Harry Herbert Houston, Sr. and Emily Shoemaker

Harry Herbert Houston (10.06.1880 – 07.16.1959) was born in Tampico, IL to Herbert Merton Houston and Lucy Smith. A copy of Harry’s birth certificate shows that Herbert Merton worked as a farmer and Lucy as a housewife. Harry was the youngest of four children: Merton (b. 03.14.1871), Edith (b. 06.16.1873), and Walter (b. 05.1878).

As an adult, Harry worked for the Bell Telephone Company as an electrical engineer and for a time he lived in Jersey City, NJ. At age 26, he married Emily Crouse Shoemaker (03.19.1875 – 10.31.1950), an elementary schoolteacher from Muncy, PA. Robert Fleming Shoemaker, a farmer, and Almira Lowmiller had seven children: Amelia (b. 1869), Jessie (1870-1946), Robert F. (b. 1872), Harold (b. 1874), Emily, Paul E. (b. 1877), and Carl (1883-1941).

The wedding took place on June 27, 1907 at St. James Episcopal Church (215 S. Main Street) in Muncy. Emily’s brother, Paul, gave her away as their father, Robert Fleming, had passed away in 1893. The couple spent their honeymoon visiting Rochester, Buffalo, and Niagara Falls.

By 1909, Harry and Emily had moved to Yonkers, NY (Ward 9, Westchester, according census data from 1910, 1925, 1930, and 1940)  and Harry began working for the NY Central Railroad. They lived first at 84 Chester Place with two other families (1910 Census). A few years later, they moved to Edgewood Avenue and by about 1918, they moved to 52 St. James Terrace.

Emily and Harry had two sons: Harry Herbert Jr. (b. 1909) and G. N. Crosby (b. 1916), both born in Yonkers.

Harry Herbert Houston Senior and Junior

Harry Herbert Houston, Jr. at Edgewood Avenue

Emily with her sons Herbert and baby Crosby

On September 18, 1918, Harry completed a WWI Draft Registration Card. His occupation is stated as a telegram and telephone pilot for the N.Y.C.R.R.Co. The registrar described Harry as tall and of medium build with grey hair and grey eyes.

According to the 1940 census, Harry at age 59 still worked full-time for the NY Central Railroad along with his son, Crosby. Harry continued work as a telephone wireman and his 24-year-old son worked as a “dynamo man.” They both worked 52 weeks per year and their salaries were $2200 and $1800, respectively. Amelia Bubb, Emily’s widowed sister, aged 71, lived with the family as this time.

Emily (far right) at an antiques show in Yonkers, NY.

Harry Herbert Houston, Sr.

Harry and Emily moved back to Muncy in their old age. Emily died from a stroke and Harry from cancer. They are buried on the Shoemaker family plot on the far western end of the Muncy Cemetery on E. Penn Street. Their son Crosby continued to live at the St. James Terrace house in Yonkers, NY.


2 thoughts on “Harry Herbert Houston, Sr. and Emily Shoemaker

  1. L. Davidson

    I love your site. You have done an amazing job presenting your research. I am a descendant through the Shoemaker family as well. It is through Henry and Barbara Kepner Shoemaker’s daughter, Susan, and her husband, Edward Gobin. Thank you.


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