DANIEL FRANKLIN HOUX
One of the highly esteemed citizens of Yolo County is Daniel F. Houx, living near Zamora, who is a worthy representative of one of the real pioneer families of this section. He has resided in this locality for seventy-eight years and is therefore well and accurately informed on every phase of the valley’s history. Mr. Houx was born in Johnson county, Missouri, December 7, 1845, and is a son of Leonard and Sarah L. (Tebbs) Houx, who were natives of Kentucky. In 1852 the family came to California, crossing the plains with the typical outfit of that day, ox team and covered wagon, and first stopped at Hangtown, now Placerville. Later they went to Sutter Fort, from there to Sacramento and finally to Yolo county, where they established their permanent home. The father took up one hundred and sixty acres of land near Zamora, on which he engaged in farming, and also operated large tracts of rented land in this locality, raising grain crops and giving much attention to sheep and other livestock. Both parents are deceased, the father dying in 1874 and the mother in 1897.
Daniel F. Houx received his elementary education in the district schools, after which he attended Vacaville College. He entered the Pacific Business College, in which he was graduated from the commercial course, and then entered at once upon his life work as a rancher and farmer. He rented a large tract of land and subsequently bought the interests of the other heirs in the home farm. In early days he rode the range as a cowboy all over the Sacramento Valley and passed through the typical experiences of that period. He took a keen interest in local public affairs and served in a number of responsible positions. He is constable of his district, is a deputy sheriff of Yolo County, and was for eight years a member of the board of county supervisors, having been president of the board during the last four years of that period. He has always been deeply interested in educational matters and for forty-five years served as a member of the board of school trustees, from which position he but recently resigned due to advancing years.
In August, 1878, at Arbuckle, California, Mr. Houx was united in marriage to Miss Lucinda F. Maupin, who is a native of Humboldt County, this state, and they are the parents of two children, Mrs. Minnie Leiter and Roy Reed. Mr. Houx is a member of Yolo Lodge, No. 81, F. & A. M.; Yolo Lodge, No. 293, I. O. O. F.; Sylvian Lodge, No. 108, D. R., and Chapter, No. 246, O. E. S. He is widely known as an old-time left-hand fiddler, and, though he cannot read a note of music and plays entirely by ear, he is remarkably proficient, particularly in the rendition of the well known melodies and dance music of former days. At an old fiddlers’ contest in Oakland, California, where an audience of two or three thousand acted as the judges of nine contestants, in 1924, Mr. Houx was the winner, the prize being a fine violin, made in Germany and valued at one hundred and fifty dollars. He is very proud of his victory, as well as of the instrument. He has played the violin in the National Theater in Woodland, as well as in a theater in Sacramento. As a pioneer, he retains vivid recollections of conditions in this section of the country in early days, when antelope, deer, grizzly bears and geese were common, and when his family came here there were practically no public improvements of any nature. So he has been an interested witness of the wonderful development which has characterized the Sacramento Valley and made of it one of the most favored sections of the country, productive and populous. He has shown himself a friend and neighbor to those who followed him here and during all the years has done his full part to promote the wellbeing of the community.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.