Miami County, Ohio Genealogical Researchers -- Sponsored by the Computerized Heritage Association


    MARTIN VALENTINE HOUSER, residing on a farm of eighty acres in Staunton Township, Miami County, Ohio, is also the owner of several other tracts of land in that and Spring Creek Townships, having 331 acres in all. He was born on St. Valentine's Day, February 14, 1830, on the home farm in Spring Creek Township, Miami County, and is a son of John and Margaret (Booher) Houser, and a grandson of Martin and Barbara (Neff) Houser.

    Martin Houser, the grandfather, was a farmer in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, and some years after marriage moved to Montgomery County, Ohio, settling on the cast side of the Miami River, about two and a half miles north of Dayton, which was then a village consisting of but a few small houses. He later entered one-half a section of land in Spring Creek Township, Miami County, but continued to live at his old home near Dayton, where he died at the age of eighty-one years. He and his wife were parent, of the following children,: Jacob, Daniel, Isaac, Henry, John, Martin, Barbara and Catherine.

    John Houser was born in the Shenandoah Valley, and was a small boy at the time the family moved from Virginia to the vicinity of Dayton, where he wais reared to maturity. They lived in a rude log house, and he helped in clearing the timber from the farm . When a young man, during the War of 1812, he hauled grain to the soldiers in the army. He also in that period was one of a party which went to Indiana, it being a hard six weeks trip at that time. They lost all of their horses but one on the journey, and upon their return sold the remaining horse for the munificent sum of $7.00, which was divided among the seven members of the party. After his marriage and the birth of two children, they moved to Miami County, locating upon the north half of the half section of land entered by his father, his brother Henry locating upon the south half. He lived in a small log house on the place for many years, and cleared it of timber. The country was in a comparatively wild and undeveloped state at that time, and he frequently supplied his table with wild game. He died at the age of eighty-one years, and Mrs. Houser died at the age of eighty-four. They were parents of the following: Samuel; John B.; Barbara, wife of Moses Denman; Martin Valentine; Mary Ann wife of Job Emmons; Bartholomew, who was a soldier in the Union Army during the Civil War and died at Washington, D.C.; and Jacob , who lost his life in the Battle of the Wilderness. The subject of this sketch is the only one of his parents' family now living.

    Martin V. Houser spent his boyhood days on the home farm in Spring Creek township, which he aided in clearing. He first attended school in the old church in that vicinity, also the old log schoolhouse, and the brick school which replaced it. He received a fair education, being ambitious and a good student, and was tendered a position as teacher at different times. His educational training was restricted by illness in his youth he went on an extended hunting trip in Indiana for the benefit of his health. He covered 231 miles on horseback in six weeks, and returned home in a much improved condition. He has always followed farming, and what he owns be owes almost entirely to his individual efforts. His first purchase was the farm on which he now lives, and when the mortgage was finally removed from the place be felt himself the happiest and richest man in the community. He has always invested his earnings to good advantage, and now has 331 acres, in several tracts, in Spring Creek and Staunton Townships.

    In November, 1856, Mr. Houser was united in marriage with Miss Margaret Duncan, a daughter of Robert and Jane (McClintock) Duncan, and her death occurred March 2, 1886. They became parents of two children, Ida and Flora. Ida Houser was married to Willis Peterson, of Staunton Township, and has two children Roy, who married Elsie Clark; and Ralph. Flora Houser married J Todd Small, by whom she has two children, Ray and Birdie, and they make their home with her father. Politically, Mr. Houser is a strong Prohibitionist and staunch supporter of Bryan, being the only member of the family to vote the Democratic ticket. He has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church for many years, and has filled various church offices.

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