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Catherine Susannah Houghton (1862–1942)

by Chris Cunneen

This article was published:

Catherine Susannah Houghton, née Kritsch (1862-1942) community worker and trade union official’s wife

Birth: 12 September 1862 at Grafton, New South Wales, daughter of German-born parents Sebastian Kritsch (1829-1897), coach-builder, and Ernestina, née Strauss (1836-1891). Marriage: 31 December 1884 at Grafton to Thomas John Houghton (1862-1933), printer, later trade union official and member of parliament. They had a daughter and two sons. Death: 1 August 1942 in hospital at North Sydney. Religion: Anglican. 

  • Catherine Houghton was active in community work in the Glebe district in the 1890s. The Glebe Relief Committee thanked her for her assistance in September 1892.
  • In 1890 she was appointed to the council of Queen Victoria’s Jubilee Fund, chaired by Lady Carrington, the governor’s wife, for “the relief of distressed women”. Like her fellow Labor representative, Catherine Talbot, Houghton was a regular attendee at the fund’s monthly council meetings. In 1892 she acted as honorary treasurer of this charity until Ellen Dibbs returned from England. She resigned in April 1900 when the family moved to Tasmania.
  • The Houghtons returned to Sydney in 1904 and lived in North Sydney, then in Artarmon.
  • Cause of death: cerebral haemorrhage and hypertension.
  • Her brother Nicholas Peter Kritsch (1860-1928) was mayor of Grafton in 1904-1905. Her two sons served in the Australian Imperial Force and were injured in World War I. Her daughter Vera Ernestine Lewis, née Houghton (1885-1974), was a notable pianist. Her grandson Oliver John Trevor (Jack) Lewis (1815-1939) served in the 37th Squadron, Royal Air Force and was killed in action in Germany on 18 December 1939.

Sources
Queen’s Jubilee Fund meetings, Sydney Morning Herald, 24 April 1890, p 4: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/13767802; Daily Telegraph (Sydney), 21 May 1892, p 9, https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/236165695 and Evening News (Sydney), 28 April 1900, p 5: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/113714757; Glebe Relief Committee, Australian Star (Sydney), 26 September 1892, p 2: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/227283522.

Citation details

Chris Cunneen, 'Houghton, Catherine Susannah (1862–1942)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/houghton-catherine-susannah-33703/text42183, accessed 28 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Kritsch, Catherine Susannah
Birth

12 September, 1862
Grafton, New South Wales, Australia

Death

1 August, 1942 (aged 79)
North Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

stroke

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Occupation
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