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Veteran of Civil War (1861-1865) Larned Cemetery, Pawnee County, Kansas

Pvt. Houston enlisted in Co. I 25th IL Infantry on August 20, 1862. He served for three years and was discharged after being shot in the left shoulder. Pvt. Houston was also a prisoner of war for five days. For this , he received a $36.00/month pension.

Thomas was one of twelve children born to John and Mary Houston. He was born in Rush County, Indiana on December 16, 1834. Thomas was married three times and fathered six children with two dying at young ages.

Rebecca Ann Mitchell (b. 1835) became Thomas’ first wife in 1857. One son was born before Thomas entered the service. After the war, Thomas returned to his family in Indiana where four more children were born. Sadly, two of the children died young and are buried in Shiloh Cemetery in Champaign, Illinois. Rebecca died at the age of 34 and is buried in the same cemetery as her two children. She was 34 years old.

With three young sons to raise, Thomas married Elizabeth Faulkner (b. 1846) in 1870. He and Elizabeth were blessed with another son. In 1873, Thomas brought his wife and four sons to Pawnee County along with other early pioneers. Elizabeth passed away after a long illness at the age of 42.

At the age of 55, Thomas married Mary Shafer Britt. Mary was a widow with a grown daughter., Hattie. Mary’s first husband was William Britt. He passed away at the age of 48 and is buried in Silent Land Cemetery, Ford County, Kansas.

Mary died of cancer in 1906. Thomas moved to Hutchinson, Kansas, and lived with one of his sons. He passed away on July 20, 1917. Thomas is buried in Larned Cemetery with his second and third wives.

The rest of the story: When Mary’s first husband died, Mary and Hattie moved into Spearville where Hattie attended the public schools. After her graduation, she attended college at Wichita. She was employed as a stenographer in a publishing company. It is there where she contracted consumption (tuberculosis). She came back home to be with her mother. She passed away on July 7, 1894, at the age of 23. She is buried in Larned Cemetery.

Note: The Battle of Stone River was fought in Murfreesboro, Tennessee on December 31, 1862. The result was a Union victory and 12,906 soldiers were wounded or killed.


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