This column is part of a feature series which focuses on a different Centre County family each week. Five new columns will be released each month unless some technical difficulty enters the picture.
This column's focus is on Houser. An effort has been made to identify all persons carrying that name in the 1890 U.S. Census, using the Centre County business directory which was formed from a preliminary review of that census before the larger set of 1890 U.S. Census records was destroyed by fire. (Sadly, the postal directory does not typically provide the ages of females, but it's the best record we've got).
Two books in the Pennsylvania Room of the Centre County Library in Bellefonte apparently deal with the Houser family. They are: Larry Boob's The Ancestors of Bernard and Lulu Stover (1977) and J. Marvin Lee's The Houser Record: Descendants of Jacob and Barbara (Shirk) Houser (1994 ed. with index by R. Fred Houts).
There are several different first-name entries for Houser in John Blair Linn's History of Centre and Clinton County (1883). In addition, there are many references to the name in Beers' Commemorative Biographical Record of Central Pennsylvania (1898).
And, now, your ancestors' HOUSER neighbors in 1890:
In BELLEFONTE Borough:
In BENNER Township:Abram, 78, retired--Pleasant Gap Elizabeth Franklin, 21, laborer--Bellefonte Frederick, 67, farmer--Houserville Sarah Daniel T. 23 Isabella J. Jacob E., 44, laborer--Fillmore Mary E. Elizabeth Rachael A. Edward E. 9 Miles K. 8 Arvilla James W., 41, painter--Pleasant Gap Sarah J. John M. 17 Grace M. Charles M. 11 Abram R. 8 John, 51, farmer--Pleasant Gap Catharine Mary E. William M. 24 Anna F. Ellie Etta Elmer E. 7 George M. 4 Leslie C. 2 Reuben A., 40, laborer--Pleasant Gap Mary E. Nettie M. Jared D. 14 Harry C. 12 George W. 10 Daniel W. 8 Mary E.
In COLLEGE Township:Elizabeth--Houserville Nannie M. Fred 67 Subine Olive Minnie Grant, 25, plasterer--Lemont Mary A. Harry H., 16--Houserville David 45 Martha Mary Anna S. Harry E. 12 Charles 10 James E. 8 Edith George 4 James E., 37, laborer--Lemont John, 45, laborer--State College Lydia R. Edward P. 19 Jacob D. 11 Thomas R. 9 Manuel, 29, mercahnt--Houserville Lillie M. May Luther 3 William R., 28, agent--Lemont Margaret R. Kurtz L. 2 William C. 6 mos
In FERGUSON Township:Luther M., 39, physician--Penna Furnace Anna C. Mamie E.
In HARRIS Towsnhip:Henry, 22, laborer--Oak Hall
In Spring Township:James A., 36, laborer--Bellefonte Sarah J. Gertrude Mabel E. Lloyd A. 1 Harry 31 Scott, 29, laborer--Bellefonte Louisa Lessie Earl 6