Houk, Lysander First Lawyer in Reno County

Lysander Houk

  • Born: 22 February 1834 Sevier Co. Tennessee
  • Died: 12 February 1898 Chicago Illinois
  • Burial: Eastside Cemetery Hutchinson Kansas

Nannie Whitelaw

  • Born: 1841
  • Died: 1930
  • Burial: Eastside Cemetery Hutchinson Kansas

HON. L. HOUK, District Judge, was born in Sevier County, East Tenn., fourteen miles from Knoxville, February 22, 1834. When about one year of age e removed to Morgan County, Ala., remaining there until 1850, when he returned to Tennessee. After attending the Union University at Murfreesboro, Tenn., and taking a four years course, he graduated in 1874, and entered the Law Department of the Cumberland University at Lebanon, Tenn. He was licensed to practice in 1856, and moved to Brownsville. Tenn., in 1857. Judge Houk was a professor in Madison College, Madison County, Tenn., continuing in that capacity until 1861. Building a schoolhouse near Brownsville, Tenn., he engaged in teaching until he was conscripted into the Confederate service, in September, 1861. In June, 1862, he escaped further service, and went to St. Louis, residing there until 1865. Next he engaged in the real estate business in Dent County, Mo., for three years, then returned to Brownsville, and was in practice there until he came to Hutchinson. Judge Houk voted and acted against secession, being a Henry Clay Whig, and subsequently a consistent and unswerving Republican. He came to Hutchinson, in January, 1872, and was the first lawyer in Reno County. When he first settled in Hutchinson, his office was in the building south of Redfield's bank. Judge Houk was elected County Attorney in April, 1872, and served until January 1, 1873. He was re-elected in 1880, and again in 1882. In May, 1872 Wm. Whitelaw became his partner and they were together under the firm name of Houk & Whitelaw. He entered into partnership with Judge Brown, in May, 1879, S. B. Zimmerman becoming a member of the firm in February, 1881. Judge Houk served as County Superintendent, by appointment, after the resignation of Taylor Flick, remaining in that office about one year. Judge Houk was married at Brownsville, Tenn., May 7, 1860, to Nannie Whitelaw, a native of that place. They have six children living: Elise, Eleanor, Russell W., Herman, Whitelaw, Lysander w., John H. deceased. Judge Houk is a member of the Phi Gamma Delta College Society, and belongs to the Baptist Church.