Page 726-727, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


W. J. Houston, a prominent citizen of Murdock township, is a dominant factor in the affairs of that township, and has been a part of the progress of Butler county for thirty-seven years Mr. Houston is a native of North Carolina, and his parents, James F. and Mary (Patterson) Houston, were descendants of old southern families of Scotch-Irish ancestry.

W. J. Houston located in Butler county in 1879, coming here at the solicitation of Mr. Cameron, a real estate man, who brought him out to


what was then known as the "Whitewater District." He did not buy land immediately upon coming here, but rented eighty acres and engaged in the stock business. After renting for two years he was so favorably impressed with the locality that he bought 160 acres in Murdock township and began the stock business on his own place. He "batched" for the first year and in April 1883 he was married to Miss Susan M. White, then a Butler county school teacher. She is a daughter of John White, a pioneer of Plum Grove township.

During the first year on his place, Mr Houston had made many improvements, including a good residence, hay barn, stable, etc. He has combined stock raising with general farming and has been unusually successful. He now owns a section of fine productive bottom land, the value of which, when he bought it, ranged from $15 to $30 per acre. It is now worth between $75 and $100 per acre. Mr. Houston has followed the policy of feeding the grain product of his place to his cattle, which he has found to be the most profitable method of farming and stock raising. He is one of the successful alfalfa growers of this section, and has about 100 acres devoted to that crop.

To Mr. and Mrs. Houston have been born seven children, as follows: Eula, Ona, Maggie, Orin, Zada, Alta, and William Harris, all of whom have received good educations and reside at home.

Mr. Houston is a student of men and events and a very close observer. He takes a keen interest in the public affairs of his county and State and has frequently been called to positions of trust and honor by his fellow citizens. He has served one term as county commissioner of Butler county, and in 1912 was elected to represent his district in the State legislature which he did with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of his constituents. While serving as county commissioner he conducted the affairs of the county in the same business like manner which is characteristic of his painstaking methods in his private business affairs. He has also held a number of local offices, having been a member of the school board for a number of years, and also justice of the peace of Murdock township. He says that Butler county has been good to him. He is a broad-gauged, big hearted and liberal minded man, who realizes and appreciates the honor and trust which his friends and neighbors have imposed in him. Mr. Houston saw much of the history of Butler county in the making, as it were, and is unusually familiar with the story of pioneer life of Butler county.

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