The "Divisional Boards Act of 1879" established Divisional Boards for the purpose of providing local government for portions of the colony outside the boundaries of municipalities. On 30 June 1900, the Howard Division was created from part of Isis Division.
The primary function of Divisional Boards was to provide such public services and amenities as: parks and reserves, cemeteries, libraries and recreational facilities, water and sanitation services, roads, bridges, wharves, street lighting, public health services (such as immunisations), licences and registrations for businesses, markets and animals, town planning, and the control of noxious weeds and other pests.
Boards were also responsible for administering the Local Fund and for valuing properties within the Division for the purpose of determining and collecting rates. Boards could pass by-laws regarding all matters within its jurisdiction. All such by-laws required the assent of the Governor-in-Council.
Divisional Boards submitted an annual Statement of Revenue and Expenditure to the Minister. By-laws created by Boards required the assent of the Governor-in-Council.
Secretary for Public Works and Mines 11 Nov 1879 - 12 Dec 1887
Secretary for Mines and Works 12 Dec 1887 - 4 Jan 1890
Secretary for Railways and Public Works 4 Jan 1890 - 12 Aug 1890
Secretary for Public Works 12 Aug 1890 - 9 Jul 1891
Colonial Secretary c. Jul 1891 - 6 Aug 1896
Home Secretary 6 Aug 1896 - 31 Mar 1903
The Local Authorities Act 1902 abolished divisional boards and created city, town, and shire councils. Under this Act, the Howard Divisional Board was abolished, and its functions were transferred to Howard Shire Council on 31 March 1903.