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|Township of Houghton | Settlement | Township Officers|
|Houghton was first
settled along the Lake Road, which in it western half ran between the
present Lake Road and the shore. The earliest settlers were the Beckers,
Loucks, Burgars, in the eastern part, and the Walker family in the
west.Thomas Burgar and his wife have numerous descendants. Of five
daughters, Deborah Ann, the wife of Deacon Allen, now of Port Burwell, and
Mary, the wife of Philip Loucks, are the only two surviving. David and
John still live in Houghton. Isaac is at Port Burwell.
Philip and Benjamin Loucks also settled in Houghton about 1820. Philip died in 1858. Benjamin still lives in Houghton.
Philip and Christian John Becker settled in the township about the same time. The wife of Elder Treadwell, Mrs. Chas. Raymond and Mrs. Walter McEwing are daughters of Philip Becker. Of his sons only two, John and Aaron, now live in the township. Philip is dead. William and Joseph are in Michigan. Christian John Becker married one of the Troyers of Walsingham. Two of their sons, Ephraim and Cornelius, live in Houghton. John and their daughter (Mrs. Wm. Smith) live in Elgin.
George Walker settled in the south west portion. He came to Canada from Scotland in 1820, and married Elizabeth, daughter of William Emory of Fort George, on the Niagara River. He brought his wife and infant son Robert to the wilds of Houghton in 1822. He held the office of Township Clerk for twenty years, and died in 1869, a year after the death of his wife. He was a fine specimen of the early Canadian settlers, who were as a class distinguished for their generous hospitality. He had 13 children, of whom Robert, George, William, David, Andrew, Margaret (Mrs. John Alton) and Elizabeth, are still living in the township. Mary married Wm. Maginnis of Wisconsin, and Maria, J. McLean of Michigan. Hannah, James, Jane and John are dead. Robert, the eldest son, is still hale and hearty, and is highly respected. He was an active and enthusiastic volunteer on the side of the government at the time of the Rebellion in 1837, and has since attained the rank of Lieutenant in the 5th Battalion of Norfolk militia. He married first Matilda Bonsor, daughter of Mr. John bonsor [sic] of Charlotteville. His present wife Anna is a daughter of Wm. Russel, Esq., of Charlotteville, and was once a distinguished teacher. George Walker married Mary Marlatt, daughter of Joseph Marlatt, Esq. of Bayham. Wm. Walker married Miss ---- Truman of Houghton. He lives on the North Road. Some years ago he visited California, and was one of the few passengers of the "Golden Gate" who survived the burning of that vessel off the coast of Mexico in 1858. Wm. Walker swam ashore with a young child whom he found struggling in the water. He saved its life and carried it fifteen miles through the wilderness, tramping barefoot over ground covered with the sharp thorns of the locust tree. He finally surrendered the child, although unwillingly, to its relatives. David and Andrew Walker still live on the old homestead.
Robert Mercer came to the township about 1833, also Henry Nichols and Captain Vance. Adam McNair and Eve Mooma, his wife, came about the same time. George A. Ball came about 1836. Robt. Smiley settled in 1835 from the north of Ireland. He was born in 1796. His first wife, Mary Stewart, died many years ago. His present wife, Fidelia Potter, still lives with him on the old farm. Mrs. Arnup is the only child they have still living in Houghton. Mr. Smiley served in the Halifax militia in the war of 1812, and therefore ranks as one of the surviving veterans of that struggle.
The first school teacher in Houghton were Job Williams, Moses W. White, and Robt. Francis. Rev. Messrs. Huston and Corston who preached the gospel in those early days with much acceptance, are also worthy to be remembered.
James Jackson came to Houghton in 1835, and farmed till 1862, after which time he kept a hotel at the Hemlocks for four years, and then at Houghton Centre. In 1837 he married the daughter of Capt. Alex. Vance, who came to the settlement in 1830 from Nova Scotia. The hospitality of Mr. and Mrs. Jackson and family is widely known. Capt. Vance was at one time Reeve of Houghton.
The township at present presents a very encouraging picture. The lumberman has given place largely to the farmer. Beautiful homes abounding in all that contributes to comfort are to be found in all parts of the township. There are no large villages. The Municipal Council meets at Houghton Centre upon the Lake Road.
Clear Creek is a business centre,
about four miles east of Houghton Centre. North of Clear Creek are two
settlements which usually go by the name of the Williams Settlement and
the Laycock settlement. The North Road leaves the Lake Road at the
Hemlocks, and running past Safford's and Thos. Forsyth's saw mills strikes
the "Talbot Street" as it crosses the northern part of the
township. On the street are the Garnhams' saw mills. Robt. and Sheriff
Keable and Henry Wm. Garnham will into the lumber business here in 1850.
S. K. Garnham has for 20 years been a member of the Township Council, and
kept the Guysboro Post Office for nine years. Michael Culp was an old
settler in this part of the township, having taken land from Col. Talbot.
Isaac Culp his son now occupies the same farm. Wm. Ball, a land surveyor,
also settled here. His sons George A. F. Ball and Jesse P. Ball, still
live in the vicinity. Another mill was built south of Garnham's mill by
the Mosher family, who settled about 1850. The saw mill at the Hemlocks is
owned by Ephraim Payne.
From page 57 of the Mika re-print of
1877 Illustrated Historical Atlas of Norfolk County