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Henry Oscar Houghton

HOUGHTON, Henry Oscar (ho'-ton), publisher, born in Sutton, Vermont, 30 April, 1823. He attended the academy in Bradford, Vermont, learned the printer's trade in Burlington, and worked at it in Nunda, New York He was graduated at the University of Vermont in 1846, and failing to obtain a place as teacher went to Boston and engaged as reporter for the "Traveller." In 1849 he became a member of the firm of Bolles & Houghton, printers, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and in 1852 established in that city the Riverside Press, under the firm name of H. O. Houghton and Co., of which he is still (1887) the head. In 1864 he became a member of the publishing firm of Hurd and Houghton, which in 1878 was succeeded by that of Houghton, Osgood and Co., and in 1880 by that of Houghton, Mifflin and Co. By the change of 1878 it acquired the large list of the old Ticknor and Fields house, which included many famous American authors of the generation of Emerson, Longfellow, Whittier, and Holmes. When Mr. Houghton was an apprentice in Burlington, an unknown man one day walked into the office, handed him a printed slip, and said: "My lad, when you use these words, spell them as here, theater, center," etc. It was Noah Webster, whose great dictionary is now printed at the Riverside Press, where several presses are constantly at work upon it. Among the notable books that have been produced there are facsimile reprints of the "Bay Psahne Book," and Cromwell's "Souldier's Bible," "Notes on Columbus," edited by Harrisse, Winsor's "History of America," and the illustrated edition of Longfellow's works. In 1872 Mr. Houghton was elected mayor of Cambridge.

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