Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",  published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.

     OLIVER C. HOUCK, one of the earliest of the pioneers in Lincoln county, is now living in Spokane, at E.1601 Pacific avenue, where he owns a beautiful residence.  He is retired from the more active duties of life and with his good wife is enjoying the fruits of their thrift and labors of the years gone by.  All the old timers of Lincoln county will be interested to read about Mr. and Mrs. Houck, and it is a pleasure for us to append the details of their careers.
     Oliver C. Houck was born in Troft creek valley, Fulton county, Pennsylvania, on June 8, 1842.  His parents were John Z. and Deborah (Woodcock) Houck.  The ancestors on both sides were true Americans and highly respected people.  The father died in Pennsylvania, his native state, having been a life long member of the Methodist church.  Mrs. Houck, the mother, died on June 4, 1892, at her son's residence in Holden, Missouri, aged eighty-five years and eight days.  She was born in Maryland, December 25, 1806, and married in Pennsylvania.  He rhusband died in August, 1867.  In February, 1869, she came to Holden and there lived with her son until her death.  She was the mother of four sons and one daughter.  She lived a devout Christian life and went home to the reward of the faithful.  Our subject was educated in the common schools of Pennsylvania until 1860, when he came on west to Illinois.  He worked for wages until his marriage, then went to farming for himself.  He rented land at first, and became able later to buy and selected a farm where he dwelt for nine years.  Believing that the west had good things for him, he came out to Oregon, explored the country in various sections and finally came to the vicinity of Colfax, Washington, wintering in 1882 within six miles from that then small town.  The next year, 1883, he came to Lincoln county, then a wild and largely uninhabited region.  After due search he selected a farm place, it was then raw prairie, nine miles northeast from where Wilbur is now located.  He used his preemption and timber culture rights and thus secured a half section of land.  The opening days of this country were times of labor and deprivation and it took strong hearts to brook all that came.  The oldest son, Samuel, went to Walla Walla and wrought in the harvest fields to obtain cash for food, while the father and the mother labored to improve the farm.  Mrs. Houck was a faithful helpmeet in those days and labored along with her husband in much of the out door work.  Mr. Houck was possessed of real keen foresight and saw the future of the Big Bend and so bought railroad land as he became able, which wise move, together with their careful labors, placed the family in very prosperous ways as the country began to build up.  They all continued to till the land and Mr. Houck was known as one of the leading men of his section.  In 1900, he and his wife decided to take the rest that they had so well earned, and accordingly sold a portion of the fine estate, bought the residence where they now live, and removed hither to pass the golden days of their years in rest and amid more comforts than the farm provides.
     On September 25, 1862, Mr. Houck married Miss Rebecca M., daughter of Samuel E. and Susannah (Jeffries) Parsons.  To them have been born the following named children: Samuel J., on July 31, 1863; William P., deceased, his death occurring on March 1, 1866; Susannah D., on August 2, 1868; Sylvester L., on August 27, 1872; Emma L., on July 14, 1875.  Mrs. Houck was born in Huntington county, Pennsylvania, and received her education in Fulton county, Illinois.
     When Mr. Houck came to the Big Bend country, he had to go to Brents for mail and the nearest trading place was many miles distant.  The Indians were numerous and some times troublesome.  Mrs. Houck was obliged to keep the blinds drawn to avoid the hideous feeling from seeing wild faces peering in at the windows.  On one occasion several Indians came to the house and asked for food.  She was afraid to say the husband was far away, and so deceived them by telling them he was close by.  They soon discovered he was absent and so were more demanding.  She showed them unbaked bread and explained that it was all she had, but not to be so easily satisfied, the leader demanded food.  Mrs. Houck secured a stick of wood to try and defend herself with, and just at that juncture, the husband came and the savages retired.  But these days are past and they were preserved from the threatened dangers and are now passing their life in the comfort of the faith that makes faithful and are blessed with many warm friends to cheer and make happy the pathway.