Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.


P. Sherman Houston

P. Sherman Houston P. SHERMAN HOUSTON. The Houston family, represented by P. S. Houston, president of the Gem State Bank, has been identified with Thomas County for more than thirty years. They have had much to do with the development of the agricultural resources, stock raising on a large scale, and with various business activities centered at Gem.

This branch of the Houston family comes from one of the interesting and historic sections of the old State of Tennessee. Several generations of them were born and lived in Union County, Tennessee, in the shadow of the Cumberland range of mountains. This district, it will be recalled, was strongly Union during the Civil war, most of the people there being of the sturdy Scotch-Irish stock. It was from the same locality that the great Texas general and statesman, Sam Houston, came, and he was closely related to some of the earlier Houston generations. The grandfather of P. S. Houston was William Houston, who was born in Union County, Tennessee, in 1807, and died there in 1885, having spent all his life as a mountaineer farmer. He married Elizabeth Hunicutt, who also spent all her life in East Tennessee.

P. S. Houston himself is a native of Union County, where he was born April 27, 1875. His father, John Houston, was born in that county in 1844, and there grew up and married, and spent his active career as a farmer. In 1862, like many of his neighbors, he enlisted on the side of the Union in the Civil war. His service was with the Eighth Tennessee Infantry, and he fought in the battles of Shiloh, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Chickamauga, and many other decisive engagements of the war. He was first in General Thomas' Corps and then in General Sherman's Corps, and was in the Atlanta campaign. He was mustered out at the close of the war, returned to Union County and in 1880 brought his family west and settled on the frontier in Pawnee County, Nebraska, but in 1881 removed to Washington County, Kansas. He established his home in Thomas County in 1886 and was identified with some of the pioneer farmers there. He died at Gem in 1916. He was member of the Grand Army of the Republic, a republican in politics and a very active supporter of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

John Houston married Mary Keck, who was born in Union County, Tennessee, in 1843 and died at Gem, Kansas, in 1914. Of their children the oldest, Doctor Henry, is a graduate of Rush Medical College, Chicago, and is a successful physician in that city. F. M. Houston owns large farming interests and is a banker at Sterling, Kansas. Harriet A., born in 1872, and died at Belleville, Kansas, in 1896, was the wife of A. C. McPherson, who owns a dray and transfer business at Belleville. The fourth in the family is P. Sherman Houston. Nannie H. died in the hospital at Auburn, Nebraska, October 23, 1917, and was the wife of H. R. Anderson, a resident of Gem and cashier of the Gem State Bank.

P. Sherman Houston was eleven years of age when brought to Thomas County. Nearly all his recollections are concerned with this state. He attended public school at Gem and spent the first twenty-one years of his life on his father's farm. He then took up farming on his own account and was personally interested in that vocation until 1906. Since then his efforts have been directed to the supervision of some extensive ranches and farms in Thomas County, comprising altogether 7,500 acres. He is a large cattle raiser and feeder, having from 700 to 800 head on his pastures, and has done much to promote the fine Hereford stock. Since 1906 his home has been in Gem, where he has been engaged in the real estate business and also an interested factor in the Gem State Bank. In 1911 he became president of the Gem State Bank, which was established in 1905 under a state charter, and has capital and surplus of $20,000. A. J. Smith is vice president and H. R. Anderson is cashier of the bank.

Mr. Houston's interests in business affairs are widely diversified. He owns an elevator at Gem and one at Goodland, is a director in the Kansas Central Indemnity Company at Hutchinson and in the Capital Livestock Insurance Company at Topeka, He is also treasurer of the Hopper Oil and Gas Company of Decatur County, incorporated for $100,000. In 1918 his name was prominently mentioned as a candidate for Congress, though his many business affairs strongly disinclined him to any political participation of that kind. He is a republican, is a member and treasurer of the Baptist Church, and is affiliated with St. Thomas Lodge No. 306, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Sunlight Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and Rexford Camp of the Modern Woodmen of America. He is a member of the Kansas Bankers Association and the American Bankers Association.

May 18, 1898, in Thomas County, Mr. Houston married Miss Carrie D. Lutgen, daughter of Athenus and Sarah (Asa) Lutgen. Her mother now resides at Auburn, Nebraska. Her father was killed by lightning in 1896. Mr. Lutgen was a pioneer farmer, coming to Kansas in 1885, and during the Civil war fought on the side of the Union with an Ohio regiment. Mr. and Mrs. Houston have six children: John Ross, who is still in the home circle and is a student in the State Normal School at Wayne, Nebraska; Glenn A., a graduate of the Colby High School and now a student in the Business College at Salina, Kansas; Twila, a freshman in the Gem High School; Wanda, in the eighth grade of the public schools; Ariel and Maxine are attending the grammar school at Gem.


Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

Volume 4 - Table of Contents

Tom & Carolyn Ward
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