East New Market

Notable People and Families

Houston Family

Dr. Henry W. Houston HouseOn 18 April 1825 Stephen Lecompte married Tryphena Mason Dixon.  In 1828, the newlyweds purchased a house in East New Market that was built by Henry Haskins around 1800.  The house would eventually come to be known as the Haskins-Houston House.  When Stephen Lecompte died in March of 1835, his last will and testament devised the house in East New Market to his wife, Tryphena with survivorship rights to his niece, Mary Jane Fluharty. 

On 25 May 1836, his widow, Tryphena Mason Dixon Lecompte married  Henry White Houston. As of the date of the marriage, the Houston family began to firmly root in East New Market.

Henry W. Houston was born in Delaware on 2 October 1809, the son of Liston Houston and Mary Prettyman.   Dr. Houston almost certainly began to live at the Haskins-Houston House immediately after marrying Tryphena Dixon Lecompte in 1836.  Deeds in 1845 and 1846 mention Dr. Houston living at the house when he purchased from the children of Mary Jane Fluharty, their rights and interest in the house.

Dr. Houston received his medical training in 1832 and practiced as a doctor in Caroline County before moving to East New Market.  In various directories, deeds, and other records, he was listed as a Physician, a Doctor, and a Druggist during his time in East New Market.  In an 1837 letter by Virginia Waggaman, a local resident, she describes Dr. Houston as very attentive and kind.  Dr. Houston recorded the names of the people and sometimes the purchases of his medical services in three ledgers.  Medical Ledger C which covers the years 1866 through 1887 was still surviving in the early 1990s.  Ledgers A and B may also still survive, but there whereabouts are also unknown.

Dr. Houston subscribed to the Cambridge Chronicle from 1838 to 1841.  As evidenced by notices in the Cambridge Chronicle, Dr. Houston served the East New Market Academy as a school commissioner, a clerk, and/or chairman, during most of the 1840s and 1850s.  One of his responsibilities was hiring teachers. Dr. Houston was also one of the trustees of the Female Seminary when it was founded in 1850.  The Houston family can be found in the Census Records of East New Market from 1840 to 1880. 

According to the Diary of Emma Edmondson, Dr. Houston threw a party on 15 December 1854.  Emma Edmondson mentioned Dr. Houston's daughters and other family members frequently her diary.  She lived across the street from Dr. Houston and evidently enjoyed the company of his children and had dinner at his house on occasion.  In an 1856 letter from Eugenia S. Manning of East New Market to her brother Anthony L. Manning, she refers to being sick and mentions the following - “Mr. Houston says it was just like his wife and son died with --- I could not speak for several days --- could not swallow even water for two days and my tongue was swelled out of my mouth“   Thus Tryphena Lecompte must have died before 1856. 

Dr. Houston attended the Methodist Episcopal Church from 1861 through 1883 and taught Sunday School there from 1879 through 1883.  In 1878 he bought stock in the East New Market Navigation and Wharf Company.

Dr. Henry W. Houston and Tryphena had six children.

(1) Francis Henry Houston was born in East New Market on 15 May 1837.  On 14 December 1871, he married Matilda H. Thompson in Baltimore.  They had 1 son and two daughters.  The daughters died early in childhood.  Mr. Houston's life is described in his Yale University obituary.  Frank died in 1913 in Berlin, Germany.

(2) Mary A.T. Houston was born in East New Market on 9 March 1839.  She likely married Dr. William T. Noble on 6 June 1859.

(3) Susan Louisa Houston was born in East New Market on 1 September 1840.  She married James Kent Dukes on 19 July 1859.  Mr. Dukes graduated from Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA the year prior.  He was frequently mentioned in the Diary of Horatio C. King during his years at Dickinson College.  After graduating, Mr. Dukes became a school teacher.  In 1863, he was the Principal of the East New Market Female Seminary with his wife Susan as a music teacher there.  James Kent and Susan had several children, Mary Phenie (1860-1864); Henry Houston (1861-1864); James Houston (1866-); Samuel Dixon (1870-); Susan H. (1873), Edith B. (1875-); Mary Agnes (1880-); and Reginald Winder (1884-).  The first two children were born in East New Market, but died young.  By 1870 the family was living in Salisbury, MD. They later moved to Delaware (mid 1870s), then to Hillsboro, Maryland (by 1880), and were in Norwood, Pennsylvania by 1895.  James Kent Dukes died before 1910 and his widow and children moved to Philadelphia.

(4) Margaret Tryphena Houston was born in East New Market on 30 September 1842.  She married Francis Philo Phelps on 7 May 1862 at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in East New Market.  He had previously been married to Mary Springer and had three children by her.  Mr. Phelps was a farmer.  The family first settled south of East New Market in Linkwood, Maryland.  They had 6 children, Francis Philo (1863-1927); Agnes H. (1865-); Tryphena (1867-); Joseph W. (1871-1952); William Wallace (1873-); May (1875-); Henry H. (1881-1881); and Elsie (1882-1905).  Mr. Phelps died in 1904 and Margaret Phelps died in 1919.  The are buried at Christ Church Cemetery in Cambridge, Maryland.

(5) Alexander Zebulon Houston was born in East New Market on 25 August 1845.  He is likely the son who had died young as mentioned in the 1856 Manning letter.

(6) Samuel Dixon Houston was born in East New Market on 28 December 1846.  During the Census of 1870 and 1880, he was boarding with families in Elizabeth, NJ and working as a clerk and a broker.  He married Sophia R. Miles? in 1892.  By 1900, he was living in a boarding house in Elizabeth, NJ with his wife Sophia, his son Miles Ringgold (b. 1893), and daughter Barbara D. (b. 1895).  He was managing a banking house at the time.  In 1910, 1920, and 1930, he is listed as divorced and continuing to live in Elizabeth, NJ.

On 22 October 1861, Dr. Houston remarried to Euphemia C. Wingate. 

Dr. Henry W. Houston and Euphemia had one daughter:

(7) Frances May Houston was born in East New Market on 9 May 1863.  She married Frederick Wright (age 31) on 20 December 1887 in East New Market.  Fred was a farmer.  They had children Isaac Henry (1889-) and Elizabeth H. (1891-).  The Wright family lived in East New Market.  Frederick Wright inherited an interest in the I.H. Wright Store in East New Market from his father, Isaac Henry Wright, but was forced by decree of the court to sell the store in 1910.  F. May Wright died in 1915.  Frederick Wright died in 1939.  Both are buried at the East New Market Cemetery.

Dr. Houston lived at the Haskins-Houston House until his death on 23 May 1887.  He is buried at East New Market Cemetery with his first wife, Tryphena.  An 1898 biography of Joseph E. Henry states that he learned the drug business from Dr. Houston and bought Dr. Houston's business after his death.

On 14 August 1895, Euphemia C. Houston, widow, and children, Fannie May Wright (husband Frederick) of Dorchester County, Samuel D. Houston (wife Sophia) of Elizabeth, New Jersey, and Susan E. Dukes (husband J Kent Dukes), of Norwood, Pennsylvania, conveyed the Haskins-Houston House to Margaret T. Phelps (daughter of Dr.).  A month later, Margaret T. Phelps sold the house to Mary Jane Smith for $1200.

Euphemia Houston was living with Frederick & Frances Mary Wright in East New Market during the 1910 Census.

[In 1991 Donald O. Virden published Delaware Bible Records.  Records for Henry W. Houston and Tryphena Lecompte are reported to be on page 75.  I have not seen this source, but would like to.]