St. Joseph Author and Banker Honored with 2006 Governor's Humanities Book Award

November 25, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
Joseph Kinyoun Houts, Jr. was recently honored with the 2006 Governorís Humanities Book Award, conferred by the Missouri Humanities Council. This award recognizes an individual whose book or publication has increased our understanding and appreciation of Missouri's history and culture.

The award ceremony took place at the Missouri Governor's Mansion in Jefferson City. Houts is the author of Quantrillís Thieves and A Darkness Ablaze.

During the Civil War, Missourians sympathetic to the South carried on a guerrilla campaign of terror, led by William C. Quantrill and his Raiders. The war in Missouri progressively advanced in brutality and destruction. Author Joseph K. Houts, Jr., whose own ancestors rode with Quantrill, gives a fascinating and scholarly account of this period in the history of Kansas and Missouri with an engaging peek into the lives of 93 ďQuantrillís Raiders.Ē This was a group of men that in relatively small engagements, and over a relatively brief period of time, immortalized themselves in fame and infamy and gained an important place in American history.

A Darkness Ablaze presents a chilling, detailed account of American medicine during the Civil War. The basis of the book is the medical diary of the authorís great-great-grandfather, Dr. John Hendricks Kinyoun, surgeon of the Sixty-Sixth North Carolina Infantry Regiment. Dr. Kinyoun served with this unit from September 1863 until April 1865, when his regiment surrendered at Durham Station, North Carolina, at the warís conclusion.

Author Joseph Kinyoun Houts, Jr., is a graduate of Westminster College, in Fulton, Missouri, and Lewis University College of Law in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, now known as Northern Illinois College of Law, with his Juris Doctor degree. Houts has worked in banking for twenty-seven years and is currently Commerce Bank as a Vice President in charge of Community Development.

Joseph K. Houts receives congratulations from MHC Board chair John A. Wright

Besides his passion for writing history, he is very involved in his community, having served twenty-five years on The Salvation Army Advisory Board of Directors and in 2006 became a Life Member of the organization, eleven years as member of the Board of Trustees of the Pony Express National Museum, Pony Express Museum Tuesday Night Talk lecture series, Advisory Board member of the Heartland Foundation emPower Plant, Publications Committee of the Oregon-California Trails Association located in Independence, Missouri, Board member of the Mount Mora Preservation and Restoration Cemetery Association Foundation, Board member of the InterServ Foundation, Co-Founder and member of the Border War Society, Board member of the Buchanan County Conventions and Visitors Bureau, which serves the greater St. Joseph metropolitan area, and Chairman of the St. Joseph Civil War Sesquicentennial Commemoration Committee. He is married to Noreen Mahoney Houts and has two children, Joseph Kinyoun Houts III, and Katherine Mahoney Houts.

Since 1971, the Missouri Humanities Council has provided thousands of programs to help Missourians enjoy a rich cultural life and develop community citizenship. Our mission is to enable families and communities to broaden their appreciation of history, literature, and the ideas that shape our democracy. Our programs include: READ from the START, family reading initiative; Chautauqua, community celebration of history: Charettes, consulting for local museums & cultural institutions; Museum on Main Street rural initiative of the Smithsonian Institution; as well as Grants and Initiatives to fund locally generated programs.

To learn more about the Governorís Humanities Awards, this yearís other honorees, or to nominate someone for the 2007 Community Heritage, Excellence in Secondary Education, or Book Award, please visit our website,

MHC is a tax-exempt, non-profit organization affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities, a Federal agency.