September 20: Alanson Bigelow Houghton (1941

Alanson B. Houghton was an American businessman, politician, and diplomat. He was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the grandson of the founder of Corning Glass Works. Houghton graduated from Harvard and pursued postgraduate courses in Europe. He took charge of his family’s business and tripled the company’s size, making it the largest producer of glass products in the country. Houghton served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, before his appointment by President Harding as Ambassador to Germany. He would later serve as Ambassador to Great Britain. During his time in Congress, Houghton became associated with Epiphany. The following is from the February 1922 issue of the Parish Guide newsletter, bidding farewell to Houghton as he leaves for Germany.

“With mixed feelings of pain and satisfaction we note the appointment of one of our honored parishioners, Mr. Alanson B. Houghton, to be Ambassador to Germany. Mr. Houghton for sometime Congressman from Corning, N.Y., has held a position in the House that was widely recognized as one of force and commanding influence. While a man of quiet and unobtrusive bearing, his clearness of vision and wide knowledge of men and things had won for him a place of high esteem among his colleagues. Mr. Houghton is a fine type of public servant, conscientious, painstaking, consistent; indeed he is the very best type because his life is governed by the Christian ideal. He had hoped to take his part here in the growing work of the Parish and was deeply interested in its enterprise. We are bound to believe that his selection is a wise one, and that he will bring to his high office fine intelligence, splendid zeal and thorough consecration. He knows Germany, having lived there. He knows America and can in a large way interpret our ideals and purposes. We are proud of our new Ambassador, and we are sorry indeed to lose him and his family from our midst, but we bid him God speed in his responsible office.”

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