History and images have been compiled from various sources including, among others, the 1987 National Register of Historic Places, Stack & Beasley's 1902 Sketches of Monroe and Union County, Union County Public Library (Patricia Poland, Genealogy & Local History Librarian), the Heritage Room Photo Collection, North Carolina Map Collection, Rootsweb - An Ancestry.com Community and Ancestry.com family histories.

Houston Family

Hugh McCombs Houston 1817-1901
David John Houston (1718-1763) - first to settle Anson
William Elliott Houston (1742-1822)
John M. Houston (1784-1877)
Hugh McCombs Houston (1817-1901) 
Robert Virgil Houston (1846-1914) 

Houston family trees trace back to John Houseson (1475-1525) born in Dublin, Ireland. The name seems to have evolved to Houston with John Houston (1611-1671) born in Scotland and died in Philadelphia. Houstons were among the Ulster-Scots who streamed into Lancaster County, PA after its separation from Chester County, PA in 1729. William E. Houston's father David John Houston (1718-1763) obtained a Blunston Land Warrant in Pennsylvania in 1737 to settle in Cumberland Valley. He moved to Anson County, NC in 1751 and settled midway between Davidson's Creek and the Irish settlement, on 640 acres adjoining James Huggen. 

Hugh McCombs Houston (1817-1901) was the son of John M. Houston (1784-1877), born in Hays Creek, VA, and Elizabeth Potts (1792-1831), born in Meckenburg County (later Union). John M. Houston's father William Elliot Houston (1742-1822), was born in Concordville, PA and died in Providence, Union County, NC.  William E. Houston married Margaret Williams on December 23, 1767 in Providence Presbyterian Church, Mecklenburg County, NC.

Other children of John and Elizabeth included: John Patterson (1814-1895); Emily married John Condor; Nancy Agnes (1813-1895) marrried Thomas Ditmas Winchester; Susannah (b.1822) married Willis Elkins; Margaret (b.1825), never married; Ambrose Potts married 1) Eliza B. Lawson and 2) Martha A. Nichols; John C.; and William McKee Houston (b.1824) married Mary C. Watson.

Hugh McCombs Houston, born April 13, 1817 in Mecklenburg County, married Margaret H. Reid on November 6, 1840. Their children included: William M. (1840-1850), Ellen Elizabeth "Ella" (1841-1916) married David Franklin Armfield (1841-1865), Martha Margaret (1843-1911) married Leslie A.W. Turner, Robert Virgil (1846-1914) married Celestia Alice Covington, John R. (1851-1852), Solomon C. (1852-1857), Hugh L. (1856-1857) and Alice M. Houston (1858-1863).

In 1900, H.M. Houston 82, was head of household; others in the home were his sister Margaret Houston 75, nephew Clarence 24 and servants Thomas Soul, Mary Funderburk and Cora Caswell.


Robert Virgil Houston 1846-1914
Robert Virgil Houston (1846-1914) was born in Monroe. In 1868 he married Celestia Alice Covington (1852-1889). Children of R.V. and Celestia were: Hugh McCombs (1869-1933), David Anderson (1871-1939), Ellen F. (1873-1949), Clarence Eustace (1874-1926), Lola (1881-1912) and Celestia C.”Lessie” (1888-). 

After his wife’s death in 1889, R.V. married Nancy E. “Nannie” Stroud in 1891. They had three children: Margaret Reid born in 1892, Robert Stroud (1894-1944) and Octavia (1897-1979). 

“Mr. R.V. Houston enjoys the distinction of being the oldest original citizen of Monroe. He is 56 years of age, and no one has lived in Monroe so long as he. Though very young at the time, he volunteered in Company C. 10th N.C. Artillery under Capt. C.M.T. McCauley. He has ever been an enthusiastic Confederate. He has subscribed $50 to the proposed Confederate monument for the county, and has in other ways shown his love for the cause. After the war he engaged in merchandising under the firm name of Houston & Co. He has since been engaged in farming, and now s one of the largest planters in the county. He now operates more that twenty plows. Mr. Houston, though enjoying wide popularity, has never sought office, though if he had turned his attention to politics there is no doubt he would have achieved large success in that field. He spends his time quietly in looking after his large property interests and in directing his farms. His has fine conversational powers, is a natural wit and never fails to entertain and amuse any crowd in which he may fall.” Stack & Beasley

Robert V. Houston Obituary (posted on confederatevets.com)

Robert V. Houston was a Confederate veteran, and his old comrades never had a more helpful friend nor one who did more to make life more pleasant for them. In the meetings of his Camp he made the most obscure member feel that all barriers between comrades were burned away by the fires of fellowship and good will. He had a kindly word, a helping hand for the unfortunate comrade. His heart was big, and his comradeship and good cheer will long be missed.

Mr. Houston was a native of Monroe, N.C., and the only son of the late H. M. Houston, one of the most prominent citizens of his county. He was born in 1848 and was but a boy when he joined Capt. C.M. McCauley's company, 10th Battalion of North Carolina Artillery. He was not only a good soldier and a kind companion to his comrades in arms, but a prominent man in civic life, having been mayor of Monroe for a number of years. He also represented his county in the legislature and ever stood for the things that tended to the progress and betterment of his community. He was educated in the best schools of his section, and his fine mind and great sense of humor made him welcome in any circle.

Mr. Houston was twice married, his first wife having been Miss Lessie Covington, daughter of Maj. D.A. Covington, a prominent citizen of Union County. Of this union there are three sons and two daughters surviving. His second marriage was to Miss Nannie Stroud, of a prominent family of South Carolina and great-granddaughter of the distinguished soldier and minister, Rev. Humphrey Hunter, of Mecklenburg fame. She survives him, with a son and two daughters.

His death occurred at his home, in Monroe, on January 17, 1914, and as a soldier of the cross he met the last great enemy, death, unafraid.


R.V. Houston House circa 1870 - 201 Lancaster Avenue (National Register)
 

"Believed to have been built by D.A. Covington as a wedding gift for his daughter Celestia and her husband R.V. Houston, who were married in 1868, this two-story frame house is the finest local example of the typical Greek Revival/Italianate dwelling popular in the mid-19th century in North Carolina. It appears on the 1882 Gray's Map of Monroe, and an 1884 deed records the transfer of the house from Covington's widow to their daughter Celestia Houston. Robert V. Houston (1846-1914), member of a prominent Monroe family, first engaged in the mercantile business and later in farming, becoming "one of the largest planters in the county." In the early 20th century, he served a term as the city's mayor. By this time, however, he had apparently moved to another house, his first wife having died in 1889 and Houston having remarried.

"Between about 1890 and 1905, when Houston sold the house to Seaboard Airline Railway employee Thomas B. Sale, the house was rented to Fetna Heath Crow and later to dry goods merchant A. Levy. The Sales sold the house in 1910 to 0.M. Saunders, whose family retained ownership until 1979.

"The house features a two-story, single-pile, center-hall main block which is topped by a pedimented side gable roof. One- and two-story gabled ells extend to the rear of the main block in a complex configuration; a one-story semi-hexagonal bay is located on the northwest elevation of the two-story rear ell. A two-tier pedimented portico with square classical posts extends from the center of the symmetrical three-bay facade. The main entrance has a Victorian door with diamond and lozenge pattern three-part transom and wide sidelights. Windows contain a variety of sash, including two over two, one over one and six over six. Brick chimneys with corbelled caps are located in interior end, interior and exterior rear positions. Decorative elements include elaborate cornice brackets, a scroll-sawn balustrade on the second floor of the portico, round-arch louvered attic vents in the gable ends of the front block, and rectangular louvered vents with cutout ornament in a rear wing. The house stands at an angle to the intersection of Lancaster Avenue and Parker Street, facing northeast." (NR)

  
R.V.'s sons David and Clarence Houston
D.A. Houston 1871-1939
C.E. Houston 1874-1926
David Anderson Houston, “senior member of the firm D.A. Houston & Brother, was born November 19, 1871, and was educated at Trinity College, North Carolina. After graduating with the degree of A.B. in June 1891, he was elected assistant instructor and Treasurer of the College, and served for two years. He then went to Mt. Airy, N.C., and engaged in the drug business. He remained there three and one-half years. In 1895 he was granted license to practice pharmacy by the State Board. In 1897 he returned to Monroe, his ‘native health,’ and opened up a large and select line of drugs in the Houston block. Since his return to Monroe he has been a factor in the progress of the city. He has served as director in the Monroe Oil & Fertilizer Company, the Henderson Roller Mill and the Perpetual Building & Loan Association. He has served one term as alderman of the city.

“In September 1900, he admitted into partnership with him his brother, Clarence E. Houston. The junior member is also a native of this city, and was born November 22, 1874. He was educated at Trinity College and afterwards entered the Maryland College of Pharmacy in July 1900. He is a member of the State Pharmaceutical Association and is an up-to-date Pharmacist. He is an unmarried man of pleasing address, and adds much to the popular favor of Houston’s Drug Store.


“D.A. Houston & Brother deal in everything kept in a first-class drug store, and pay especial attention to filling prescriptions day or night. These gentlemen are grandsons of the late H.M. Houston [President of People’s Bank of Monroe] and are divisees of very valuable property interests under his will, D.A. Houston being one of the executors. In every particular this firm is a strong one. Their large and growing trade is not the result of chance, but of their methods of doing business. They study their trade and strive to please their patrons. Mr. Carl Blakeney is connected with this popular store, and his urbane and magnetic manners so impress customers that they always come again when wanting anything in the drug line.” Stack & Beasley

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