Miller township, LaSalle county, Illinois, includes among its best class of farmers a number of men who are of Norwegian descent, and who inherit to a marked degree the characteristics which contribute to the success of that nationality.
Goodman Hougas, the father of Thomas Hougas, was born in Norway, and when a youth came to America and settled in Illinois. He was married in New York to Miss Julia Madland, and they became the parents of eleven children, of whom five are -now living: Isabella, wife of O. Lewis; Thomas, the subject of this sketch; Daniel, of Pottawattamie county, Iowa; John, also of Iowa; and Caroline Bower, of Sheridan, Illinois. Three of their children died in infancy and three daughters after they were grown, Elizabeth Lewis, Sarah Selle and Julia Richards. Both parents died in the prime of life, - the mother at the age of thirty-six years, the father in 1849, at the age of forty-nine. He was an elder in the Church of the Latter Day Saints.
Thomas Hougas was born in Rutland township, LaSalle county, Illinois, December 2, 1836, and was reared and educated in his native county. Thrift and industry were early instilled into him. Being left an orphan at an early age, he was thrown upon his own resources, and the success he has made in life is due to his own efforts. He has a farm of two hundred and seventy-nine acres on section 14, Miller township, which is highly cultivated and improved with excellent buildings, the whole comprising a most desirable and model rural place.
Mr. Hougas was married in 1858, in Miller township, to Miss Harriet Elizabeth Teal, a native of Dutchess county, New York, and a daughter of Edward Teal, an early settler of LaSalle county. The fruits of their union have been eleven children, the record of whom is as follows: Joseph; Daniel C; Ida, wife of William Gallup; Nathan Alma; John B.; George A.; Charles M.; Susan May; Nathaniel, who died at the age of two years; Zenus Melvin, who died in infancy; and Emma Jane, who was the wife of Oliver Hayer, Jr., and died in 1897, at the age of thirty-nine years.
Mr. Hougas has long been identified with the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in which he is a minister of high standing. Politically he is a Republican, and for fifteen or twenty years has been a member of the school board.
Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 186-187.