HON. ENOCH HOULT. – The gentleman above-named was born in Monongahela county, West Virginia, April 18, 1825. His parents were of English descent, coming to American in the Colonial days. He lived in Virginia until his twelfth year, when his father moved to Edgar county, Illinois, in the spring of 1832. There Mr. Hoult grew to manhood and remained until he was thirty-three years of age.
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In the fall of 1830 he was married to Miss Jeannette Somerville, daughter of John Somerville, who came from Kentucky to Illinois. In the year 1853 he came with his family overland to Oregon. Leaving Illinois on the 11th of March, they arrived at their destination the 19th day of September. At the time it was considered a very hazardous undertaking to cross the plains with ox-teams, and required a good deal of courage for a man to take such a risk on such a journey. The plains were infested with Indians and marauders; and the only wonder is that more of those pioneers were not killed. Oregon was then entirely new and very sparsely settled, and the people were obliged to undergo all the privations incident to a pioneer life.
Mr. Hoult settled first in Lane county, buying a tract of land twelve miles north of Eugene City. On this farm he lived ten years, improving and building up the place. Here he planted one of the first nurseries of the Willamette valley, which furnished also many of the trees on the now fruitful Rogue river valley.
In the fall of 1863 he removed to Harrisburg, Linn county, where he resided until his demise. Mr. Hoult was the father of eleven children, six of whom survive him: Mrs. Mary E. McCulloch of Pendleton, Mrs. Ella H. Mendenhall of Harrisburg, Mrs. Isabella H. Hendee of Portland, Morgan Hoult of Canyon City, Mrs. Mamie G. Browne of Grant county, and Miss A.L. Hoult of Harrisburg, all of whom are known as honorable and useful members of society. Mrs. Jeannette Hoult died on the first day of April, 1873. All that can be said of the truly good may be said of Mrs. Hoult, – a sincere friend, a faithful Christian, an affectionate wife, a noble and tender mother, and held in the highest esteem by all who knew her.
Mr. Hoult was a warm-hearted, genial gentleman of the old school, full of public spirit, and a zealous worker in the interest of education. He was a man of stern integrity, and was never known to neglect the smallest duty. The duties of every public position that he was called to fill were performed with the most scrupulous exactness; and he had the unwavering confidence of all who knew him. Mr. Hoult was a man far above mediocrity. Very decided in his political opinions, he was prominently identified with the politics of the state, being one of the leaders of the Democratic party in Linn county.
In the year 1857 he was elected a member of the constitutional convention from Lane county, and assisted in framing the constitution of the now prosperous State of Oregon. In 1870 he was elected to the state Senate from Linn county, and was re-elected in 1882. During his last term as state Senator he was the author of the bill to regulate fares and freight upon railroads, known as the “Hoult Law.” In every public capacity, to serve the best interest of the people was his highest end and aim; and as a consequence he maintained their respect. He was dignified, obliging, kind and courteous in his conversation, and upright in his dealings with his fellow men. His death causes a void in the community, and true, heartfelt grief to his sorrowing children. Long will his memory live in the hearts of his friends, and his grave be kept green by the filial love of a devotion that cannot forget the sacred ties of consanguinity; and his name will ever be honorably associated among the pioneers of the state. He was a zealous Mason, having filled every station from his initiation to the Royal Arch degree; and, when the Great Architect of the universe called him home, his Masonic brethren laid him to rest, beloved, trusted and honored in life; and in his death a station is made vacant that none can fill.