"Tennessee Trails" through Bedford County

Bedford County TN Biographies


Hon. W.C. Houston, of the firm of Jones & Houston, attorneys at law, residing at Woodbury,Tenn., is a native of Bedford County, having been born there March 17, 1852. He is the son of William and Elizabeth Clay (Morgan) Houston. The former was a native of Iredell County, N.C., born in 1821, and came to Tennessee about 1835. He located in Bedford County, where he lived the rest of his days. He was a planter and a very successful business man. His death occurred in March, 1853. His wife was born in Rutherford County, March 10, 1822. She was first married to Newton Clark, of Bedford County, whom she survived; afterward married William Houston, and some time after his death married Benjamin Fugett, of Cannon County, who is now deceased. The subject of this sketch received his education mostly at Woodbury. At the age of twenty-two he took charge of the Woodbury Press, and continued editor and proprietor two years. In 1876 he was chosen representative in the Legislature from Cannon and Coffee Counties. On his retirement from this position he devoted himself to his farm and to the study of the law until 1879, when he was admitted to the bar. In 1880 he was again elected to the Legislature, and in 1882 he was again re-elected. At the session which convened in 1883 he was appointed chairman of the committee on finance.

While occupying his seat in the Legislature he took a very active and prominent part in the settlement of the State debt question. From 1882 to 1884 he was a member of the State Democratic executive committee. In November, 1878, he was married to Miss Lura Kittrell, daughter of Maj. M.B. Kittrell, of Rutherford County. She is a native of Wilson County, and was born March 22, 1859. By their marriage they have two sons: Frank, born July 4, 1882, and William, born March 19, 1884. Mr. Houston has a half-sister, formerly Hattie Clark, now wife of Hon. William Barton; and also half-brother, Simpson Fugitt, both of whom are residents of Cannon County. The law firm of Jones & Houston was formed in 1886, and is universally considered the strongest in the county, both members being men of high honor and marked ability. Mr. Houston is an ardent and enthusiastic Democrat, and both himself and his wife are members of the Christian Church.
Found on the website of Bryan Gibby / World Connect

William Cannon Houston , a Representative from Tennessee; born near Shelbyville, Bedford County, Tenn., March 17, 1852; moved with his mother to Woodbury, Cannon County, Tenn., in 1858; attended the schools of Woodbury and Sweetwater, Tenn.; engaged in agricultural pursuits and later in the publication of a newspaper; member of the State house of representatives 1877-1879 and 1881-1885; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1878 and commenced practice in Woodbury, Tenn.; member of the Democratic State executive committee in 1888; chairman of the Democratic State convention in 1888; elected judge of the eighth judicial circuit in 1894, was reelected in 1902, and served until elected to Congress; elected as a Democrat to the Fifty-ninth and to the six succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1905-March 3, 1919); chairman, Committee on the Census (Sixty-second Congress), Committee on Territories (Sixty-third through Sixty-fifth Congresses); was not a candidate for renomination in 1918; delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1920; died on his plantation, “Beaver Dam,” near Woodbury, Tenn., August 30, 1931; interment in Riverside Cemetery, near Woodbury, Tenn.

Tennessee Biographical Dictionary By Jan Onofrio

William Cannon Houston, farmer, lawyer; born Bedford Co., Tenn., Mar. 17, 1852; Scotch-Irish descent; son of William and Elizabeth Clay (Morgan) Houston; father’s occupation farming; paternal grandparents Dr. William and Sarah (Phifer) Houston; maternal grandparents Samuel and Harriet (Harris) Morgan; began his career as farmer and editor of newspaper; married twice, first Lura Kittrell Nov. 6, 1878, second Lizzie M. McLemore Jan. 3, 1899; Democrat; member of legislature of Tenn. 1877, 1881 and 1883, chairman Democratic State convention 1888; Democratic elector 1888, judge of the Circuit Court of the Eighth Judicial Circuit of Tenn. 1894-1904; member of congress from 5th district of Tenn. since 1904; member of Christian church.
Source: Who’s Who in Tennessee, Memphis: Paul & Douglass Co., Publishers, 1911; transcribed by Kim Mohler

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