Captain Ithamar Howell, a Republican, was appointed Washington's fifth Secretary of State in May 1909 by Governor Marion Hay and elected twice. Secretary Howell was born in 1866 in Waukon, Iowa, and spent his childhood in Rock Rapids, Iowa. In 1877, he moved with his family to Tacoma. Howell received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oregon State Normal School in Monmouth, Oregon. He served in the Washington Territorial and National Guard from 1880 to 1895. In 1899, he was elected Pierce County Assessor. In 1901, Howell became chief deputy in the County Auditor's Office and served as Clerk to the Board of Commissioners. He made an unsuccessful primary bid for Secretary of State in 1908. Captain Ithamar Howell died in Olympia during his second term on July 13, 1920.