Alabama Pioneers Honored

BIOGRAPHY: J. M. Huston (February 3, 1826 – June 23, 1882)


By R. L. James


To the Readers of the Alabama Historical Quarterly: (The Alabama Historical Quarterly, Vol. 07, No. 03, Fall Issue 1945)

I am releasing another section. No. 3, of my article “Colbertians.” I hope it will be possible for me to add one more section but I am sure there will still be many interesting people whom I cannot include. In addition to those to .whom I expressed thanks in the preface (See No. 2 Vol. 7) I wish to acknowledge my appreciation to Mr. James Carloss of Elkmont; Mrs. J. F. Craig, Jasper; Mrs. William Malone and Mrs. W. D. Brotherton, Cherokee; Mrs. Emma Scruggs and Miss Mattie Guy, Tuscumbia; and there are probably others who deserve to be mentioned in this connection whom I cannot at this moment recall. Mr. Woodruff Delony gave me quite a bit of information. I was at his house on August 6, 1946, which incidentally, was his eighty-sixth birthday, and had a long conversation with him. Since then this venerable citizen of Leighton, has passed away. He was a son of Dr. Edward B, Delony. I hope to write more about the Delony family in some future issue of the Quarterly. Sept 4, 1946 R. L. JAMES



(February 3, 1826 – June 23, 1882)

Virginia, Pennsylvania, Colbert County, Alabama

J. M. Huston “DIED In this city, on the 23rd ult. of heart disease, Dr. J. M. Huston of Dickson, Ala. “The deceased was born at Harrisonburg, Va. February 3rd, 1826, graduated at the Philadelphia Medical College and came to Buzzard Roost, Ala. in 1851 to practice his profession. In 1857, he married Miss Annie Barton, daughter of Armistead and Amanda Barton, and to them were born seven children, all of whom are alive except one son. Dr. Huston practiced his profession at Dickson until a few months before his death. His malady commencing to show alarming symptoms and medical attention being difficult to procure at his old home, he was moved to Tuscumbia the home of his son-in-law, Dr. C. R. Palmer, where he might receive the benefit of his attention. He gradually grew worse until the morning of the 23rd when he breathed his last, without pain or struggle. He was a member of the M. E. Church and died with a firmly founded hope of eternal life. He was buried at the Barton burying ground just as the sun was setting Friday the 24th attended by a large concourse of grief stricken relatives and friends.

His place will be hard to fill at his old home, as he had a warm place in the hearts of all. He was a FRIEND as well as medical advisor (sic) to the whole country for miles around. These ties were moulded all the closer by his many acts of charity and kindness. He was prepared to go when his Master said, ‘Come up higher’ and gladly laid his hand in the hand of Christ arid quietly went to inhabit the mansions in the skies.


Dr. Huston’s obituary is from the North Alabamian for March 3, 1893.

There were also HOUSTONS in the early settlement of Colbert and some of their descendants are still to be found in the county. I do not have any information as to their ancestry of family connection. But from looking through old newspaper files I find two interesting references to men whose name was spelled HOUSTON. It was said that James Houston killed a 200 pound deer within two miles of Tuscumbia in December 1872. Then the North Alabamian for June 30, 1882, records the death of Dr. N. J. Houston at San Antonio, Texas. The paper states that Dr. Houston was a citizen of Tuscumbia for more than forty years.

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