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Obituary of Capt B F Houston

Submitted by: Martha Glenn Stephens Cofield

The Democrat McKinley TX Collin Co Thursday, April 24, 1902

Capt. B. F. Houston is dead. Monday evening at 8 o'clock while the mantle of night was drawing around the home, the spirit of this subject gently withdrew from its earthly abode and softly winged its flight to the farther shore.

In the demise of Captain Houston it can be truly said, a faithful and loving husband, father and friend, and noblest type of citizenship has left us. He was honorable in word or deed, genial in companionship, true to himself and false to none. His kindly face brightened one's pathway and his tender words soothed the heart, eliciting admiration and love.

B. F. Houston, son of Major A. and Esther (Walker) Houston, was born on his father's farm, 16 miles southwest of Charlotte, North Carolina on the 7th day of January 1830. His mother was a daughter of Capt. Andrew Walker of Revolutionary fame and was born and reared at the old and well known Walker homestead. In 1840 Major Houston left North Carolina and moved to his lands lying on the Tallahatchie River, Northeast of Oxford, Mississippi.

Here young Houston obtained the first rudiments of his education in a little log school house, he improved upon his limited opportunities for five years when the death of his father occurred and he being the eldest son then at home had to leave school and work the farm. At this though but a lad of 15 years, he, aided by his mother's counsel, made an unqualified success, but five years later he obtained his mother's consent to go back to live with his brother, a merchant in North Carolina, and completed his rather limited education. In this succeeded far beyond his expectations, becoming proficient in mathematics, book-keeping and business management.

His brother finally proposed that he should return to Mississippi where he was to be supplied with all the necessary stock to start a store and equally share the profits. This offer he accepted, but after returning from a business tour through Texas he was notified of his brother's death and asked to return to North Carolina and take charge of the business. This offer he declined and returned to farming, and in 1853 he bought a farm two miles from his mother's place and began to accumulate land, negroes, and other property, this he continued to do until 1861, when he enterd the 34th Regiment Mississippi Volunteers as a private. He was advanced from time to time until he was severly wounded while leading his regiment in a charge upon the Federal breastworks at Jonesboro, Georgia, and was sent to the hospital camps where he remained until the final surrender in 1865. He was made colonel of the regiment at the battle of Perryville, KY, at which time he was wounded in the thigh. Just after said battle he paid $25. for a sabre taken from a Union Colonel. Before his death he bequethed this relic to his grandson, Benjamin Smith. After the surrender he returned to his home in Mississippi a cripple, and found that he had dependent upon him a cripple wife and four helpless children, his negroes were freed and his mules had been taken by the federals, and his wife was trying to raise as much on the farm as she could with one superannuated mule and having to contend with many other difficulties caused by dilapidated fencing and a lack of ready money. Notwithstanding the bad outlook he determined to restore his estate to its former position and by hard work raised enough corn to last over until the next season and three bales of cotton. In November 1865 some of his friends knowing of his business ability proposed that he abandon farming and become a partner in a merchantile business, he to attend to the buying and look after the finances, this offer he accepted and in the spring of 1866 bought a stock which he hauled home in wagons and handled with great success. From that time his success has been remarkable. He started another store in October 1866 at Abbeville, Mississippi, which was a railroad station, and commenced to trade in lands. He built a store house and a cotton gin at Abbeville and besides his other business kept the hotel, bought and sold mules and furnished wood and ties to the railroad company. His business assumed enormous propertions and every dollar that he could spare from it he invested in lands. In 1876 he exchanged fourteen lots that he owned in South St. Louis for Texas farmlands, these lands he immediately began to cultivate and improve, and kept adding to his possessions until their extent required his personal supervision and he removed his family to McKinney, Texas in 1887 where they have since resided. In 1853 when he purchased his first farm, Capt. Houston was united in marriage to Miss Martha Driver, daughter of Col. G. L. Driver of Mississippi. The union has been a happy one and to Mrs. Houston's helpful advice, careful management and cheerful self-sacrifice in the gloomy days of the war is due much of the prosperity that has since been their lot. They have reared six children namely: Giles, Dr. D. F., and C. A. Houston, Mrs. Ettie Smith (deceased), Mrs. J. R. Brown, and Mrs. Mary Nelson. His wife died in 1899 and was laid to rest in the Pecan Grove cemetery where the burial of Capt. Houston took place Tuesday afternoon. info.

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