John J. Houser

JOHN J. HOUSER, a leading business man of Ruffsdale, whose honorable and straightforward methods have brought to him a large degree of prosperity and success, is a native of New Stanton, Pennsylvania, born December 13, 1866.

John G. Houser, father of John J. Houser, was born in Germany. When sixteen years old he left his native land for a home in the new world, locating at what is now known as New Stanton, Pennsylvania, where for a few years he was engaged in boiling salt. Later he turned his attention to farming in South Huntingdon township, which he continued until 1904, since which time he has lived in the village of Ruffsdale. He has held the office of school director for five or six terms, rendering efficient service in that capacity. He is a member and deacon in the Lutheran church, a Democrat in politics, and a member of the Patrons of Husbandry, and a director in the Mendon Grange Fire Insurance Company for several years. He married Rebecca Bare, daughter of Joseph Bare, and eight children were the issue, one of whom died in infancy. The surviving members are: John J., of whom later; Ida, wife of J. C. Husband of Greensburg; Mary, unmarried; Martha, wife of Alfred N. Miller; Sarah, wife of Frank Leighty; William P., a clerk in the employ of his brother, John J.; and Lula, unmarried.

The common schools of South Huntingdon township and the Greensburg Seminary, which he attended one term, afforded John J. Houser the opportunity of acquiring a practical education during his boyhood days. His first occupation was that of teacher, in which capacity he served for seven years in the schools of East and South Huntingdon townships. He engaged as clerk with J. H. Ruff at Ruffsdale, in 1892, and at the expiration of one year he purchased the business which consists of a general line of merchandise, and has successfully conducted the same up to the present time (1905). He takes a keen interest in everything pertaining to the welfare of the community in which he resides, especially along educational lines, and for one term held the office of school director. He was a delegate to the state convention of school directors which convened at Harrisburg, in 1903. He was instrumental in the organization of the Lutheran church of Ruffsdale, in which he serves as deacon and to the support of which he is a liberal contributor. He is a Democrat in politics. He is a charter member of the Knights of Malta. Lodge No. 350, Beacon Commandery of Ruffsdale. Mr. Houser married Cora M. Leighty, daughter of M. J. and Eliza Leighty, and their children are: Grover, born June 27, 1894; Mildred, May 7, 1897; and Corinne, December 4, 1901.

Source: Page(s) 137, History of Westmoreland County, Volume II, Pennsylvania by John N Boucher. New York, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1906.
Transcribed March 2006 by Nathan Zipfel for the Westmoreland County History Project
Contributed for use by the Westmoreland County Genealogy Project (

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