From Ohio to the Argonne, the last journey of Major Houts

Major Houts' journey through the U.S.A.

I live in France, thousands of miles away from Euclid.

I became interested in Euclid because of a WWI soldier, Major Arthur Samuel Houts (1880-1918), who lived in Euclid.

Many years ago, I helped emptying my grand-aunt’s house, after her death. Her house was in a small village of the Meuse department, France, a place called Loison (pronounced 'Lwazon'). In the attic, there was a trunk. A trunk made of thick cardboard, wood, and metal. It had a huge red circle, lined with white, painted on it. Later I learned it was a 'buckeye', the symbol of Ohio, and of the 37th Division.

A name was also painted on the lid: Major A.S. Houts, 145th Infantry. Little by little, I learned more about him.

Major Houts lived in Euclid, Ohio, with his wife and their son. He left Cleveland in August 1917, to help building Camp Sheridan, in Montgomery, Alabama. In September, the rest of the 37th Division left Ohio and began its training in Camp Sheridan. On June 15, 1918, Major Houts embarked on the U.S.S. Leviathan (a former German ocean liner called Vaterland) and left the port of Hoboken, New Jersey.

After more training in France, the 37th went to the front in the Baccarat sector (Baccarat is a smal town of Lorraine widely known fot its luxury glassware industry). Later, the division took part in the Meuse-Argonne offensive, one of the largest battles ever fought by U.S. soldiers.

Major Houts was killed in action on September 29, 1918, during that great offensive.

Regularly, I visit his grave at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, in Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, Meuse, France. With more than 14,000 graves, the Meuse-Argonne Cemetery is the largest U.S. military cemetery outside the U.S.A. It is managed by the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC). It is a very peaceful place.

I already have visited most of the places in France where he went through: Brest, Bourmont, Baccarat, Tremont, Montfaucon d'Argonne...

Time has come for me to go further: my wife and I are now about to follow his route through the United States. Our first stop will be in Cleveland, in the last days of August and the beginning of September. Of course, we will come to Euclid.

By the way, the address I have for Major Houts is 'Stop 130 Lake Shore Blvd., Euclid, O.' We have found Lake Shore Blv, but the meaning of 'Stop 130' is not clear to us. Could any one help us about that? 

Claude Humbert

Claude Humbert, from France (had to indicate Ohio to satisfy the automatic form). I became interested in Euclid because of a WWI soldier, Major Arthur Samuel Houts (1880-1918), who lived in Euclid. I found his trunk in my great-aunt's attic, and little by little, found out who he was.

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Volume 6, Issue 9, Posted 6:16 PM, 09.08.2015