Houtz papers

Lebanon County Historical Society
924 Cumberland Street, Lebanon, PA, 17042
Material Type
1771 – 1859 Inclusive date(s)
This collection contains administrations of wills and estates, other financial and legal documents, and correspondence relating to the Houtz family of Bethel Township, Lebanon County.
Extent Units
linear feet
Brian C. Kissler ()
Houtz family ()
Administrative/Biographical History
The Houtz family were landowners and farmers in Bethel Township, Lebanon County from the mid-eighteenth through the mid-nineteenth century. During that span, the family amassed land and wealth and intermarried with and maintained close connections to other prominent landowning families most often associated with the German Reformed congregation at St. Paul's or Klopp's Church in Hamlin, Pa. Johann Phillip Houtz  (1708-1766) emigrated to Pennsylvania prior to 1733 and warranted 190 acres of land near Hamlin in Bethel Township, Lancaster (now Lebanon) County in 1746. In 1752, Houtz had acquired another 248 acres in Bethel township for an annual quit rent. He married Anna Margaret Royer and had at least ten children. Wendell Houtz (d.1798) removed from Pennsylvania in the early 1780s and settled at Stony Creek in Shenandoah County, Virginia where he died in late 1797 or early 1798. Philip Lawrence Houtz (1740-1796) purchased 102 acres of land in Bethel township in 1761 but moved to Cumberland County, Pennsylvania prior to 1780. Henry Houtz (1745-1796) remained in Bethel township near Hamlin and became a prosperous farmer and prominent resident. He amassed two tracts of land totaling 406 acres, valued at £ 1816 17s 6d and £ 1695 3s 9d  respectively upon his death in 1796 and left an additional estate of almost £ 1200  to be divided among his widow and survivng children. Houtz served in the Lancaster County Militia 3rd Company 2nd Battalion 8th Class during the American Revolution. He married Maria Barbara Dubs in 1769 and had nine children. Philip Henry Houtz (1770-1848) continued as a farmer in Bethel township and also experienced economic success. Houtz engaged in business ventures beyond agricultre and purchased at least three patents in the first two decades of the nineteenth century. During his residence in Bethel township, he was a notably active member of St. Paul's or Klopp's Reformed Church in Hamlin. Houtz left Lebanon County prior to 1820 and settled near Germantown, Ohio. He died in Ohio in 1848. William Houtz (1803-1895) the eldest son of Philip Henry Houtz, resided in both Lebanon and Dauphin counties but maintained close economic and business interests in Hamlin and Fredricksburg.
Scope and Content
Estate papers from six estates administrated by members of the Houtz family include: A release and power of attorney for the estate of Wendell Houtz The will, several releases, an administration account statement and receipts for the estate of John Dubs administrated by Henry Houtz and Jacob Gossert A bond, a release and an administration account statement and receipts for the estate of Jacob Gossert administrated by Philip Henry Houtz and Catherine Gossert The will and a release for the estate of Henry Koppenheffer administrated by Philip Henry Houtz Several bonds, probate inventory, public vendue and receipts for the estate of Jacob Braun administrated by Philip Henry Houtz Bonds, releases, probate inventory and receipts for the estate of Henry Houtz administrated by Philip Henry and Maria Barbara Houtz A public vendue for an unidentified decedent Financial papers consist of common bonds, promissory notes, and tax assessments. Legal papers consist of three patents purchased by Philip Henry Houtz for 'making wine from Cider,' a water wheel and beehives, two land survey drafts for property in Bethel Township, a Lebanon County Court of Common Pleas ruling involving Philip Henry Houtz, three summons for William Houtz concerning debt and a draft of the will of William Houtz. Correspondence includes two letters received by Philip Henry Houtz and three letters received by William Houtz concerning land, business and finance. An additional letter from Samuel Rank to Frederick Klett, a Philadelphia apothocary, relates a business relationship involving Henry Houtz. Miscellaneous personal papers include an undated poem and several small manuscript fragments inscribed with either financial or religious notes.
18th century, 19th century, Dauphin County, Dauphin County, Lebanon County, Agreements, Bonds, Receipts, 1820-1830, 1840-1850