Joseph Conley Houck, 1888-1983, great-grandfather

The holler where my great-grandfather Joseph Conley Houck and great-grandmother Pearl Houck lived.

I knew my great-grandfather, Joseph Conley Houck, who I called Great-Grandpa Houck. I have one predominate visual–if not visceral–memory of my great-grandfather: that of his–at age 90!–climbing into the ancient cherry tree that grew at the end of his and Great-Grandma’s porch. I loved visiting Grandma and Grandpa Houck’s house. They lived in a small, old home in the back of a holler outside of West Jefferson, North Carolina; I’ve seen the area called Baldwin and Old Fields, too. Anyway, I loved being there. In summer, it was often the coolest place in Ashe County to be, and you could pick wild blackberries that grew along the long gravel road that snaked up the holler to their house. I can remember picking berries with my Aunt Brenda Shepherd–and eating more berries than I kept. There was a creek, too, down a steep bank along the road, and if it got too hot you could play in the creek. In the spring and summer, it was a great adventure to wander around the hills that surrounded the house. But in the winter, watch out! Grandma and grandpa’s house was the hottest place outside of Hades. They must have kept the woodstove blazing like oceanliner broiler. I can remember having the breath knocked out of me when I stepped into their house in winter. I would throw my coat off and fall to the floor, looking for the coolest place in the house. And the floor of there house was something that I’ll never forget either: it was warped like a carnival funhouse, and I can remember rolling marbles across the floor and being amazed by the crazy path it took. Grandpa Houck was pleasant to look at–he always had a kind smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye, and my memory of Grandpa Houck is that he always wore denim overalls. And I’ll never forget him climbing into that tree to pluck me a couple of cherries.

Joseph Conley Houck was born on 15 May 1888 in North Carolina. His father, James S. Houck, was born on 11 Jan 1858 in Ashe, NC; James died on 18 Feb 1927 at the age of 69 in Ashe, NC. Joseph’s mother, Minerva Ellen Fox, was born on 3 Mar 1862 in Caldwell, NC; she died on 20 Mar 1957 at the age of 95 in Burke, NC.

Joseph’s mother and father, Minerva Ellen Fox and James S. Houck, were married on 27 Apr 1885 in Ashe, NC.

James S. Houck and Minerva Ellen Fox had the following children, Joseph and his siblings:

  1. Claud Houck was born in May 1886 in NC.
  2. Joseph Conley Houck, born 15 May 1888, NC died 21 Jun 1983, West Jefferson, Ashe, NC.
  3. Estel Houck was born in Feb 1891 in NC.
  4. Emmer Houck was born in Feb 1893 in NC.
  5. Harper Houck was born on 6 Sep 1895 in Baldwin, Ashe, NC.
  6. Mary Houck was born in Nov 1896 in NC.
  7. Laura Houck lived in Oldfields, Ashe, NC in 1900.
  8. Dora Hauck was born about 1904 in NC. She was also known as Dara Houck.
  9. Clifford Hauck was born about 1908 in NC.
Census of 1900 depicting a 12-year-old Joseph Conley Houck living with his parents and siblings.

Joseph Conley Houck was born on 15 May 1888 in North Carolina. According to census records, he lived in Oldfields, Ashe, NC in 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1940; in Elk, Ashe, NC in 1930; and in Rural, Ashe, NC in 1935. He died on 21 Jun 1983 at the age of 95 in West Jefferson, Ashe, NC, and was buried there.

Joseph Conley Houck and Pearl Ethel Houck were married on 17 Oct 1908 in Ashe, NC. Pearl Ethel Houck, daughter of Thomas Monroe Houck and Tennessee Parker, was born on 23 Aug 1891 in Ashe, NC.

Joseph Conley Houck and Pearl Ethel Houck had the following children:

  1. Worth E Houck was born about 1910 in NC.
  2. Bertha Houck was born about 1913 in NC.
  3. Doris A Houck was born about 1915 in NC.
  4. Roy Franklin Houck was born on 7 Jul 1917 in NC. Roy died on 21 Jun 2006 at the age of 88.
  5. Ray Houck was born about 1918 in NC.
  6. Hilda C Houck was born about 1920 in NC.
  7. Thelma Francis Houck, born 24 Feb 1921, Ashe, NC married Warren Dean Lawrence, 10 Jan 1942, Ashe, NC, and died 2 Dec 2017.
  8. Rena T Houck was born about 1927 in NC.
  9. Wanda R Houck was born about 1929 in NC. She died on 29 Aug 1996 at the age of 67.
Headstone of Joseph Conley Houck and his wife Pearl Houck with Bald Mountain in the background.

See Joseph Conley Houck’s family tree and full profile at Ancestry.

Rev. Joe Stephen “Steve” Little, Jr.
9286 Old Dumfries Road
Catlett, VA 20119

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