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Herbert Houston papers

Identifier: RG-0000-0028


  • 1957 - 1990


Biographical / Historical

Colonel Herbert Houston was born in Crossville, Tenn. in 1900. After completing school, Houston enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He trained on Paris Island, South Carolina then served on a short tour of the USS Charleston. He later served in World War I, being part of the first convoy sailing to Europe during the war at St. Nazaire, France on June 27, 1917. The French and American governments honored and decorated Houston for his duty in the 2nd Division. He was wounded in action at the Battle of Belleau Woods, spent two months recovering, and then returned to duty. When Houston returned to the United States, he attended the University of Alabama. After completion of his undergraduate degree, he continued to post-graduate studies in Theology at Vanderbilt University. Upon graduation, he became a Presbyterian Minister and Captain in the United States Army. He later attended Harvard University on request of the United States Army for studies they felt would aid in what was to become World War II. During his time as a civilian, he worked as an insurance agent with the Cumberland Farmer's Cooperative. This would give him a better perspective in his future efforts when he "started the mailorder (sic) drug plan program, and the insurance plans for WWI veterans; the first of any Vet-org. (1)" Houston retired from the military in 1947 and became active in Veteran affairs. He was an active member of the Veterans of World War I, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Disabled American Veterans, the American Legion, and the American Veterans (AMVETS). He worked with the President's Advisory Commission, studying veterans' needs and making recommendations to the Commission. He served as a member on the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee's Advisory Committee. Houston held every position in the Veterans of World War I, including National Commander from 1965 to 1966, to which he was elected at the National Convention in Tampa, Florida. While working with the Veterans of World War I, Colonel Houston became a world traveler. Trips to France and Israel, as well as throughout the U.S., were part of his itinerary. Houston married Meda Ray Smith. After retiring from the military, he owned and managed a cattle business in Crossville, Tenn. Retiring to Chattanooga, Tenn., he died in 1989 and is buried in Chattanooga National Cemetery.

1. Houston to Don R. Pears, Box 4 Folder 9, 1988, August 17.


15 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Herbert Houston papers
Under Revision
Kat Bullard
2016 December 8
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Edition statement
2nd ed.

Repository Details

Part of the Tennessee Tech University Special Collections Repository

1100 North Peachtree Avenue
PO Box 5066
Cookeville Tennessee 38505 United States