Charles Huston (1771-1849)

Charles Huston was born on January 16, 1771, in Plumstead Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the eldest son of Thomas and Jane Walker Huston. After a local education, he entered Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania with the class of 1789. An accomplished Latin and Greek scholar, he attained honors on graduation and remained in Carlisle to tutor Dickinson students and study law under Thomas Duncan. During 1792-93, he took over as Principal of the college's Grammar School. He continued to tutor undergraduates in Latin and Greek, among them the young first year student, Roger Brooke Taney. He is said to have joined Washington's expedition in 1794 to quell the Whiskey Rebellion. He then gave up his teaching to concentrate on a legal career, was called to the bar, and took himself to the newly laid out Lycoming County where he launched a highly successful career as a land lawyer.

In 1807, Huston relocated again to Bellefonte, Pennsylvania in Centre County and built an even larger practice. On August 22, 1818, Governor Findlay appointed him as president judge of the Fourth Judicial District of Pennsylvania. After eight years with this responsibility, Governor Shulze appointed him, in 1826, to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upon which he served until his retirement in 1845. His activities in retirement indicate that his early legal interests were still with him, as he completed The History and Nature of Original Titles to Land in the Province and State of Pennsylvania.

Huston married Mary Winter. He had, in 1830, a township in Centre County named for him and currently has a Middle School named for him in Lower Burrell, Pennsylvania. Charles Huston died in Bellefonte on November 10, 1849 at the age of seventy-eight.

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Dickinson College Archives
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