SARATOGA COUNTY, NEW YORK.
by NATHANIEL BARTLETT SYLVESTER
NATHANIEL M. HOUGHTON
was born in Corinth, Saratoga Co., on the 23d of January, 1816. His father was a native of Worcester, Mass., a farmer and stock-dealer. His mother, whose maiden name was Mitchell, was born and reared in Proctorsville, Vt. His early educational advantages were very limited, - in fact, nothing but the energies of an educated mother enabled him to overcome the difficulties then existing, in the midst of small means and consequent discouragements; but with ambition unrivaled he obtained not only a common school education, fitting him for a teacher in districts about the town at eighteen, but subsequently, at about twenty-four, commenced the study of medicine with his uncle, Dr. Mitchell, completing the same in Castleton Medical College, of Vermont, from which he graduated in 1843. He then settled in his native town, where he practiced as a physician for many years with marked success; but alas! his constitution was not adequate to the unceasing labors of a country practice, and ten years brought impaired health, compelling him to relinquish his chosen life-work. After recuperating sufficiently, he entered with the same zeal into the laborious life of lumbering and farming. Much might be said of his management in both callings instructive and admonitory to the present and rising generation, viz., that to succeed one cannot leave business to itself, but in all points integrity and perseverance will bring the possessor its reward. His rye-field of sixty acres that waves in the breeze to-day, which, his friends tell him, is the pride of the county, came not by chance, but by well-directed labor and careful cultivation. If in the panic that has visited this land his coffers are not well filled, many have found employment in his timber lands that had elsewhere sought for work without effect. And we find the subject of this sketch wearing his sixty years lightly. He has a jovial face and overflowing vivacity of spirits in abundance. In 1846 he married Christy Dayton, who is still living. Of his family, one daughter married Rev. George Craig, yet living. Dr. N.M. Houghton's life has been a successful one.
Dr. Houghton was a Whig until the organization of the Republican party, and has since been a firm and uncompromising Republican. Being always active and thoroughly reliable in his political attachments, he has frequently been selected to fill important offices. He has held the office of superintendent of schools of his town four or five times, and has also been supervisor at different times. He at present holds that office. He has represented his district four times as member of Assembly, his majorities ranging from nine hundred and sixty-nine to fourteen hundred and thirty in 1862-63 and 1872 and 1874. His course in the Assembly has been exceedingly satisfactory to his constituents, by whom he is held in the highest regard.
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