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 Howard Henry Huntington

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Howard Henry Huntington

  • Birth 4 Dec 1878 Blue Island, Cook County, Illinois, USA
  • Death 29 May 1944 Salem, Marion County, Oregon, USA
  • Burial Salem, Marion County, Oregon, USA
  • Memorial ID 86772397

Howard Huntington’s cremated remains were never taken after his death and are still available at the Oregon State Hospital to be claimed by anyone who is related. More information about unclaimed cremains at OSH is available at A book by David Maisel and a short documentary film by Ondi Timoner & Robert James, both entitled "Library of Dust" also provide more information.

Howard was born on 12/4/1878 in Blue Island, Cook County which is 16 miles south of the Chicago Loop. His mother, Caroline “Carrie” Hagemann, was born in Prussia/Germany about 1854. She and her parent immigrated to the US when Carrie was a toddler. As a teenager she began working as a tailor. Howard’s father, Walter James Huntington, was born in Blue Island, Illinois in 1848. Walter and Carrie were married in Chicago on 4/13/1878. Howard’s only known sibling was Frances R. “Fanny” who was born in Illinois in 1881.

At the time of the 1880 census Howard was one year old and living with his parents in Blue Island where his father was a laborer. Howard’s mother died in Cook County, Illinois on 10/20/1884 at the age of 32. Howard was just 5 years old and Fanny was 3.

About 1885 Howard’s father married Evy who was born in Michigan in 1842. She had no children of her own. During the 1900 census Howard was living in Worth, Cook County, Illinois with his father, sister and step-mother. He was working as a day laborer and his father was a collector for the railroad. It is not known what became of Evy.

On 5/25/1901 in Whatcom County, Washington at 53 Howard’s father married 34 year old Lydia Highley, a dressmaker. She was born in Indiana about 1867. It was her second marriage. Although Walter indicated it was his second marriage, it was at least his third. Walter & Lydia’s reportedly adopted a son, Samuel R. Huntington, who was born in Illinois about 1900 and adopted in 1901. He was named for Walter’s father. Walter deserted Lydia in June 1906. Lydia sued for divorce in August 1907. Lydia asked for custody of Samuel. She remarried in 1908. In October 1909 Howard’s father married Mrs. Jennie Kirk (born in Ohio about 1851). In the census of 1910 Howard’s father was living in Martins Bluff, Washington with Jennie. With them was Samuel R. Huntington. Apparently Lydia did not get custody.

About 1908 Howard had a relationship wit Bertie Mae Campbell Belch. She was born in Arkansas in 1888. She was married to Joseph Richard Belch in Arkansas in 1907. In 1909 in Arkansas Bertie and Howard had a daughter they named Lenora Kathleen. In the 1910 census Howard was farming in Martins Bluff, Cowlitz County, Washington and living with with Bertie and Lenora Kathleen. Bertie was reportedly Howard’s wife. By the time of the 1920 census Bertie was living with her husband Joe Belch and daughter Lenora Kathleen Huntington in San Diego, California. In 1920 Howard’s father father was living with his wife Jennie in Woodland, Cowlitz County, Washington and working as a clerk at a steamboat dock. In 1918 Howard was working as a barber in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His wife at that time was Anna who was living in Minnesota. By the time of the 1920 census Howard was listed as single and was working as a barber while living in a large boarding house in DePere, Brown County, Wisconsin.

Before 1920 Howard’s sister Fanny married Charles August Sylvester, a Portland, Oregon fire fighter. Living with them in the 1920 census was Huntington Sylvester who was born in Illinois about 1900. This was the same person as Samuel R. Huntington. In 1920 he was reported to be Fanny’s son. Samuel was living with Fanny during the 1918 WWI draft registration, but was using the name Samuel Right Huntington.

In the 1930 census Howard and his father were living together in Portland, Oregon. Howard was working as a “junkman.” Both men were said to be widowed. On 2/19/1934 Howard’s father was admitted to the Multnomah County Poor Farm and Howard was admitted the following year on 4/8/1944. The counties had the responsibility of caring for the poor. The Multnomah County facility was in Troutdale east of Portland. It encompass 345 acres and its population peaked at 614 in 1935. In 1982, the county closed the entire facilities. Today the farm is McMenamin’s Edgefield, a hotel, restaurant, golf course and entertainment facility.

Howard was at the Poor Farm for only 2 weeks. On 4/24/1944 he was admitted to the Oregon State Hospital, a residential facility in Salem, Oregon for the treatment of people with mental illness. After being a patient at the institution for a month he died there on 5/29/1944. The cause of death was reported as “senility.” He was 65 years old.

Howard’s nephew or adopted half brother Samuel died in Spokane, Washington in 1934. Daughter Lenora married George M. Thompson. They had at least one son. She divorced Mr. Thompson later married George G. Fields. She divorced Mr. Fields. Lenora Kathleen Huntington Thompson Fields died on 6/6/1977 in San Diego.

Family Members






  • Maintained by: Phyllis (Porter) Zegers
  • Originally Created by: Reggie Sutton
  • Added: 14 Mar 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 86772397
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Howard Henry Huntington (4 Dec 1878–29 May 1944), Find A Grave Memorial no. 86772397, citing Oregon State Hospital Patient Memorial, Salem, Marion County, Oregon, USA ; Maintained by Phyllis (Porter) Zegers (contributor 47125324) .