Douglass Houghton (Houghton County was named for him) was Michigan's first geologist and naturalist, coming to Detroit in 1830 at the request of Territorial Governor Lewis Cass as well as John Biddle and Lucius Lyon, the Territorial Delegates to Congress. In 1831, he joined his friend Henry Rowe Schoolcraft on a federal expedition to discover the source of the Mississippi River. Not only did he report on new plants discovered along the difficult canoe voyage, but he also gave smallpox vaccinations to hundreds of Indians. His reports regarding the copper regions of Keweenaw played an important role in the economic development of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. During his absence in the wilderness in 1841, he received word that he had been elected mayor of Detroit, and office he served in in 1842. In 1844, he came very close to being elected Governor during another absence in the northern wilds. On October 13, 1845, he and four others lost their lives en route from Eagle Harbor to Eagle River in the Keweenaw Peninsula when a sudden storm overturned their boat. His body was found the following spring on the Lake Superior shoreline and was brought back to Detroit. He was buried in the Family Plot that would eventually include his Jacob. Jacob led an expedition that discovered many iron ore deposits in the remote regions of the Upper Peninsula in 1842.In 1852, Jacob Houghton sold Andrew Carnegie, also in the exploration party, his first iron mine.
**He was drowned in Lake Superior, near the mouth of Eagle River, during a violent storm on October 13, 1845.
The body was recovered and he was buried at Detroit on May 15, 1846.
(Biography by Mark Gade at Find-A-Grave)