, 1978, picture of Mike Howard on the front page.

“The Voice of Irving,” January 30, 1982, newspaper insert in support of and explaining a city bond program.

Irving’s Sesquicentennial News, Winter 1985, a quarterly publication produced in Irving during the Texas Sesquicentennial celebration.

Las Colinas Weekly, February 18, 1988, “The Best of Irving” section of the paper.

Book jacket for Texas Is. . .The Sesquicentennial Remembered.

Series VI. Photographs

Box 6


  1     Slides (3) of Las Colinas and Texas Stadium  - aerials - taken by Mike Howard

Photo Numbers:

49-01 - Aerial of North Lake College under construction, 14x10¾, color, n.d. (c. 1977) (Due to its large size this     photo is in Box 5).

49-02 - Mike Howard presenting a plaque, 4x6, color, n.d.

49-03 - Howard family portrait, 4x5, b&w, n.d. (c. early 1980s)

49-04 - Mike Howard portrait, 2½x4, b&w, n.d. (c. early 1980s)

49-05 - Mike Howard at desk, 3½x5, b&w, n.d. (c. early 1980s)

49-06 - Governor Mark White with Mike Howard, Robert  Power, Jack Nulty, and Rick Douglas in the governor’s
office, 5x7, b&w, n.d., (c. 1982)

49-07 - Rotary Club group picture, 5x7, b&w,  n.d.

49-08 - Mike Howard in Merton, England’s mayor’s robes,  n.d.

49-09 - Texas Gov. William Clements addressing Rotary meeting, Mike Howard sitting on left, 8x10, b&w, n.d.

49-10 - Texas Gov. William Clements at Rotary meeting, Mike Howard on right, 8x10, b&w, n.d.

49-11 - Mike Howard posing with an unidentified group of men, 8x10, b&w, n.d.

49-12 - Mike Howard at desk holding Janis Joplin’s high school photo which she gave him during their days at   Port Arthur’s Thomas Jefferson High School, 8x10, b&w, n.d.

49-13 - Students in costumes at North Lake College, Mike Howard in center in cowboy hat, 8x10, b&w, n.d.

49-14 - Council photo, 8x10, color, 1983.  

49-15 - Council photo, 8x10, color, 1984.

49-16 - Mike Howard receiving plaque from Mayor Bobby Joe Raper, 8x10, color, n.d.

49-17 - Council posing by fire truck, 8x10, color, n.d.

49-18 - Council posing on fire truck, 8x10, color, n.d.

49-19 - Mike Howard, Rene Castilla, and unidentified man in an office at North Lake College, 5x7, b&w, n.d.

49-20 – Mayor Bob Pierce and wife Dana and group of men posing at a roast held in Pierce’s honor, 1988.

49-21 - Mike Howard presenting plaques to two men at North Lake College, 8x10, b&w, n.d. (2 copies).

49-22 – Mike Howard and Mayor Robert Pierce at a meeting at which Howard was presented the High Spirited Citizen award, January 1990.

49-23 – Mike Howard receiving the High Spirited Citizen award from Mayor Bob Pierce, January 1990.

Proof sheet and negatives of Dr. Robert Pierce campaign photos: with a patient, at someone’s door, looking at a culvert, and posing with his family.

Series VII. Artifacts

Box 7 

Campaign signs for Judy Howard, Mike Howard, and Dr. Bob Pierce
Wooden blocks promoting a block party at Valley Ranch Information Center
Paperweight from the Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau (ICVB) promoting the Byron Nelson Golf Classic the first year it was held in Irving
Pencil holder promoting Rotary International
Bottle of Sand – invitation from ICVB for Irvingfest 1985
Paperweight – Rotary Four-Way Test
Paperweight – promoting Southwest Bank and Trust, 1970
Paperweight – American Heart Association
Paperweight – Irving Community Hospital Building Program, 1976
Paperweight – North Lake College Dedication, Fall 1977
Paperweight – North Lake College Natatorium dedication, 1984
Tin cup promoting Bank 1
Coffee cup promoting the Irving Public Library
Coffee mug promoting North Lake College
Penholder promoting the Valley Ranch development
Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau travel cup
Leather coasters from Irving Public Library opening, 1986
Belt buckles – ICVB belt buckle; buckle with a guitar neck on it from the announcement of the Nashville Channel coming to Irving cable TV; Valley Ranch buckle; Irving Fire Department buckle
IPLS nameplate, 1983
Brick from the groundbreaking of the North Lake Natatorium, 1983
Yo-yo promoting Teleprompter of Irving