Building us a new house was right in line with Mr. Howard’s thoughtful ways. C. S. Howard’s generosity was well known throughout all the communities that he was a part of. The people that were employed by him and those who were associated with him in other ways were all aware of his kind gestures, usually done quietly and without fanfare. Ernie Banker of Ukiah remembers well that Howard’s considerations were timely and generous.
As a young man in the early 1930’s, Ernie’s father, Floyd Banker, owned a Buick dealership in Ukiah, California, for Charles Howard. His dealership did well, and Howard offered Floyd a position as a sales manager in his San Francisco location. Floyd thought about moving to the City, and then laughingly asked, "Do you suppose they would let me go deer hunting in Golden Gate Park?" He stayed on in Ukiah.
Ernie recalls his Dad taking him deer hunting on Ridgewood Ranch with Mr. Howard when he was very young. His Dad woke him up early in the morning so they could go have breakfast with the ranch hands and the cowboys before going hunting. Ernie was amazed at the full ranch style breakfast served of steak, ham, bacon, potatoes, hotcakes, biscuits and eggs. He asked his Dad why they ate such a big breakfast, and his Dad told him, " The ones who are going out riding all day will take only that little pile of jerky with them that is sitting in front of their plate. They won’t have anything else to eat all day until they get back to the cookhouse tonight. So they are eating hearty now!"
Floyd was married and had a family, and the time came when he wanted to build a small house in the town of Ukiah. Floyd’s Buick dealership was doing well, and he borrowed money from Howard to build a two-bedroom home. Floyd moved his family into the new home. A while later, Floyd found that he needed surgery to repair a painful hernia condition. He made an appointment with a San Francisco hospital to get this done, but they postponed his surgery because of a hospital emergency. He decided to get the surgery done locally. Due to complications from the surgery, Floyd died shortly after, at the age of 30, leaving his wife and children with a new home to be paid off. They had been in the home for less than a year.
The widowed Mrs. Banker got enough money together to send a house payment to Mr. Howard. Within a short time, she received a letter back from him with her uncashed payment check in it, along with the ownership deed to their Ukiah house! Mr. Howard had marked the loan "paid in full" , and had given the Banker family their home, free and clear. Such generosity was not common, although it was Mr. Howard’s way. Mrs. Banker was, of course, grateful. Not knowing what to do, she took the letter and deed to a consultant to ask what to do next. He said, "Go cash your check, and record the deed to your house, right now!"