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Augustus Seymour Houghton was born in Palisades, N.Y. on January 3, 1866. He received his preparatory education at Phillips Academy in Massachusetts, was graduated B.A. at Amherst College in 1888, studied law in New Bern, N.C. and was admitted to the North Carolina Bar in 1890. He studied law under Elihu Root in New York City and was admitted to the New York Bar in 1891.
Houghton established his own law firm and practiced in New York City until his retirement in 1948. He was a partner in the firm of Holtzman, Wise, Shepard, Houghton, and Kelly, director of the New Jersey Zinc Co.; Pohatcong Hosiery Mills, Inc.; and the Putnam Trust Co., Greenwich, Conn.
Houghton became actively involved in conservation in 1909 when he was elected to serve as a member of the Conservation Committee of the Camp Fire Club of America, a post he held until 1948. From 1915 to 1918, he served as secretary of the New York State Conservation Commission and from 1928 to 1932 he was a member of the Legislative Reforestation Commission. In 1935, New York Governor Herbert Lehman appointed him chairman of the State Conservation Committee that was to decide whether or not to build truck trails in forest preserves. In 1936, he was elected president of the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks. He served as director and secretary of the American Game Association. He also served as director of the American Forestry Association, trustee of the American Wildlife Institute, Inc., and was a member of the Society of American Foresters.
Houghton assisted in obtaining a treaty with Great Britain, Russia, Japan, and Canada for the protection of Alaskan fur seals and a treaty with Great Britain and Canada for the protection of migratory birds. He also wrote extensive articles of the preservation of wildlife and conservation.
Augustus S. Houghton resided in Coconut Grove, Florida during the winter months and as a result became actively involved in the restoration of wildlife in the state. In 1942, the Florida State Chamber of Commerce awarded him a gold medal for his efforts. He died on September 25, 1948 while visiting his son in HyŠres, France.