Christian HOUTZ, b. 27Dec1806


biography from Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887

CHRISTIAN HOUTZ, of Oskaloosa, is of French descent and of the old Huguenot stock of France. His grandfather was Philip Alfonso Lorento DeHautze, who came to America in 1726, when eleven years of age, with his parents, and settled at Bethlehem, Pa. Afterward they removed to Berks County, Pa., where Christian was born Dec. 27, 1806. Christian Houtz is the son of John Houtz, who was born in 1762. He married Elizabeth Winter, a lady of English descent, born in America, and who died while Christian was a child of eighteen months. They were the parents of four sons and three daughters, Christian being the only surviving one. Mr. John Houtz was again married to a Mrs. Snevly. Politically John Houtz was a strong Federalist, a man well posted in political affairs and held the office of Justice of the Peace for twenty-four years. Occupying a prominent position in the community where he lived, he was the arbiter of all difficulties among his neighbors. He was an influential member of the German Reform Church, in which he held the position of Elder for many years. He died at Fredericksburg, Pa., in the year 1828. The subject of this sketch, Christian Houtz, received his education in the common schools. When sixteen years of age he was apprenticed to the trade of carpenter and joiner, serving an apprenticeship of two and one-half years, receiving no compensation for his labor, and furnishing his own board and mending. After finishing his apprenticeship he went to Buffalo, N. Y., then a small town, where he followed his trade. In the spring of 1834 he went to Perrysburg, where he spent thirteen years. He was at Toledo, Ohio, when it was a hamlet of three houses. In the spring of 1847 he came to Burlington, Iowa, by water, his intention being to locate at the capital of the State, and he remained in Burlington four or five weeks awaiting the action of the commissioners of location. After being informed by Gen. Dodge that Des Moines would be the place, he started with a team for that point. An unusual amount of rain washed out all the bridges along the route. Arriving at Oskaloosa he discharged his teamster and settled here. He purchased twenty acres of land adjoining the city limits of Oskaloosa, and three years later forty more, which is now a portion of the city proper. In 1854 he laid off Houtz's first addition to Oskaloosa, and in 1875, at the time the Rock Island branch was built into the city, he donated four and a half acres to the corporation for a depot ground, and laid out the remainder as his second addition to the city. Mr. Houtz has always taken a lively interest in the prosperity of the city, and there is probably no man who has done more for its upbuilding than he. In all laudable enterprises he has been a generous giver. Politically he has always been an unswerving Democrat of the Jacksonian school, and has been a regular subscriber to the Chicago Daily Times for the past twenty-six years. He was twice the candidate of his party for County Judge and once for Representative in the General Assembly of Iowa, but his party being in the minority he was defeated. However, he received the flattering compliment of having run ahead of his ticket 200 votes. Four times he was elected to the City Council. During the war he was an ardent supporter of the Union cause. In 1873 Mr. Houtz visited the continent of Europe, traveling over seventeen different countries, and visiting all the different cities and points of interest in them, attending also the great World's Fair at Vienna, Austria. While homeward bound on the steamer Australia he encountered the most severe storm ever known upon the Atlantic Ocean, during the continuance of which over 1,000 vessels were wrecked, and more than 600 lives lost. Mr. Houtz has, in addition to his European travels, visited nearly every State in the Union, and is a man well versed in the public affairs of his State and county. He was made a Mason in the year 1854; aud ranks as a Knight Templar. In 1880 he attended the Triennial conclave at Chicago, where, notwithstanding his age, he being seventy-four years old at that time, he was in the procession and made a march of seven miles. In 1883 he attended the Triennial Conclave at San Francisco, Cal., and again at St Louis in 1886. He was married at Fredericksburg, Pa., Feb. 22, 1830, to Miss Priscilla Cloyer. She was born in Pennsylvania in 1812. The issue of this marriage was one child, Eva H., afterward the wife of ex-Lieut. Gov. John K. Needham, who died in Oskaloosa in the year 1868. His widow still survives, and resides in this city. Priscilla HOUTZ died Feb. 2, 1872. -She was a sincere Christian, and an acceptable member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Houtz was again married, Oct. 1, 1873, to Josephine M. Jenkins, who is a native of Ohio, born in Carroll County. Mr. Houtz is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, a liberal supporter of its benevolences, and a firm believer in its faith. A public-spirited citizen, he is a generous supporter of all enterprises of merit that tend to the upbuilding of the community in which he has lived so long, and enjoys the confidence and respect of his fellow-citizens in a large degree.

Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887

Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy

Iowa Genealogy

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