Abraham S. Houck

Abrahma S. Houck, well-known veteran druggist at Shirley, this county, is a native of Pennsylvania, born in Adams county,. that state, February 8, 1848, son of George and Mary (Wirtz) Houck, both natives of that same state, the former born in York county in 1798 and the latter in Adams county in 1805, who were the parents of thirteen children, three of whom are still living the subject of this sketch having two sisters living, Mrs. E. Bowers, of Indianapolis, and Mrs. Johnston, of Centerville, this state. George Houck died in Centerville, Indiana, in 1883, and his widow survived until 1901, she being ninety-six years of age at the time of her death.

Abraham S. Houck was reared at Centerville, this state, receiving his elementary education in the schools there, one of his school teachers having been Professor Shortridge, after whom the Indianapolis high school bearing that name was named. He later attended for three terms the old Whitewater College, at Centerville after which he resumed his place on the farm, where he remained until 1868, in which year he engaged in the grocery business and a year later moved to Cambridge City, where he was engaged in the furniture and undertaking business until 1876, when he went to Kansas, locating at Emporia, where he was engaged in the same line until 1885. He then moved to Great Bend, same state, and after a residence of some years there, during which time he was engaged in the drug business, he returned to Indiana and was located at Indianapolis until he came to this county and embarked in the drug business at Shirley in 1896. Leaving his son in charge of the store there, Mr. Houck presently went to Kansas City, Missouri, where he was engaged in the drug business for four years, at the end of which time he went to Mexico, where for three years he was engaged in looking after mining interests which he had acquired in the meantime. In 1910 he returned to Shirley, resumed his drug business there and has been thus engaged since that time, being one of the best-known and most influential merchants of that place.

Mr. Houck has been twice married. In 1873 he was united in marriage to Martha P. Orr, of Cambridge City, who died in 1898, leaving three children, Maud, who married Fred Masterson, of Shirley; Minnie L., now principal of the native schools on the Island of Ceylon and Clarnece D., a prosperous druggist at Hartford City, this state. On January 1, 1900, Mr. Houck married, secondly, Mrs. Lucy Wiggins, of Carthage, this state. Mr. Houck is a member of the Christian church, while his wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and they take an active interest in the general good works of their home community. For years Mr. Houck was affiliated with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and with the Improved Order of Red Men, but upon going to Mexico permitted his membership in both orders to lapse.

Transcribed from History of Hancock County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions by George J. Richman, B. L., Federal Publishing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1916. Pages 898-899.

Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI September 24, 2001.

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