Romeyn Beck Hough

Genealogy of the Hough Family of Northern New York

This name is inseparably connected with the formative period of history in Northern New York. Posterity is deeply indebted to Dr. Franklin B., Hough for his care in learning and preserving the history of early settlements in Lewis, Jefferson, Franklin and St. Lawrence counties. The ancestry was located early in Massachusetts, and worthy sons have been instrumental in settling and developing many sections of the United States. Many physicians have been found among the descendants, but most have been mechanics or tillers of the soil.

(I) The first of whom knowledge is now obtainable was Edward Hough, who dwelt in West Chester, Cheshire, England,

(II) William Hough, son of Edward Hough, was born in 1619. He emigrated to America in 1640, and was a house carpenter. He resided for some years at Gloucester, Massachusetts, having land at Tyndall Cove and on Bishic Island, opposite. The locality known as “Hough’s Neck” was named for him, and he served as selectman of Gloucester, in 1649-50. In the latter year he removed to New London, Connecticut, where he died August 10, 1683. The widow Ann Hough, who died at Gloucester, in 1672, is supposed to have been his mother. He married, October 28, 1645, Sarah daughter of Deacon Hugh and Anne Caulkins, of Gloucester. His first three children were born in Gloucester, and the last six in New London, the fourth being born in Saybrook. They were:

  1. Hannah Hough.
  2. Abiah Hough.
  3. Sarah Hough.
  4. Samuel Hough.
  5. John Hough.
  6. William Hough.
  7. Jonathan Hough.
  8. Deborah Hough.
  9. Abigail Hough.
  10. Anna Hough.

(III) Samuel Hough, eldest son of William and Sarah Caulkins Hough, was born March 9, 1653, in Saybrook, Connecticut, and died in Wallingford, Connecticut, March 14, 1714 or 1718. He was a millwright, and went to Wallingford to assist in the erection of the first mill in that town; liking the people and location, he settled there. He married (first), November 25, 1679, Susannah, daughter of Simeon and Sarah Wrotham, of Farmington, Connecticut, who died September 5, 1684, in Wallingford; and he married (second), April 18, 1685, Mary, daughter of James and Ann Bates, of Haddam, Connecticut. The first wife’s children were:

  1. William Hough.
  2. Samuel Hough.
  3. Susannah Hough.

The second wife’s Children were:

  1. James Hough.
  2. Hannah Hough.

(IV) James Hough, Third son of Samuel Hough, and eldest child of his second wife, was born December 15, 1688, in Wallingford, and died in his native town, October 20, 1740. It is presumed that he lived in that portion of the town which is now Meriden, as his descendants have lived there to the present time, and he was probably a farmer. He married (first) Hannah Clark, who died March 4, 1718, leaving three children; and he married (second) July 9, 17187, Sarah Mitchell, who was the mother of nine children. the children of the first were:

  1. Samuel Hough.
  2. Phineas Hough.
  3. Joseph Hough.

The children of the second:

  1. Ephraim Hough.
  2. Daniel Hough.
  3. Ebenezer Hough.
  4. David Hough (died young).
  5. Sarah Hough.
  6. David Hough.
  7. James Hough.
  8. Barnabas Hough.
  9. Mary Hough.

(Daniel and descendants receive mentioned below.)

(V) Samuel Hough (2), eldest child of James and Hannah (Clark) Hough, was born July 12, 1712, in Meriden, where he died August 26, 1776. He was also the owner of a large farm and also operated a grist mill and store in Meriden. He married, November 7, 1734, Mehitable, daughter of Samuel Roys (Rice), born September 12, 1712, died December 25, 1774.

(VI) John Hough, son of Samuel and Mehitable (Rice) Hough, was born September 21, 1735, in Meriden, and died February 24, 1788, in Meriden. He married, January 16, 1760, Lois Merriam, who died in March, 1813, in Martinsburg, New York, where she spent her last days with her son. Children:

  1. Samuel Hough, born November 4, 1760, died March 11, 1812, in Martinsburg.
  2. Mathew Hough, March 1, 1763, died in Turin, Lewis County, New York.
  3. Chauncey Hough, June 14, 1765, lived and died in Meriden.
  4. Asabel Hough, mentioned below.
  5. Keturah Hough, March 4, 1773, died unmarried in Meriden.
  6. Mehitable Hough, July 9, 1775, lived to the age of forty-two years.
  7. Lois Hough, September 4, 1780, died near the close of her fifty-fifth year.

(VII) Asabel Hough, fourth son of John and Lois (Merriam) Hough, was born December 1, 1769, in Meriden, and died December 6, 1842, in Martinsburg, New York. In 1795, in his twenty-sixth year, he removed from Connecticut to Leyden, Lewis County, New York, and later removed to West Martinsburg, same county, where he purchased a farm in 1804. Perhaps it would be more proper to say he purchased the land out of which to make a farm. This was a forest wilderness, and required much labor on his part in the clearing of land preparing it for cultivation. Here he made a home and reared a family. He commanded a company of troops during the war of 1812. He married, May 18, 1794, in Middletown, Connecticut, Abigail Bacon, born December, 1773, died June 26, 1870, in West Martinsburg, where they settled in 1802. Children:

  1. Keturah Hough, born May 8, 1795, married Apollos Rogers, and died September 3, 1831.
  2. Philomeda Hough, May 18, 1790, married Zephonia Chapman in 1826.
  3. Clarissa Hough, May 22, 1800, married Elijah Phillips, and died in 1891.
  4. Lorinda Hough, August 1, 1804, became the second wife of Apollos Rogers, and died in 1835.
  5. Eli Bacon Hough, mentioned below.

(VIII) Eli Bacon Hough, only son of Asabel and Abigail (Bacon) Hough, was born January 15, 1810, in Martinsburg, and died December 1, 1892. He was reared on the pioneer farm in his native town, attending the public schools, and subsequently fitted for college. He succeeded to the ownership of the homestead, upon which he resided through life, and was a very successful farmer. He was in early life an old line Whig, and became an enthusiastic supporter of the Republican Party upon its organization. He married (first) Abigail, daughter of Eli Rogers, of Martinsburg, born March 20, 1812, in Hosueville, Lewis County, New York, died October 5, 1843. He married (second) Melvina Wright, of Green County, New York, born October 31, 1818, died May 20, 1889. Only one child out of the first marriage grew to maturity, and is mentioned below. There was one child of the second marriage,

  1. Gertrude Hough, born November 5, 1845, married James M. Patch, of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, and had three daughters:
    1. Mary Patch.
    2. Gertrude Patch.
    3. Hattie Patch. She died July 18, 1901, while residing in Indianapolis, Indiana.

(IX) Theodore Delavan Hough, only surviving child of Eli B. and Abigail (Rogers) Hough, was born July 25, 1843, on the paternal homestead, in West Martinsburg, where he grew up and received his education in a select school. He remained with his father, whom he succeeded as owner of the paternal farm, and was successfully engaged in agriculture until 1893, when he retired and moved to Lowville, where he now resides. He still retains the homestead cleared up by his grandfather, and is one of the solid citizens of Lewis County. He is a member and trustee of the Methodist Episcopal Church and of the Patrons of Husbandry, and is a staunch Republican in political principle. He married September 25, 1867, Mary E., daughter of Henry J. Patrie, of Livingston, Columbia County, New York, born September 13, 1847. Children:

  1. Lettie Hough, born February 21, 1869, married September 27, 1899, George Salisbury, and has a daughter:
    1. Elva H. Salisbury, born March 18, 1905.
  2. Eli Charles Hough, September 26, 1874, educated in the public schools, Lowville Academy, and at Albany, New York, Dental College, is now practicing dentistry at Little Falls, New York. He married, February 12, 1901, Pauline Elizabeth Blodgett.

Line of Daniel Hough of Northern New York

(V) Daniel Hough, fifth son of James Hough, (q. v.) and second child of his second wife, was born March 6, 1721, in Wallingford, and died there July 25, 1768, in his forty-eighth year. Nothing has been preserved to show his occupation. He married (first) January 20, 1742, Mindwell Judd, who died March 21, same year, and he married (second) November 29, 1743, Violet Benton. He lived and died in Meriden, which was not set off as a separate town until thirty-eight years after his death. Children:

  1. Mindwell Hough. The eldest son was a well known physician.
  2. Ensign Hough.
  3. Elijah Hough.
  4. Thomas Hough.
  5. Samuel Hough.
  6. Eunice Hough.
  7. Dolly Hough.
  8. Caleb Hough.
  9. Lydia Hough.
  10. Hannah Hough.
  11. Daniel Hough.

(VI) Thomas Hough, third son of Daniel and Violet (Benton) Hough, was born December 17, 1749, in Wallingford, and resided there until 1781, when he removed to Southwick, Massachusetts, and there died December 4, 1815. He owned there a farm of one hundred and fifty acres, served as selectman in 1787, as town clerk in 1788, and was a deacon of Reverend Isaac Clinton’s church. The latter removed about 1807 to Lewis County, New York, whither he had been preceded by sons of Thomas Hough. The last named married, September 30, 1772, in Meriden, Rebecca, daughter of David Ives. She was baptized May 3, 1752, and died November 19, 1815, fifteen days before her spouse. Children:

  1. Bezaleel Hough.
  2. Horatio Gates Hough.
  3. Joel Hough.
  4. Ensign Hough.
  5. John Hough.
  6. Rebecca Hough.
  7. Elizabeth Hough.
  8. Asabel Hough.

(VII) Horatio Gates Hough, second son of Thomas and Rebecca (Ives) Hough, was born January 5, 17778, in Meriden and died September 3, 1830, in Martinsburg, Lewis County, New York, being the pioneer physician of the county. He was but three years of age when he went with his parents to Southwick, and was there a classical student under the Reverend Isaac Clinton, pastor of the church at Southwick. At the age of sixteen years he began the study of medicine with Doctor Coit, of that town, and was admitted to practice when twenty years old. At this time he received from his father a horse and saddle and bridle, and with a small quantity of medical supplies he set out for the state of Maine to find a location. He did not succeed, however, in finding one of his satisfaction, and he then proceeded in the opposite direction, removing to Constableville, New York, where he took up a small farm. Early in 1805 he removed thence to a farm in Martinsburg, New York, one and one-fourth miles south of the village of that name, where he continued to reside until his death from heart disease, September 3, 1830. His mind was much given to philosophical studies, and he wrote a work entitled, “Diving, or an Attempt to Describe Upon Hydraulic and Hydrostatic Principles, a method of Supplying the Diver with Air under Water“, printed at Hartford, Connecticut, 1813. In connection with his farming operations, he engaged in the practice of his profession. He was an excellent physician and an original member of the Lewis County Medical Society, of which he was president at the time of his death, and on many occasions he read at its meetings essays upon professional and scientific subjects. In an obituary notice it was said of him: “How often has he been seen traveling on foot with saddle bags on his shoulders, making his way through the woods by the aid of marked trees, to some distant log house, the abode of sickness and distress! There he has been seen almost exhausted by fatigue, and suffering from want of sleep and food, reaching forth his hand to restore the sick, and by his cheerful voice pouring consolation into the minds of the afflicted family. He was an obliging neighbor, a kind husband and an affectionate father, and the world a valuable citizen.” In the fall of 1803, he married Martha, daughter of Reuben Pitcher, of Martinsburg. He had two sons, Horatio G. and Dr. Franklin B., the former of whom resided on the homestead, and three daughters, Almira, Martha and Dema R.

Franklin B. Hough
Franklin B. Hough

(VIII) Dr. Franklin B. Hough, youngest child of Horatio Gates and Martha (Pitcher) Hough, was born July 20, 1822, in Martinsburg, and died at Lowville, June 11, 1885. He was but eight years of age when his father died, and he was reared by a mother of great intelligence and energy. He attended a common school, about one-fourth of a mile from his home. He was quite precocious, and kept in advance of his classmates. But this did not lessen the zest with which he participated in boyish sports. Ina reminiscence, he stated that he probably learned as much of the ordinary branches from hearing recitations of older classmates in the mixed school of the day, as from his own study. In the summer of 1836, he went to Turin to attend a select school taught by Stephen Moulton. This gentleman was a believer in corporal punishment, and was not a good teacher, and the youth suffered much from homesickness. Having read in his father’s library, the American Journal of Arts and Sciences, his appetite for learning was much whetted. When he was fifteen years of age, he began to take much interest in mineralogy and geology, and as early as 1837 began making explorations for the collection of specimens. In 1837, he began his first term at Lowville Academy, and received considerable help in these studies from the preceptor, Mr. Bannister. About this time young Hough made a journey on foot, a distance of twenty-five miles, to visit the natural bridge of Jefferson County, New York, for the purpose of studying geological formation. Having formed a resolution to obtain a college education, he entered a village school at Martinsburg, taught by Reverend Calvin Yale, where he continued from November, 1838, to April, 1839. Subsequently, for about one year, he was a student of the Black River Literary and Religious Institute at Watertown, New York. During the summer of 1839, he made a trip down the Mohawk Valley to Saratoga, and return, collecting minerals, in which his interest had progressed. September 1, 1840, at the age of eighteen years, he started for Schenectady, to enter Union College. At the close of his first term, he walked from that point to his home, making the distance from Rome, forty-five miles, in one night. In order to secure means for prosecuting his college studies, he engaged in teaching. His first term in the winter of 1840-1842, was in a district school at Martinsburg, for which he received a salary of twelve dollars per month of twenty-six days. Next year he received a salary of sixteen dollars per month and board, passing about among the families of the district, as was the custom of the time. He graduated from Union College in 1843, and was elected a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. After graduating, he began teaching in the academy at the village of Champion, Jefferson County, and during the winter he delivered several lectures on temperance, and also began the study of medicine with Doctor Gordon P. Spencer, a prominent physician of that day. At this time he spent considerable time in botanizing, and in the summer of that year he prepared a catalog of the plants indigenous to Lewis County. This was afterwards published and forms Senate Document No. 71 of 1846. To provide means for continuing his medical studies, he again engaged in teaching, and proceeded to Ohio, where an uncle was residing, and where he hoped to find profitable employment. At the village of Gustavus in Ohio, he took charge of an academy, for which he paid a small rent, and received the tuition. He could then purchase soft coal from a mine nearby at one dollar, per ton, and good hard wood for one dollar per cord. Tuition was proportioned to these economical prices, running from three to five dollars a term of thirteen weeks. The school was fairly successful, and after its close, Mr. Hough proceeded by way of Pittsburg, Philadelphia, New York and Albany, to his home. The next year he returned to Gustavus, but the establishment of other academies nearby interfered with his success somewhat, and he now determined to give up teaching, and devote his energies to the persecuting of his medical education. He attended his first course of lectures in a medical college at Cleveland, during the winter of 1846-47, and at the end of this term walked from Cleveland to his home in New York, accomplishing his journey in sixteen days. The following winter he attended another course of lectures, and was now prepared to enter upon practice. He purchased the property and practice of a physician in Somerville, St. Lawrence County, and having secured twelve dollars’ worth of medicines and bargained for a saddle, he started for his field of labor, March 9, 1848. His practice was fair from the start, for he was successful as a physician, and his spare time was devoted to his favorite botanical and mineralogical researches. Dr. Hough lectured on scientific subjects in an academy conducted by Rev. John W. Armstrong at Gouveneur, New York, and his mineralogical explorations in the vicinity of Somerville, nearby resulted in his discovering a new mineral which was named houghite in his honor. He established exchanges with other collectors, and put up several thousand sets of minerals for an establishment engage in supplying such sets for schools, and during one year he served as town superintendent of school. He became much interested in the history of the northern New York region, and in 1851 delivered a lecture by invitation at Ogdensburg on the early history of St. Lawrence County. After practicing medicine for four years in Somerville, he removed to Brownville, and devoted himself entirely to historical investigations. His only return to his profession was when he served one year and three months during the Civil War as sanitary inspector and nine months as surgeon of the Ninety-seventh Regiment, New York Volunteers, though he kept abreast with his profession the rest of h is life. His taste for historical study led him to publish in 1854 the history of Jefferson County, and in 1856 of his native county. He also contributed many article on scientific subjects to various periodicals, and became a most voluminous writer. In 1855 he was appointed superintendent of the state census, and entered upon his task with great energy. The work occupied him for several years, and was the first thorough and comprehensive census that had been taken by the state, and has served as a model for all that have succeeded it. He aided largely in the [preparation of French’s “Gazetteer” of the state of New York, published in 1860. To secure the facts necessary, he visited all parts of the state, examined the records, and made extensive and minute inquiries concerning localities. Eleven years later he issued a new edition of the “Gazetteer”, which was much superior to its predecessor. In July, 1863, he was commissioned by Governor Seymour a quartermaster of the Seventh Division of the National Guard, State of New York, with the rank of Lieutenant-colonel, and was subsequently detached from that division and assigned to duty in the Bureau of Military Statistics, where he continued until the close of 1784. Again, in 1865, he was made superintendent of the state census. In 1872 he was made a member of the commission in charge of state parks. In 1873 he presented a paper on “The Duty of Governments in the Preservation of Forests.”, before the American Association for the Advancement of Science, at its meeting in Portland, Maine. The occasion was an notable one, because it was the first public move in the establishment of a forestry system in America. Following the reading of the paper a committee, of which Dr. Hough was made chairman, was appointed “to memorialize Congress and the several state legislatures upon the importance of promoting the cultivation of timber and the preservation of forests, and to recommend proper legislation for securing these subjects.” The proceedings of the association of that and subsequent years show with what untiring energy and perseverance Dr. Hough applied himself to the discharge of the duties of the committee. It was at a time when the public mind was not yet alive to the importance of the subject, and he met with very little encouragement. His efforts were finally crowned with success, however, by the establishment of a division of forestry under the United States Department of Agriculture in 1876, and he has since then been looked upon as “the father of forestry in America.” he was appointed the first commissioner of forestry, and as such issued several very comprehensive reports, which were very favorably reviewed by European critics; one, an officer of the Wurtemberg forest service, remarking, “It awakens our surprise that a man not a specialist should have so mastered the whole body of American and European forestry literature and legislation”. In 1881 he visited Europe as an agent of the United States Government, to investigate and report upon the various systems of forestry as practiced there. In 1882 he published a systematic handbook entitled, “Elements of Forestry”. Many of his observations were published in a periodical which he established, called the American Journal of Forestry. The subject had not, however, received sufficient attention in this country, to secure support of such a journal, and it was suspended after the first volume. Through the influence of Dr. Hough, forestry associations were formed, and to his influence is largely due the system adopted in many states, of planting trees on Arbor Day. Dr. Hough’s researches and accumulations made it necessary for him to construct, near his home in Lowville, a separate building for his library. And he probably owned at the time of is death the most extensive and complete collection of the publications of the state to be found in any library, public or private. By patient search, by purchase, exchange and gift, he had secured everything relating to the political and legislative history of his home state. He had about fifteen thousand books, mostly of this class. And in this library he spent most of his time when at home. He said four hours of sleep sufficed him, and often when he awoke in the night he would dress himself and go to his library and resume work. He seemed incapable of fatigue, and spent very little time in recreation, his work was his pleasure. He “south repose in labor” as he was wont to say, when remonstrated with for not taking more rest, explaining that he always had three or more totally distinct in progress at the same time and these indifferent rooms. On tiring of working at one he would leave it, and going into another room, take up another, and there amid new surroundings and with thoughts working in an entirely different line, he could apply himself with as fresh vigor as though a nap had intervened. Or perhaps he would take up some bit of manual labor, like working in his garden, or about the home grounds, of which he was very fond. He was a man of wonderful constitution, both physical and mental, and scarcely ever knew what sickness was until the last. For the use of the constitutional convention of New York in 1867 he prepared the Convention Manual. In 1872 he issued two large volumes, entitled “American Constitution”. His most important literary enterprise was an abstract of the laws of New York from 1777 to 1885. Dr. Hough was reckless of his health, and had scarcely ever known what sickness was. In the winter of 1884-85 he contracted a cold at Albany, which brought on inflammation of the lungs, and this was succeeded by a weakness of the heart. He returned to his home in Lowville in the spring of 1885, and there passed away, as before stated, on June 11, of that year. Dr. Hough was in many respects a remarkable man. He had remarkable powers of concentrating his mind, and mastered many sciences by private study and investigation. He had a remarkable memory, and his systematic arrangement of topics enabled him to cover a large amount of ground. Thorough and conscientious, he spared himself no labor to secure accuracy. Though not an orator, he could express his thoughts clearly and forcibly upon any subject, and he was equally strong as a writer. “In all things he was the genuine man, the true and honest heart which despiseth shams, one of the world’s workers, and not an idler.”

He was a member of many learned societies and in their published proceedings and transactions are found many of his papers and addresses. Many were published in the N. Y. Senate and Assembly documents and in the “Reports of the Regents of the University of the State of New York”, and hundreds were contributions to the press. A writer once said of him, “There has probably been no son of New York whose bibliographical record shows to varied and valuable a contribution to the literature of the state.” The following is a classified list of the principal publications written or edited by him: historical—”History of St. Lawrence and Franklin counties” N. Y., 1853; same, Jefferson County, 1854; same, Lewis County, 1860; same (historical part), 1883; “Lowville Academy Semi-Centennial”, 1859; “History of Duryee’s Brigade” 1864; “New York Civil Lit” (originated and edited for eight years), 1855-63′ “Nantucket Papers”, 1856; “Pemaquid Papers”, 1856; “Pemaquid in its Relation to Our Colonial History”, 1874; Easton’s “Phillip’s Indian War”, 1858; “Hatfield and Deerfield” (attack of 1677), 1859; “Siege of Detroit” (1703), 1860; “Proceedings of Commissioners of Indian Affairs” (2 vols. 4to) 1861; “Captain Leonard Bleeker’s Order Book”, Major Andre’s Court Martial”, 1865; “Gen. Arnold’s Court of Inquiry”, 1865; “Pouchot’s Memoirs of the War of 1755-60” (translated from the French and annotated), 1866; “Washingtoniana” (2 vols.), 1865; “Bibliographical List of Books and Pamphlets Relating to the Death of Gen. Washington”, 1865; “Siege of Savannah” (1779), 1866; “Siege of Charleston” (1780), 1866; “Andre’s Cow chase”, 1866; “Northern Invasion of 1780”, 1861; “Plan for Seizing Col. Goff. The Regicide”, 1855; “Proclamation of Thanksgiving”, 1858; “Gazetteer of New York”, 1860; “Crimean War” (translated and annotated), 1862; “Historical Sketch of Union College”, 1876; “Journals of Major Robt. Rogers” (1755-60), 1883; “American Biographical Notes”, 1875; “Centennial History of the Regents”, 1885. Scientific—”Catalogue of the Plants of Lewis County”. 1846; “Meteorological Observations of New York Academies” (1825-50), 1955; same, second series (1851-63), 1872; “Essay on the Climate of New York”. 1857; “Observations upon Periodical Phenomena of Animal and Vegetable Life”. 1862; “Report on Forestry” (prepared for Committee on Public Lands), 1874; “Report on Forestry” 1877 (under commission from Congress); same, 1878-79; same, 1880-81; same, 1882; same, 1884 (in part); “Elements of Forestry”, 1883; “Journal of Forestry”, 1883; “Journal of Forestry”, 1882-83. Constitution And Laws—”New York Convention Manual” (2 Vols.), 1867; “New York Constitution of 1846:, 1867; “American constitution” (2 vols.), 1871; “Constitutional Provisions in Regard to Education”, 1875; “Convention of 1780:. Statistics—”New York State Census”, 1855; same, 1865; same of New York City, 1865; “History of the Census of the State of New York”, 1868; “Census of the District of Columbia”, 1867; “Comprehensive Farm Record”, 1860; “American Farm Register”, 1877; “Essay on Medical and Vital Statistics” (prize essay read before the State Medical Society), 1867. Miscellaneous—”The Thousand Islands of the St. Lawrence” (descriptive, historical and legendary), 1880; “Biography of James L. Leonard”, 1867; “Biography of Dr. Chas. Melford Crandall”; “Biography of Dr. Willard”; “Biography of Peter Penet”, 1866; “Biography of Te-ho-ra-gwa-ne-gen, alias Thomas Williams, a Chief of the Caughnawaga Tribe of Indians in Canada”, 1859. The following works were ready for publication at the time of his death, but have not yet been published: “Castorland Journal” (an annotated translation of a journal kept by a company of colonists who emigrated from France in 1793 to settle in the wilderness of Northern New York): “Abstract of the Laws of New York”, from the beginning of state government to date (6 large octavo volumes). The following was nearly ready for publication: “Existing Constitution of New York” (showing by comparative columns the four constitutions) large octavo.

In 1843 Union College conferred upon him the degree of A.B. and subsequently that of A.M. He received a medical degree from Cleveland Medical College in 1848, and the Regents of the State of New York conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. July 9, 1845, he married (first) Maria S. Eggleston, of Champion, who died June 2, 1848. They had one child

  1. Lora Maria Hough, born October 18, 1846, married March 15, 1875, Benjamin W. Bailey, and resided in Black River, New York, having children:
    1. Franklin Asa Bailey.
    2. Howard Arthur Bailey.
    3. Eva Experience Bailey.
    4. Edith Maria Bailey.

He married (second), May 16, 1849, Mariah Ellen Killiam, who survives him, and was the mother of his children excepting the first.

  1. Mary Ellen Hough, September 21, 1850, married October 27, 1875, Cyrus Simeon Crofoot, whom she survived, and died July 26, 1885.
  2. Franklin Horatio Hough, August 18, 1854, is a patent attorney residing in Washington, D. C.; married, September 17, 1890, Emily E. Winans, and had children:
    1. Clarence Hough.
    2. Eleanor Margaret Hough.
    3. Jeanette Winans Hough.
  3. Romeyn Beck Hough, mentioned below.
  4. Minnie Martha Hough, January 20, 1860.
  5. Elida Crofoot Hough, mentioned below.
  6. Abraham Lincoln Hough, December 28, 1865, is a patent attorney, residing in Washington. He married, April 5, 1899, Elizabeth Ashley, born June 6, 1868.
  7. Jessie Mariah Hough, (twins), born May 15, 1872, died the following year.
  8. Jennie Mariah Hough, (twins), born May 15, 1872, died the following year.
Romeyn Beck Hough
c. 1916 photograph of Romeyn Beck Hough displaying sections from American Woods. Behind are magic lantern slides.

(IX) Romeyn Beck Hough, second son of Dr. Franklin B. and Mariah E. (Killiam) Hough, born March 30, 1857, in Albany, became very early interested in the study of nature, and especially trees. He also made a study of birds, and was at one time employed y the Smithsonian Institution to make an expedition to Canada, and gather Indian relics from certain tribes there for the Centennial Exposition. As early as the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia, in 1876, he had amassed a considerable collection of birds, which was exhibited under the auspices of the United States Bureau of Education to show the result of a boy’s work in natural history. He pursued the study of botany with much enthusiasm, and much of his elective work at Cornell University was in that direction. He also added materially to his own collection and that of the college in bird specimens of the vicinity of Ithaca. He had also a natural tendency toward the study of medicine, and did some preliminary work, entering as a student under Dr. C. Hart Merriam, of Locust Grove. This was laid aside, however, to devote attention to the devising of a machine for making sections of woods to be used for illustrations, in lieu of pictures, in a proposed publication on American woods, should he be successful. He finally succeeded in perfecting a machine that would cut any thickness from one-tenth to one-twelve-hundredth inch. While experimenting with one of his machines it was found that the transverse sections of certain woods were quite strong, of almost ivory-like smoothness, and suitable for cards, for fancy and business purposes. Out of this unexpected discovery, grew a vigorous branch of his industry, necessitating the erection and equipment of a factory for meeting the demand which soon came from many foreign countries as well as the domestic trade. For a time this activity necessitated the abandonment of the scientific work, for which he devised his machines, but he finally took it up again, and in 1888 brought out the first volume of his “American Woods”. It is a unique publication in octavo book form with the illustrative portion made up of separable pages to facilitate examination and this feature necessitated a special form of binding, which the author devised. The wood-sections used in illustrating the work are sufficiently thin to allow the transmission of light, whereby characteristic structures are best revealed, and three distinct views of grain (respectively transverse, radial and tangential) of each wood are given. The sections and quite complete monographic text of twenty-five species comprise one volume. With a first volume a substantial subscription list for a proposed series of fifteen volumes, covering all the important woods of the United States and Canada, was secured. The gathering of the woods for the work Mr. Hough makes his personal duty, in order that he may be able to vouch for authenticity, and this requires his traveling extensively over the continent. When once the material is in hand he makes, besides the sections for “American Woods”, a supply of sections, about one-five-hundredth inch in thickness, for mounting between glass as stereopticon slides, and some one-twelve-hundredths inch in thickness, for use with the microscope. These he supplies to schools, and to special students of woods who are prepared to use them. Of “American Woods” twelve volumes have appeared to date, and the others are planned to appear in the near future. After the appearance of the tenth volume Mr. H. was happily surprised by the announcement that the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia had, on it own initiative, awarded him the special Elliott Cresson gold medal on the productions of “American Woods.” This, being the strongest of testimonials to the value of his contributions to science in this work, was very gratifying to him after his labors of twenty years. When “American Woods” was conceived, the new art of half-tome illustration was not available for showing photo-graphically the external features of trees. The possibilities offered by recent developments in that art suggested to Mr. Hough’s mind a companion work to “American Woods,” which should be photo-descriptive of the fresh leaves, fruits, leafless branchlets and barks of the various trees with photo-micrographs of the wood-structures of the principal species, and with the distributions indicated by small individual maps. After several years of further study, experiment and field work, he finally consummated the elaborate plan of the work, and published a “Handbook of the Trees of the Northern States and Canada”, as outlined above. His aim from the first was to portray the distinctive characters of all of the various species in his illustrations , and to make the work complete, as to including all of the species, regardless of cost and effort. The result was a handbook which enables one wholly unfamiliar with botany to identify the trees at any season of the year by comparison with its illustrations, to see their distributions, plotted on maps, and to learn much about their uses, from its concise text.

Romeyn Beck Hough 1857-1924
Romeyn Beck Hough 1857-1924

Like his honored father, Mr. Hough is an enthusiast, and whatever he undertakes is done thoroughly and well. He is a gentleman of genial nature and most courteous manner, and is destined to achieve further triumphs in his chosen labors. The following testimonial from Professor Merriam, chief of the United States Biological Survey, gives an accurate idea of the character of the book: “Your Handbook of Trees is the most ideal handbook I have ever seen. The plan of illustrating each species by photographic pictures of the trunk, branchlets, leaves and fruit, accomplished by a concise description of the species, and a map showing its geographic distribution, was a happy conception, and the mechanical advantage of bringing these together on facing pages, so as to fall under the eye at once, is an additional help to all who use the book. It appeals to me as a model in treatment and execution, and is by far the most convenient book I have ever seen for the ready identification of natural history objects. The time, labor and expense necessary in securing fresh specimens of upwards of 200 species of trees from the various parts of the country for illustration must have been very great; your success is a lasting tribute to your patience, perseverance and photographic skill”. The following testimonial is from Dr. A. E., Winship, in the Journal of Education: “No other book that has been made—and it is safe to say that no other will be made—can take the place of this masterly production. * * * No library, public or private, is complete without it, and no school should be without it. Eight dollars may seem a large price before you have seen what it buys, but when you have seen you will wonder that it is so inexpensive.”

The Boston Globe of it; “If a government through a commission with a corps of professional botanists had undertaken to photograph and describe all of the various kinds of tree in the northern states and Canada, it would be considered quite an undertaking—to do it right.

“But when one man undertakes such a task and puts it through in a successful manner, he comes pretty near being in a class by himself. Only an enthusiast would undertake such a work, and only a genius would carry it forward to a logical conclusion and put it in such book form that it would interest the average man.

“To say the book is interesting gives no idea of the degree of interest it arouses.

“the wonderful part of it is that one man with a camera should do such a work—should think of doing it, in these days when either governments or universities only undertake such things. It is doubtful, however, if it could have been done any better if undertaken by a dozen men—all experts. Mr. Hough is in his way in class with such men as Audubon, Humboldt, and Cuvier. And like them he lays before you only the results of his great work.”

He married, January 9, 1892, Anna Maria Galloway, born December 3, 1865, in Lowville, daughter of George F. and Celia Lucretia (Adams) Galloway. Children:

  1. Gertrude Helen Hough, born February 19, 1893.
  2. Romeyn Beck Hough, March 14, 1895.
  3. Marjorie Galloway Hough, October 3, 1896.
  4. Winnifred Dolen Hough, April 11, 1898.
  5. Edith Dora Hough, November 7, 1899.

(IX) Elida Crofoot Hough, third son of Dr. Franklin B. and Mariah E. (Kilham) Hough, was born February 7, 1863, in Lowville, and graduated from Lowville Academy in 1881, and from Cornell University with the degree of A.B. in 1885. Since February, 1888, he has been an examiner in the United States Patent Office at Washington. With his family, he is associated with the Presbyterian Church at Falls Church, Virginia, and he is an ardent Republican in political principle. He married, August 20, 1889, in Lowville, Pamelia, daughter of Yale and Helen Maria (Curtis) Rice. Her father was a merchant and tanner at Croghan. Mr. Hough makes his home at Falls Church, Fairfax County, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, where the following children were born to him:

  1. Lawrence Cooper Hough, December 5, 1891.
  2. Philip Rice Hough, November 14, 1893.
  3. Helen Yale Hough, December 25, 1897.


Genealogical and Family History of Northern New York : a record of the achievements of her people in the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation. New York: Lewis Historical Pub. Co., 1910.

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