Robert G. Houston

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Robert G. Houston
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Delaware's At-large district
In office
March 4, 1925 – March 3, 1933
Preceded byWilliam H. Boyce
Succeeded byWilbur L. Adams
Personal details
Born(1867-10-13)October 13, 1867
Milton, Delaware
DiedJanuary 29, 1946(1946-01-29) (aged 78)
Lewes, Delaware
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Margaret White
ResidenceGeorgetown, Delaware

Robert Griffith Houston (October 13, 1867 – January 29, 1946) was an American lawyer, publisher and politician from Georgetown, in Sussex County, Delaware. He was a member of the Republican Party, who served four terms as U.S. Representative from Delaware. "Houston" is pronounced "house-ton," unlike the city in Texas with the same spelling.

Early life and family[edit]

Houston was born in Milton, Delaware. He attended public schools in Lewes, Delaware, and was the nephew of John W. Houston, who had served as U.S. Representative from Delaware between 1845 and 1851. He married Margaret White in 1888, an active suffragette and prohibition list.

Professional career[edit]

That same year, 1888, Houston was admitted to the Delaware Bar and began the practice of law in Georgetown. He served in the Delaware National Guard from 1890 to 1895 and in 1893, started "The Sussex Republican" a Sussex County newspaper. He was its owner and publisher until 1934. The paper continued under the name "The Sussex Countian" until 1946. Houston also served as the President of the First National Bank of Georgetown from 1901 to 1903.

Political career[edit]

In 1900, President William McKinley appointed Houston collector of customs for the district of Delaware, a post he held until 1904. He also served as Assistant Attorney General of Delaware from 1920 to 1924.

In 1924, popular Republican President Calvin Coolidge was reelected and led his party to a gain of 24 seats in the House of Representatives. Houston was elected to this U.S. House in 1924, defeating incumbent Democratic U.S. Representative William H. Boyce. He won election four times in all, also defeating Democrats Merrill H. Tilghman in 1926, John M. Richardson in 1928, and John P. LeFevre in 1930.

During these four terms, he served in the Republican majority in the 69th, 70th, and 71st Congress, but was in the minority in the 72nd Congress. He did not seek reelection in 1932, at the height of the Great Depression. In all, Houston served from March 4, 1925 until March 3, 1933, during the administrations of U.S. Presidents Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover.

After leaving the U.S. House, Houston again served as Assistant Attorney General of Delaware from 1933 to 1935. In 1936, Houston ran for the U.S. Senate as an Independent-Republican. He finished third behind the incumbent Republican Daniel O. Hastings, and the successful candidate, Democratic James H. Hughes. Following this he retired from politics and resumed his career as a publisher.

Death and legacy[edit]

Houston died at Lewes, and is buried there in the Lewes Presbyterian Church cemetery, along with his uncle, former U.S. Representative John W. Houston.


Elections are held the first Tuesday after November 1. U.S. Representatives took office March 4 and have a two-year term.

Public Offices
Office Type Location Began office Ended office notes
U.S. Representative Legislature Washington Republican March 4, 1925 March 3, 1927
U.S. Representative Legislature Washington Republican March 4, 1927 March 3, 1929
U.S. Representative Legislature Washington Republican March 4, 1929 March 3, 1931
U.S. Representative Legislature Washington Republican March 4, 1931 March 3, 1933
United States Congressional service
Dates Congress Chamber Majority President Committees Class/District
1925–1927 69th U.S. House Republican Calvin Coolidge at-large
1927–1929 70th U.S. House Republican Calvin Coolidge at-large
1929–1931 71st U.S. House Republican Herbert Hoover at-large
1931–1933 72nd U.S. House Democratic Herbert Hoover at-large
Election results
Year Office Subject Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
1924 U.S. Representative Robert G. Houston Republican 51,536 58% William H. Boyce Democratic 35,943 41%
1926 U.S. Representative Robert G. Houston Republican 38,919 57% Merrill H. Tilghman Democratic 29,424 43%
1928 U.S. Representative Robert G. Houston Republican 66,361 64% John M. Richardson Democratic 38,045 36%
1930 U.S. Representative Robert G. Houston Republican 48,493 56% John P. Le Fevre Democratic 38,391 44%
1936 U.S. Senator Robert G. Houston Independent
6,897 5% James H. Hughes
Daniel O. Hastings


  • Carter, Richard B. (2001). Clearing New Ground, The Life of John G. Townsend, Jr. Wilmington, Delaware: The Delaware Heritage Press. ISBN 0-924117-20-6.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
William H. Boyce
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Delaware's at-large congressional district

March 4, 1925 – March 4, 1933
Succeeded by
Wilbur L. Adams