m. 31 0ctober 1734
Facts and Events
This work was originally placed on FamilyPedia. At that time its principle authors included WM Willis, and Dan Woodruff.
This article is about the Christopher Houston born c1744 in Old Chester County, PA. About 1765 he moved south settling on Reeder Creek of the Catawba River, a few miles south of Fort Dobbs in Iredell County. He would later move north to the Hunting Creek watershed, where he lived most of the remainder of his life. In old age he moved west to Maury Co, TN, where he died in 1825.
Christopher Houston was probably born in Old Chester Co, PA, or perhaps in Philadelphia, about 1744. Many of his letters to his family have been preserved, and are found in the Mary Cecilia Dalton (MCD) Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In one of those letters he identifies his father as Robert Houston, and his grandfather as Christopher Houston. Documents in the MCD Collection record that he left Lancaster Co, PA in 1765 at the close of the French and Indian War, crossing the Susquehanna and heading south to North Carolina.
Christopher initially settled near Fort Dobbs in Iredell County, where he met Sarah Mitchell whom he married on 23 April 1767. The couple made their initial home near the mouth of Reeder Creek, which discharges to the Catawba River. Their homesite is shown on the 1773 William Sharp map of the home locations of members of the Presbyterian Fourth Creek Congregation. Sometime after 1783 the couple relocated to the northeast of Statesville, settling on the south side of Hunting Creek, near what was later known as "Houstonsville".
Sarah bore Christopher eight children. Christopher's son, James, moved to Tennessee when an adult, and urged his father to move there as well. By 1814 James had convinced him and at the age of 71, Christopher made the move from his long-time home on Hunting Creek, North Carolina to Tennessee where he purchased a piece of land from James. The Hunting Creek property passed to a son-in-law, but remains in a descendants hands to this day.
According to a letter written by Christopher and addressed to his son-in-law, Samuel Young, they settled on their new place, west of what is now Lewisburg in Marshall County, Tennessee on 17 April 1815. Here Sarah died on 18 May 1821 at age 79. Christopher remained a widower for a few years, but In 1825 at the age of 81, he married Elizabeth Simpson. She was in her 50’s, well respected, “exceedingly well spoken of,” and had never been married. She became part of the family and was said to be "loved by all" [Need a source for these points].
Christopher Houston died of a stroke at his home on 17 May 1837 and is buried in the Houston Cemetery on James Houston’s farm. He was 93 years old.
The following Narrative was written by Dan Woodruff (a descendant). In-line references need to be added to support specific statements. Sources need to be made specific, pointing to the specific sources, rather than to a generalized statement. e.g., Marriage records need to cite the specific source used, not just "marriage records of XYZ County.
Christopher’s father had a close friend and neighbor, John Mitchell, who had moved to Fort Dobbs a few years earlier. John Mitchell was a Presbyterian minister who organized and built churches in Pennsylvania and was the father of Christopher’s future wife Sarah. The families spent the next two years in Fort Dobbs, which was a highly defensible structure. The fierce and unpredictable attacks of the Cherokee’s living in the area kept the families within the walls. The men worked in the fields with their rifles or muskets lying close at hand. During attacks the men would retreat into the fort and continue the fight from within the solid Oak log structure, which had three floors where as many as 100 weapons could be fired from each floor at one time.
Christopher Houston and Sarah Mitchell married on 23 April 1767. Christopher built their home on Hunting Creek. By the onset of the Revolutionary war they had four children, Martha, John, Lillias and James. Their sons Placebo and Christopher were born before the end of the war and Samuel and Sarah were born after. Education was very important to Christopher and his wife Sarah but as this was not Lancaster County, Pennsylvania where excellent tutors could be easily hired for educating the children, he built an additional room that was used specifically as a school. Fortunately a fine young schoolteacher, Moses Waddell, moved to their area and accepted the position. Other local children attended school here as well.
Christopher had become well respected and by the onset of hostilities between the Colonies and England, he had the rank of Captain in the militia. He was a Captain in the North Carolina Rangers throughout the Revolutionary War. There is one report, which shows that he had lost his horse in one battle and briefly rejoined another group of Patriots as a Private.
He was at the battle of Ramseur’s Mill where his brother, James, was killed. There was another James Houston at Ramseur’s Mill (unrelated) who was injured in the leg. Christopher is also reported to have been at the battle of Guilford Courthouse. Some accounts have Christopher Houston guarding captured Tories to prevent them from joining the troops gathered at Kings Mountain where the Patriots gained a great victory against Major Patrick Ferguson, which caused the turning point in the war. Christopher lost most of his hearing during the war.
In spite of his handicap, after the Revolutionary War, Christopher was prominent in the affairs of the area, both public and private, and was often called upon to help resolve disputes between others. He was instrumental in organizing the town and was first Postmaster of Houstonville. This was the second post office in Iredell County. Christopher and his descendants held this office for over 100 years.
At Christmas in 1809 Christopher and his wife Sarah planned a large gathering of friends and family for a Christmas party. Among the guests were Andrew Carson and his family. Andrew’s brother Lindsay Carson and his wife Rebecca and their four boys had come to visit Andrew’s family for Christmas that year and, of course, were invited as well. Rebecca Carson was expecting her fifth child anytime. Sarah had been keeping an eye on her guests and noticed the look of pain in Rebecca’s expression and led her upstairs, suggesting she lie down and rest. Within a short time a newborn infant’s cry could be heard downstairs. Quickly the announcement was made that Lindsay and Rebecca had another son. Out of respect to her host, Rebecca Carson presented her newborn son as, “Christopher Houston Carson, but he’s so little, I guess we’ll call him Kit.” As small as he was at birth he became big as an adult and is the famous “Kit Carson” who became a legend of the West as a trapper, scout, soldier, and Indian Agent. Christopher Houston was his godfather.
Christopher Houston’s son, James, had moved to Tennessee and urged his father to move there as well. By 1814 James had convinced him and at the age of 71, Christopher made the move from his long-time home on Hunting Creek, North Carolina to Tennessee where he purchased a piece of land from his son James. According to a letter written by Christopher and addressed to his son-in-law, Samuel Young, they settled on their new place, west of what is now Lewisburg in Marshall County, Tennessee on 17 April 1815.
Christopher lost his precious Sarah on 18 May 1821. Sarah disliked Tennessee and never ceased urging her husband to move back to their place on Hunting Creek. Christopher writes in a letter to his daughter, Sarah Young, that his wife’s last words to him were urging him to give their land back to Jamey. Her illness was brief and she went quietly. She was 79.
Christopher remained a widower for a few years and did not feel people should marry in (his own words) “the eleventh hour” and had a “prejudice against old people’s folly in marrying again.” He admitted to receiving many “hints” to take another wife but not making “any attempt toward it, though the constitution of my affairs require a woman’s care.” He continues in his letter to ask for God’s care and guidance in that and all matters.
In 1825 Christopher was 81 years old and married Elizabeth Simpson. She was in her 50’s, well respected, “exceedingly well spoken of,” and had never been married. She became part of the family and was loved by all.
Christopher Houston died of a stroke at his home on 17 May 1837 and is buried in the Houston Cemetery, which is on James Houston’s farm. He was 93 years old. 35.4283, Longitude: -86.8744