From History of Huntington County, 1887, page 493
John Houenstein, a native of Switzerland, born September 7, 1820, was the third son born to Rudolph and Anna (Dotwiller) Houenstein. He spent his boyhood, youth, and early manhood in his native country, working upon a farm excepting two years, which he spent in the army. That was during his twenty-first and twenty-second years. In 1845, at twenty-five years of age, he emigrated to America, reaching New York City on the eighth day of November. After a short stay in New York City he made his way to Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, where he worked two months, assisting to build a canal lock. He had a brother and a sister in Huntington County, and he set out on foot to make the entire journey, which he did, carrying a large box, containing his surplus clothing, upon his back. He reached Ft. Wayne on the fourth day of July, and this county on the seventh. His first employment here was upon a saw-mill, at which he continued until the time of his first marriage, which occurred December 18, 1849. The lady was Wilhelmine Brandt, a native of Germany, born July 31, 1829. She was the daughter of Charles and Mollie (Budda) Brandt. The occupation of Mr. Houenstein since that time has been that of a farmer. He located where he now resides, in 1852. On the 13th day of November, 1880, he was bereaved of his beloved wife, and on the 16th day of August, 1882, he was married to Mrs. Louisa W. J. Ahlschwede, whose maiden name was Louisa W. J. Arneke. She was born in Germany, November 9, 1829. By his first wife Mr. Houenstein had ten children as follows: Anna M. A., born November 13, 1850; John J., born March 18, 1853; died March 9, 1860; Mary W., born March 9, 1855; Charles G., born September 11, 1857; Johanna W., born January 13,1860; Sophia M., born May 1, 1862; Anna B., born April 28, 1864; Caroline B., born October 20, 1866; Emma M., born February 23, 1869; Gottleib E., born August 2, 1872. Mr. and Mrs. Houenstein, and all their children, are members of the Lutheran Church. In politics the former is a liberal, but generaly supports the Democratic Party. He owns a good farm of eighty-seven acres, more than half of which is in cultivation.