One of the most widely known and influential residents of Plymouth is Henry H. Huson, senior partner of the firm of Huson and Zirler, who for forty-five years has been actively and successfully identified with the mercantile interests of Sheboygan county. Not only is he one of the foremost business men of the town but he has figured with equal prominence in public affairs and has several times served as mayor of the city.
He was born at Loraine, Jefferson county, New York, on May 11, 1845, and is a son of Willard W. and Parnee (Lyman) Huson. The parents were likewise natives of the Empire state, the father having been born in Oneida county in 1810, while the mother's birth occurred in Jefferson county.
In the paternal line the family is descended from one of the old colonial Dutch families of New York, but the mother was of English extraction. In 1856, together with his wife and family, Willard W. Huson removed to Sheboygan county and settled on government land he had purchased in the vicinity of Plymouth. He assiduously applied himself to the improvement and cultivation of his farm until 1876, when he withdrew from active work and came to Plymouth where he lived retired until his death in 1888. Six sons were born to Mr. and Mrs. Huson, of whom our subject is the second in order of birth. The others are as follows: Willard B., a Jesuit priest living at Blackpool, England; Gilbert L., who is living at Plymouth; W. Wilfred, a landscape artist of note who died at Passaic, New Jersey, in 1911; C. Delos, who died at the age of seven years; and George C., who is engaged in fruit raising at Corning, California.
After completing the course of the graded and high schools of Sheboygan, Henry H. Huson continued his education at Ripon College and the University of Michigan, terminating his student days in 1866, at the age of twenty-one years. Immediately after leaving the university he came to Plymouth and began his business career as a clerk in the mercantile establishment of Smith and Elwell. Two years later he purchased the interest of Mr. Elwell in the business, which was conducted under the firm name of Smith and Huson until 1873. In the latter year Mr. Zirler became a partner in the enterprise and for ten years thereafter they continued operations under the name of Smith; Huson and Zirler.
At the expiration of that time Mr. Smith sold out to his two partners, who have now conducted the business alone for twenty-nine years. It is one of the oldest and best known mercantile establishments in the county and they enjoy a large patronage gleaned from the most desirable citizens of Plymouth and the surrounding country. In the conduct of their business they have strictly adhered to a policy that commends them to the confidence of all with whom they have transactions, and it is their aim to please and satisfy those who accord them their patronage. They have a very attractive store and the personnel of their employees is of a high order, while they carry a large and carefully assorted stock of merchandise of superior quality.
At various times during the period of his business career Mr. Huson has been identified with other enterprises and he was one of the organizers of the Schram and Huson Chair Company, which has since become merged into the Plymouth Parlor Frame Company.
In 1870, Mr. Huson married Sarah Skinner, a daughter of William and Maria (Smith) Skinner, of Royalton, Vermont. The father was a prominent banker of that town and he was also extensively interested in both the wool and hop industries. The mother was a member of an old New England family of English extraction and Mrs. Huson is a great-great-granddaughter of Willard Smith, a soldier of the Revolutionary war.
Mr. Skinner was for many years internal revenue collector for the district of Vermont. He was a very patriotic man and raised a regiment to go to the front in defense of the Union during the early days of the war, but did not live to see the result of this terrible conflict, as he passed away in 1862. Two daughters have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Huson, as follows: Alice Maria, the wife of E. J. Bush, of New York city, who is identified with the P. Lorillard Tobacco Company; and Katharine, who died at the age of four years. They have one grandson, Henry Huson Bush, who was born in 1896. He is living with his grandparents and attending the public school.
Mr. and Mrs. Huson affiliate with the Episcopal church, and he is a thirty-second degree Mason and also belongs to the Shrine, while he and Mrs. Huson are members of the Order of the Eastern Star. He likewise holds membership in the Modern Woodmen of America and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, while his political support he gives to the republican party. He is a progressive and enterprising man and his fellow townsmen have several times called him to public office, and he has served with efficiency both as mayor and clerk of the school board.
Mr. Huson is also treasurer of the Plymouth City Mutual Fire Insurance Company, and he takes an active and helpful interest in all questions affecting the civic welfare. Mrs. Huson has always been very prominent in the social circles of the city, and is a woman of rare personal charm and culture. She is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and of the Eastern Star, and always heartily cooperates in every movement that will tend to elevate the intellectual, moral or social standards of the community.
Information gathered and adapted from History of Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, Past and Present
Carl Zillier, Editor
Pubished by The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1912, Chicago, IL