W.K. Houston Died Yesterday Morning
An estimable citizen passed away yesterday morning in the person of William Kyle Houston, formerly head of the well-known manufacturing firm of W.K. Houston & Co., the end coming somewhat suddenly as the termination of a long illness. The late Mr. Houston had been a resident of Victoria for eighteen years and took a prominent part in public matters, and besides serving on the aldermanic board was also a member of the board of trade.
A native of County Derry, Ireland, the deceased gentleman was sixty-two years of age. He was engaged in the linen business in Belfast, Ireland, before going to Australia, where for fourteen years he followed the same line. He ultimately decided to remove to Vancouver Island and in 1898 came to Victoria and went into partnership with the late Mr. Brady in the Brady-Houston Pickling Company. Later he was connected with a dry goods manufacturers' agency under the name of Appleby, Houston & Co. Severing his connection with that business again becoming associated with Mr. Brady. On the death of the latter the business was incorporated as W.K. Houston & Co., one of the leading manufacturing concerns of the city.
About four years ago he retired, finding his health unequal to the strain of business responsibility. Latterly he and Mrs. Houston had made their home at the October Mansions, removing there from the Balmoral hotel, where they had been resident for a long time.
Mr. Houston was returned alderman in the first election-at-large to be held in the city in 1913. His service there was regrettably short, for in the summer of that year he was seized with a stroke, and only once again visited the council chamber, the occasion being just before his colleagues left office. At that time he looked very feeble, and his fellow members could not but deplore the change.
During the time he was in the council he was chairman of the electric light committee. He showed a keen interest in public affairs, and there is no doubt that had his illness not intervened at that time he would have done much useful work as an alderman.
He was a Liberal, and gave earnest and unflinching support to the party. He was a candidate for provincial honors at the election of 1909 when, with his colleagues, he went down to defeat.
Mr. Houston had been one of the most prominent Masons in British Columbia, and it was an honor to his lodge, Victoria-Columbia No. 1, A.F. & A.M., of which he was a past master, when he reached the grand master's chair in June 1908. He conducted the affairs of grand lodge with that characteristic impartiality and courtesy which marked his public and private life throughout his whole career.
Besides the widow there survives a son, H.R. Houston of Seattle, who arrived here with his wife this morning, and two grandchildren.
The funeral, which is to be in charge of the Masons, will be held on Wednesday afternoon. Service will be held at St. John's church at 2 o'clock, and the procession will leave about 2.30 for Ross Bay cemetery.
Victoria Daily Times, 20 November 1916 page 5 .