Pages 346-347, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




CHARLES HOUSER—On scores of farms in Kansas are men who were educated in the trades. In many cases they are men who were high up in their occupations and able to command the best wages, but they preferred the free life of the farm rather than the uncertain, and oftimes precarious life in the factories. Among the men who left positions of trust and profit as a mechanic to found a home on the prairies of Kansas is Charles Houser, of Humboldt township. Born in Germany October 16, 1839, he came to America in 1864, and at once secured employment at his trade of cabinet maker. His ability soon secured him a good position with a railroad company in Buffalo, New York, where he worked for many years. In 1868 he moved to South Bend, Indiana, and worked at his trade there. Two years later he followed the great tide of immigration to Kansas, stopping at Humboldt. Here he resumed his trade, carefully saving his money and investing it in an 80 acre farm. For years he alternated with work on the farm and in the cabinet shops. He has added largely to his land holdings and now he has one of the splendid farms in the county. It consists of 320 acres of well improved land, with ample shed and stable room and a comfortable residence. The same careful attention to his work that made his services as a cabinet maker always in demand has been applied to the work of improving and cultivating his farm and it has brought him the success which such efforts always insure.

Mr. Houser has always devoted much attention to the raising of


horses and in spite of the low prices which they have commanded for the past few years he succeeded in making the business profitable. To this has been added the raising of cattle and hogs.

When Mr. Houser came to America the civil war was still raging and he was offered $1,000 to go as a substitute for a man who had been drafted, but the five years he had spent in the army in his native country had left a distaste for army life which he could not overcome and the offer was declined. But he has great love for his adopted country and should they ever need his services as a soldier they will be cheerfully given.

Mr. Houser was married to Louisa Wolf in Buffalo, New York, in November, 1866. She is also a native of Germany. Five children have been born to them: Charles W., David M., Fred, Henry and Christiane.

Mr. Houser has always been an earnest advocate of Republican principles and has always affiliated with that party except that he is not in harmony with the prohibition law.

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