Sarah Elizabeth Collins Houston


Grandmother of Whitney Houston. Born in California in 1896 but lived in Newark on Beach St by the time she was 14. Her father was minister at St. James AME Church. She graduated from East Side in 1914 and attended Trenton State, graduating in 1916. She lived in Newark until at least 1940, when she lived at 205 Second St. By 1950, the family moved to East Orange where Cissy and Whitney famously lived for many years.

Though she had a 43 year teaching career in New York City, she remained involved with many Newark causes. She was President of the Phillis Wheatley Literary Society and Boys Club. She was also a member of the Urban League Guild, the Newark Community Center for the Arts, the Newark Museum and Newark YM-YWCA.


Census records

“Newark NJ” July 2, 1914 New York Age

“Mrs. E Houston Retired Teacher” Star Ledger May 10, 1986