A notable representative of the farming and stock-raising interests of Warren County, who occupies a handsome and well-appointed residence on his farm in Ellison Township, was born in Aroostook County, Maine, August 11, 1831, a son of Joseph and Almira (Ray) Houlton.
His father was born near Salem , Massachusetts , in 1799, and his mother near Manchester , N. H., in 1805. His paternal grandparents were Joseph and Sarah (Putnam) Houlton, both natives of Massachusetts . Edward Ray was his mother's father. The Houlton family is of English descent; the elder Joseph Houlton came from Maine to Illinois in 1852, buying a farm in Section 32, Ellison Township, Warren County, where he engaged in farming and stockraising on a very extensive scale. At the time of his death in 1883, he had divided his estate of 530 acres among his children.
His widow died in 1894. They had five sons and one daughter: Fred R., of Kirkwood, Ill.; Edward R., of Florida; Charles A., of Delmont, S. D.; Frances, Mrs. F. L. Pierson, of Yankton, S. D.; and J. Franklin, of Monmouth, Ill. Joseph Houlton, whose name appears above, remained at the homestead until he was thirty years of age, when he engaged in farming for himself. His efforts in this line have been very successful, and he now owns a fine farm of 210 acres contained in Section 32, Ellison Township .
Mr. Houlton was married September 7, 1887 , in Conway , Iowa , to Mary L. Kimball, by whom he has the following children: Phoebe Almira, Joseph Samuel, Ina May and Charles Franklin. Mrs. Hoxilton was born in Ellison Township , September 18,1860 , and is the daughter of Samuel and Phoebe (Rider) Kimball, the former a native of Ohio , and the latter of New York . Phoebe (Rider) Kimball was the daughter of Jacob Rider, who came from New York and settled in Ellison Township in 1839 and engaged quite extensively in farming. He was a prominent man and died at Oquawka.. in 1879. aged eighty-seven years. Samuel Kimball was a tinner by trade, but later bought the old Rider homestead. His death occurred in Ellison, in 1895. Phoebe (Rider) Kimball died in Ellison in 1886, at the age of fifty-three years.
They had thirteen children, of whom those now living are: William H., Charles, Edward, Phoebe R., Lettie G. and Lowe F., all of whom are now living in Kansas, and Elizabeth R., Abbie J. and Carrie, who are living in Monmouth, Ill. Mr. Houlton is a member of the Methodist church, and in politics is a Republican. He has been an extensive traveler through the Western States, and is a man of much intelligence and good judgment.
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