Houck, William Charles - Erie County

WILLIAM CHARLES HOUCK, Secretary of the Pratt & Letchworth Company, holds a prominent place in Buffalo's industrial and social life.

Mr. Houck is of German parentage, his father, John Houck, having been born in 1827 in Kirchheim, Württemberg, Germany, where the family had lived for many generations. When twenty-five years old John Houck came to America, where he followed the stone mason's trade, working on the Erie Canal. Ten years later he entered the employ of Pratt & Company of Buffalo, remaining with the firm twenty-two years, when he retired from business. He is still living in Buffalo, and is one of its best-known German-American residents. In 1854 he married Christina Schutter, daughter of Conrad Schutter of Reading, Pa. Their children are: William C, and Christian P. Houck of Buffalo; Frederick J. Houck of Rochester, N. Y.; Charles F. Houck; Fredericka (Mrs. Otto Fiscus), and Mary (Mrs. John Duscherer), both of Buffalo.

William Charles Houck was born in Buffalo May 28, 1865. He attended the public schools and Bryant & Stratton's Business College. When about fourteen years old he began work for Pratt & Letchworth, with whom he has continued ever since. After spending two years in the shops and acquiring a sound knowledge of the technical part of the business, he became a clerk in the office, where he worked his way up through the grades of paymaster, local purchasing agent, sales agent and sales manager, until in 1901 he was made Secretary, which place he now occupies. As Secretary of the Pratt & Letchworth Company, and in the various other capacities in which Mr. Houck has been connected with it, he has made a most creditable record. He is a business man of large experience, is well informed as to the general conditions of commerce and manufactures, and has a comprehensive knowledge of the great industry with which he is connected.

Mr. Houck has long been an active member of the Black Rock Business Men's Association, and has had much to do with promoting the commercial and local interests of the Black Rock district. He is affiliated with Modestia Lodge of Masons, and North Buffalo Lodge of Odd Fellows, and is a member of the German Methodist Episcopal Church.

October 22, 1890, Mr. Houck married Mary A. Limburg, a daughter of Christian and Mary (Link) Limburg of Buffalo. Mr. and Mrs. Houck have three sons, William Limburg and Christian Thompson, twins born in 1893, and John Edward, born in 1895.

SOURCE: Memorial and Family History of Erie County New York; Volume I