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Biography of Robert Houston

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Robert Houston, son of Robert and — (Melvin) Houston, was born in 1821, in Glasgow, Scotland, and died in 1856, in Farmington, New York. His father and mother lived and died in Scotland. His brother James was a merchant in England, and afterward in California. Robert Houston was educated in the common schools of his native land and learned the trade of shoemaker, which he followed until 1845, when he came to this country. He stayed for a short time in New York City, and then made his home in Canandaigua, New York. where he was employed first by See & Lekland and later by Mr. Tozer, of the same town. He removed to Manchester, New York, and started in business on his own account as a shoe manufacturer, continuing to the time of his death. In politics he was a Democrat; in religion a member of the Trinity Church.

He married Jane Carson, of Glasgow, born in 1821, in that city, died in 1890, at Farmington, New York, daughter of James and Margaret (Carson) Carson, granddaughter of James and Margaret (McDowell) Carson. Her father was a farmer, a Republican in politics, and a Methodist in religion. Her grandfather was of Dumfries, Scotland. She had sisters, Margaret, Ellen, Isabel and Agnes, and a brother James Carson. She was an earnest, loving, self-sacrificing woman, and after the death of her husband in the prime of life, she kept her family together, and with the aid of her young son raised and educated the children. Children: 1. James, mentioned elsewhere. 2. Agnes, born 1847; married Cornell Dusenberry, who died in 1906; child: John Dusenberry. 3. Margaret, 1849; married Daniel N. Hooker; children: Anna and Cora Hooker; he died in 1909, and the family is living in Portland, Oregon. 4. Robert, born at Farmington, 1853; married Sarah Low; children: Roy, Edith and John.

James, son of Robert Houston, was born in New York City, October 13, 1845, and came with his parents to Canandaigua when very young. He attended the public schools at Canandaigua and at the age of fourteen he went to work on the farm of Wilkinson A. Herendeen, of Farmington, and continued for seven years. He was the eldest of the children and when but a child began to help his widowed mother in caring for the younger children. After he came of age he worked for several years conducting various farms on shares. He went to Michigan in 1867, and for a year was clerk of the “Hotel Three of Us.” On account of his mother’s ill health, however, he returned to Farmington. He became clerk of Hotel Victor, owned by G. W. Peer & Company, in 1872, and continued in that position for six years. He bought the business of his employers and conducted the hotel until 1888, when he sold it, and bought a farm of eighty acres in Victor, New York. After running the farm for four years he returned to the hotel business in 1892, in partnership with D. H. Finncan and conducted Hotel Victor again until 1896. He then retired from active business for three years and a half, having sold to Ryan & Berry. He bought out Mr. Ryan, however, in 1901, and conducted the hotel again until 1905, with Mr. Berry. Then, on account of ill health, he retired from business. In politics he is a Republican. He was trustee of the village of Victor in 1890-91, and was supervisor of the town in 1892-93. During the civil war he enlisted in the One Hundred and Twenty-sixth New York Regiment under Captain Herendeen, but he was less than eighteen years old and his mother refused to give her consent, so he was unable to enter the service. He has been a member of the Masonic fraternity since 1874 and has been junior and senior deacon, also junior and senior warden.

He married, June 1, 1880, Mary C. (Eaton) Kellogg, widow of Curtiss A. Kellogg, who was born near Miller Corners in the town of West Bloomfield in 1841, a prominent produce merchant, who was killed in a railroad accident in March, 1878. Mary C. (Eaton) Kellogg was born in Michigan, November, 1845, daughter of Colvin Eaton. The daughter of Mrs. Houston by her first marriage, Lottie F. Kellogg, married William F. Hill. They have one child, Russell H. Hill. Mr. and Mrs. Houston have no children.

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