Biography - William Houck

William R. HOUCK, farmer, P. O. Raymond. The father of this gentleman was Ross HOUCK; he was born March 4, 1804, in Pennsylvania; here he received a limited common-school education; he remained with his parents to the age of sixteen, assisting in tilling the soil of his father's farm. At the age of sixteen, he left his home, with a pack on his back, with only 25 cents in his pocket, to embark on his career in life, it being his intention to settle in the far West; he first stopped at Cincinnati, Ohio, and worked at the trade of a carpenter, which he had partially learned before he left his home; here he remained or one year, when he engaged with Virgil HICKOX, at a salary of $50 per month and expenses paid, selling books; he remained in the employ of his gentleman for about two years, during the time, by his economy and business habits, succeeding in accumulating enough funds to enable him to start in the same business on his own account, which he did in the State of Illinois, where he continued successfully for a term of five years; during the time, he had accumulated about $5,000, with which he entered land in Madison County, improved land, bought stock, and also opened a general merchandising store; he remained in Madison County for several years, but finally removed to Alton, where he filled official offices, which took the most of his time; in 1843, he entered 160 acres in Macoupin County, which he improved, and removed his family to the same in 1845; he added to this tract until he owned 380 acres in that county; in about 1850, he entered 840 acres in Montgomery, which he had improved, but at the time made his home in Macoupin County; at the time of his death, he had accumulated 1,140 acres of land; his death occurred December 24, 1868; he was one of Macoupin County's most successful farmers and business men. His wife, and mother of our subject, was Lucinda Ann(GUNTERMAN) HOUCK; she was a native of Kentucky, born November 27, 1811, and is now residing in Macoupin County upon the homestead farm; she is the mother of seven children, all of whom are alive, William R. being the oldest child; he was born in Edwardsville, Madison Co., Ill, January 21, 1833; he received his education from the common schools of Alton, Woodburn, and the McKendree College at Lebanon. At the age of nineteen, he left his home, went to Bunker Hill, Ill., and embarked on his career in life as a clerk in a store; he remained here until 1854, when he started a general merchandising store at Edwardsville, Ill., on his own account, in partnership with Mr. John PRICKETT; in 1856, he sold his interest to his partner, when he returned to Bunker Hill, and with Mr. James RIDER, bought out the interest of his old employer, T. J. VanDORN; here he remained for a period of twelve years, during which time he had purchased the interest of his partner; in 1862, he purchased a flouring-mill, which he ran in partnership with P. C. HUGGINS until about the close of the war, when he took an interest in a store at Vicksburg; he remained here about one year, when he returned to Bunker Hill and engaged in farming on the old homestead; in 1870, he removed to Montgomery County and settled on a farm of eight acres, where he has since remained, engaged in agricultural pursuits; by his energy and business, he has succeeded in accumulating 200 acres of land, all of which is under a high state of cultivation. In Macoupin County, October 8, 1855, he married Miss Lucinda A. ALLARD, a native of Cape Cod, she born June 3, 1836; she is the mother of nine children, seven of whom are living - Carrie L., July 18, 1856; Edward R., March 28, 1858; William A., July 8, 1859; Elmira L., November 4, 1861; Mary E., February 24, 1864; Henrietta V. D. and Thomas V. D. (twins), April 17, 1866; Ross, July 4, 1868; Jessie M., May 12, 1870; Elmira L. and Jessie M. are dead. He is a member of the A., F. & A. M. Lodge, No. 151, at Bunker Hill; in politics, is identified with the Democratic party; self and family are connected with the Methodist Church.

Extracted 20 Nov 2016 by Norma Hass from 1882 History of Bond and Montgomery Counties, Illinois, Part 2 Biographical Department, pages 261-262.

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