|George W. Houx, Johnson County, Missouri|
GEORGE WASHINGTON HOUX,
a wideawake and intelligent citizen of Johnson County, and a prominent farmer residing in township 46, range 27, is a native of Missouri, having been born in the log portion of his present home, where he has since resided. His birth occurred on the 25th of December, 1839, and he is a son of Philip S. and Margaret H. (Morrow) Houx, who were the parents of eight children, though, with the exception of our subject, but one, James H., survives. 26 The father was born in Eogan County, Ky., November 3, 1804, and with his parents removed to Indiana about 1814, where they remained but a short time, owing to the depredations of the Indians. The pioneers had to keep constantly on their guard, and even then many brutal and horrible murders were committed. On returning to Kentucky they remained there but a few months, when they emigrated to Missouri, settling in Cooper County, near Boonville, which then contained only two or three houses. There the grandfather of our subject, Jacob Houx, spent the remainder of his life. He had become a prosperous farmer, and did much for the development of the county, where he was held in the highest esteem. His public spirit always manifested itself when any movement was on foot for the community's interests. His death occurred in 1853. The early life of Philip S. Houx was spent upon the frontier, living in both Indiana and Missouri when they were very sparsely settled. On reaching manhood he went to Lafayette County, Mo., where he began farming, and for thirteen years made that county his home. During that time he improved two farms, but in 1838 came to Johnson County, where he entered land and built a log house. Being an industrious, energetic man, prosperity soon crowned his efforts, and he was enabled to add to his original tract, until at the time of his death he was the owner of some two thousand acres of land in township 46, range 27. He was accustomed to the hardships and privations of pioneer life, and seemed to adapt himself to almost anything. In the early days he often devoted his spare hours to making shoes for his family. His wife, who was born in South Carolina, September 15, 1798, departed this life on the 26th of April, 1884. She was a faithful helpmate to her husband and did much to insure his success. She spun a great deal of yarn and made the clothes for the family. George W. Houx grew to manhood under the parental roof, during which time he acquired a limited education in the district schools. In the early days the farm work had to be done, and education was not to be thought of, and on account of his father's death he early started out for himself. Shortly afterward the farm was divided and two hundred and forty acres fell to the share of our subject. He has since successfully operated it, and from time to time has added more land, until now he has four hundred and twenty broad acres under a high state of cultivation. Up to 1876 our subject's mother resided with him, and he was entirely devoted to her. Mr. Houx is an active member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church,
|Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Warrensburg, MO|
College and Grover Streets
and by a blameless life sets a good example. A straight and stanch Democrat in politics, in the exercise of his elective franchise he supports the candidates offered by that party. He is a leading and influential member of the community, and makes friends of all with whom he comes in contact.
familiarly known as "Uncle Mat," is doubtless one of the best known pioneers of Johnson County, his home being in town.ship 46, range 27. Though in his eighty-second year, he is still hale and hearty, and enjoys a fox chase as much as in his younger days, and can yet ride his horse over a six-rail fence. He has always been an enthusi- astic hunter, and keeps a pack of blooded hounds. Born February 26, 1814, our subject is one of eleven children, whose parents were Jacob and Dorothy (Simons) Houx, and is the only survivor of the family. His father was born in Maryland, March 20, 1782, and was brought up as a farmer. Early in life he moved to Kentucky and successfully conducted a farm in Logan County until 1816, when he moved to Cooper County, Mo. He was one of the earliest settlers there, as only two or three houses had then been put up in Boonville. Buying land, he there passed the remainder of his busy and useful life, dying in October, 1853. A man of sterling qualities, his death was regretted by all who knew him. The education of Matthias Houx was of a most limited kind, as during his boyhood the schools in the West were poorly conducted. In 1853 he left home to make his own livelihood, and the first money which he earned was for a month's work at chopping and hewing some heavy timber. At the end of two years of hard labor — splitting rails at fifty cents a hundred, and surveying at $15 a month— he had saved enough to enter eighty acres of land, a portion of his present farm. Here he settled down and industriously began clearing and cultivating the place. As the years rolled by prosperity attended his efforts, he made numerous investments, and now owns seven hundred and eighty acres in the garden spot of Missouri. At all times he has kept clear of debt, and attributes a large share of his success to this fact. In 1849, during the gold fever, he emigrated to California and for two years sought the precious metal. During that period he had many exciting experiences, and still keeps in perfect condition the old flint-lock rifle which served him well in many encounters with grizzly bears. Once while riding through the forest he passed a wounded bear without knowledge of its proximity. The infuriated beast, with one stroke of its powerful paw, tore away the entire haunch of his saddle horse, throwing the rider into the bushes, some distance away, and he was glad to make his escape on his hands and knees through the underbrush. At the end of two years Mr. Houx returned home with some stock and about $2,000 in money. February 17, 1853, the marriage of our subject and Elizabeth Bradley was celebrated. Her parents, Orlando and Susan D. Bradley, were natives of Virginia, and their family numbered eleven children, of whom five still survive. Mr. Bradley organized and commanded a company during the Mormon troubles, and was always afterward known as "Captain" Bradley. Mr. Houx also participated in the Mormon War, and was present when Joe Smith, founder of the sect, was capttured. Six children came to bless the home of Mr. and Mrs. Houx. One is deceased, and the others are Mrs. Susan Anderson; Mary, Mrs. Eva Cook; Margaret and Mrs. Catherine King. Mr. Houx has three grandchildren, the children of Mrs. Eva Cook. He is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and gives liberally to benevolent and religious enterprises. His right of franchise is used in favor of the Democratic party.