Houghton, Horace H.

Born: 1806-10-26 Springfield, Vermont

Died: 1879-04-30 Galena, Illinois

Flourished: Galena, Illinois

Horace H. Houghton was a farmer, printer, journalist, newspaper editor and publisher, miner, and temperance advocate. Left in poverty upon the death of his father, Houghton went to live with a local farmer, for whom he worked until he was eighteen. In October 1824, Houghton moved to Woodstock, Vermont, where he began an apprenticeship as a printer with the publisher of the Woodstock Overseer. Houghton’s apprenticeship ended in 1827 and he secured work as a journeyman printer in Amherst, New Hampshire. After a year, he moved to Castleton, Vermont, to publish the Vermont Statesman but, finding the position already occupied, he preceded on to New York City, where he worked for Harper & Brothers and the Central Gazette. After a brief stint in Boston, Massachusetts, Houghton returned to Castleton to become editor of the Vermont Statesman, holding that position until 1834. Houghton became an enthusiastic supporter of Henry Clay and the Whig Party. In addition to his work with the Statesman, Houghton also published the Rutland Herald, the Voice of the People, the Middlebury American, and the Vergennes Gazette. In 1834, he married Sylvia Gridley. In that same year, Houghton decided to move west, settling in St. Louis, where he worked for a short time at the Missouri Republican. He moved on to Galena, Illinois, in 1835. After briefly trying his hand at lead mining, he began working for the Northwestern Gazette and Galena Advertiser and became sole owner of the paper in 1838. He soon changed it to the Tri-Weekly Gazette and remained owner until 1843, when he sold it. However, he again took control in 1847 and edited it for a year before founding the Galena Daily Advertiser in 1848. Through that paper, Houghton became one of the most prominent Whig - and later, Republican - editors in Illinois and remained connected with it until 1863. He also became involved in the temperance movement and served as secretary of the Galena Temperance Society. Sylvia Houghton died in 1856, and in November 1859, Houghton married Mary Jacobs. In 1860, Houghton was living in Galena’s First Ward and owned real property valued at $60,000 and had a personal estate of $30,000.

Galena Daily Gazette (IL), 1 May 1879, 2:1; The Biographical Encyclopedia of Illinois of the Nineteenth Century (Philadelphia: Galaxy, 1875), 219-20; The History of Jo Daviess County Illinois (Chicago: H. F. Kett, 1878), 372, 433, 477; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Ward 1, Galena, Jo Daviess County, IL, 23; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Jo Daviess County, 24 November 1859, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Gravestone, Greenwood Cemetery, Galena, IL.