When retired Army National Guard Gen. Bobby Howell passed away, the Apalachicola native left a legacy that is still honored in Franklin County. On May 8, the National Guard Foundation installed a permanent exhibit of Howell’s personal flags on the second floor of the county courthouse.
This project was initiated in early 2010 by a close friend and fellow Florida National Guardsman, retired Brig. Gen. Harold McLeod of Panama City. The project was made possible by the foundation, together with friends of Bobby Howell.
“The display of Bobby's personal flags in the courthouse pays tribute to his service to Apalachicola, Franklin County, the State of Florida and the United States of America,” said Howell’s longtime friend, Col. Chuck Mohr, who accompanied the flags during the installation.
The case containing the display of flags, pictured above, includes two other portions of Howell’s legacy, Clerk of Courts Marcia Johnson and Nedra Jefferson, the last two staffers hired by Howell during his term as clerk of courts who are still employed by the county. In addition, Jefferson was the first African American employed at the courthouse.
A brass plaque displayed with the flags reads as follows:
“The encased flags were the personal flags of Brigadier General Robert Lee “Bobby” Howell. Born and raised in Apalachicola, he graduated from Chapman High School and attended Florida State University and was a graduate of the University of the State of New York. On October 20, 1947, while attending FSU, he joined the Florida National Guard as a private. He received a direct appointment to Second Lieutenant in the Infantry on April 20, 1951. General Howell served in many leadership assignments during his long and distinguished career of 41 years in the Florida National Guard, ending in the position of Assistant Adjutant General for Florida. In addition to his Florida National Guard career General Howell served two terms as mayor of Apalachicola, was Franklin County’s clerk of the court for 26 years and a dedicated civic leader in his community.”