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HOUTZ, William H., merchant tailor, was born in Bethel township, Lebanon county, Pa., December 15, 1833. He is a son of the late William and Nancy (Hunsicker) Houtz. His grandparents were both natives of Lebanon county. The grandfather was a farmer and distiller. He hauled the product of his distillery to Philadelphia by team, where he disposed of it and loaded his wagon for return with merchandise of various kinds. He had eight children, only one of whom survives, John, a farmer living in Indiana.

William Houtz, the father of William H., was born in Bethel township, Lebanon county, Pa., January 1, 1803. He was a son of Henry Houtz. In his younger days he was engaged in farming. He also conducted a distillery for about fifteen years. He was married, in 1826, to Nancy, daughter of Chistian (sic) and Sally (Newcomer) Hunsicker, a native of Bethel township, Lebanon county. They had twelve children, nine of whom are living: Henry, David, William, Samuel, Lydia, wife of John Ritter, Daniel, Nancy, wife of John Yorker, Elias, and Elizabeth, wife of John Sholley. Two children died in infancy and Samuel died in October, 1894, at the age of sixty years, on the old homestead in Lebanon county.

William H. Houtz had very limited opportunities for receiving an education. He is practically a self-made man, in the best sense of that word, for his success in life is the result of his own efforts, industry and energy. At the age of seventeen he learned the trade of tailor and has followed it through life. In 1848 he came to Harrisburg and engaged to work at his trade with Adam McAfee, continuing in his employ for sixteen years. On August 7, 1864, he enlisted in comany (sic) H, Two Hundred and First regiment, Pennsylvania volunteers, and served in the army for nearly one year. He was discharged June 11, 1865. While on picket duty he was struck on the head by a fragment of a shell. After returning from the army he moved to Lower Paxton township, Dauphin county, Pa., and engaged in farming for four years; then moved back to Harrisburg and worked at his trade for William Sayford. December 31, 1879, he moved to No. 306 Broad street, and engaged in business for himself. In 1884 he bought the large and commodious property lately owned by Mr. Ensminger, where he has carried on his business and where he still resides. He has been a member of Castle No. 40, K. of G. E., for twelve years, being one of the charter members. He is also a member of City Lodge, No. 301, I. O. O. F. He has been a member of the Improved Order of Heptasophs for about eleven years. Mr. Houtz is a Republican. He was married, July 5, 1852, to Mary, daughter of William and Magdalena Douglass. They had three children: Adam D., Mary E, (sic) wife of Robert Gher, and William B., died in 1861, at the age of five years and four months. His wife died June 5, 1875, at the age of fifty-two years. He was married, the second time, July 5, 1876, to Elizabeth, daughter of Daniel andMary (sic) (Mellinger) Stroh. They have no children.

William Douglass, the father of Mary (Douglass) Houtz, the first wife of William H. Houtz, was a farmer of Scotch descent. He married Miss Gibble, a native of Lebanon county. They had four children, one of whom survives, John, living in Indiana. Their deceased children are: Jeremiah, Benjamin, Peter and Mary. For many years Mr. Douglass taught school in winter and served as pilot on the river in summer. He was married the second time to Miss Walter. They had five children: Uriah, Henry, Franklin, Archibald and Catherine.

Elizabeth Stroh, the second wife of William H. Houtz, was born January 26, 1848. Her parents were natives of Lebanon county. Her father, Daniel Stroh, was born in February, 1802. He learned wagon making and followed this occupation for many years. For twenty-six years he taught school. He was married, in 1833, to Mary, daughter of Jacob and Mary (Gebhard) Mellinger. They had seven children, four of whom are living: Leah, Mary, Elizabeth, and Sally, wife of John Connor. Three children died in infancy. In 1861 Daniel Stroh was elected recorder of wills of Lebanon county and served for three years. In 1865 he was appointed postmaster of Annville, Pa. He held this office at the time of his death, having served six years. He died, in 1871, aged sixty-two and was highly esteemed by all who knew him. He was a Republican and was a member of the Lutheran church.

Mary Mellinger, the mother of Mrs. Houtz, was born in Lebanon county, February 20, 1814, and died in Harrisburg, August 25, 1884, at the age of seventy years.

Historical Review of Dauphin County

Transcribed by Linda Mockenhaupt ronm@westol.com for The Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Transcription Project - http://maley.net/transcription.

Date of Transcription: 3 April 2001

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