Hughes, James (History 1875)


Janet Schwarze





----Source: 1918 History of Clark County, Wisconsin

JAMES HUGHES, an energetic and successful farmer of Grant Township, was born in this township in 1875, on the farm of his parents, William and Hannah (Collins) Hughes. He acquired his education in District School, No. 5, and remained at home until he was 26 years old. He then bought eighty acres in Section 15, there being a barn and granary on the place. The former he improved by making it into a basement barn, and he also built a house of eight rooms, these and other improvements increasing the value of the property. Here Mr. Hughes carried on general farming, raising Holstein cattle and Percheron horses. He is, besides, a member of the Farmers' Co-operative Elevator and Lumber Company of Neillsville and of the company operating the Wausau Packing Plant, and is a patron of the Pleasant Ridge Cheese Factory. Of his eighty-acre farm he cultivates only about forty acres, renting his mother's place. Mr. Hughes was married Aug. 16, 1911, to Nettie B. Short, and has two children: Donald, now 4 years old, and Aileen, 16 months. In the Liberty Loan drives of 1917, Mr. Hughes was appointed chairman of town of Grant. Mrs. William Hughes, proprietor of a good estate in Grant Township, and a lady widely known and respected, was born in County Cork, Ireland, May 30, 1848. Her parents were Jeremiah and Mary (Smith) Collins, who were engaged in farming and who died in their native land when their daughter Hannah, the subject of this sketch was only 2 years old. There were seven children in their family: Ellen, Thomas, Catherine, Andrew, Mary, Michael and Hannah, all of whom emigrated, six of them coming to the United States and Ellen going to Australia. Hannah, who was placed in the care of relatives, remained in Ireland until she was 9 years old, at which time she joined her sister Mary in Connecticut, and subsequently until she was 18 years old she lived with different members of the family in succession. She then came to Pleasant Ridge, Clark County, Wis., to join Mr. and Mrs. Archibald Campbell, and here she met and married Joseph Milton Cook, their wedding taking place June 16, 1866.


Mr. Cook, who was a native of Erie County, Penn., took up a homestead in Section 15, Grant Township, but owned altogether five different tracts of forty acres each, located in different places. Moving into the log house which stood on their land in Section 15, they began the life of pioneer farmers and lived happily together until Mr. Cook's death, which took place when he was but 45 years old. He was an upright, honorable and dependable man, and was also progressive and enterprising. Mrs. Hughes, not to be behind-hand with her husband, had the first rag carpet in this section, bringing it from Fond du Lac, but has never used it, keeping it roued up. Some time after the death of her first husband, Mr. Cook, she married William Hughes, a native of Canada and son of James and Margaret (Meyer) Hughes, both of whom were born in Ireland, the former in Kilkenny County, and the latter in Tipperary County. His parents had emigrated to Canada soon after their marriage and came from there in later years to Pleasant Ridge, Grant Township, this county, where they subsequently died. Their son William, however, had long preceded them to this county. He was a blacksmith by trade and one of the first to follow that occupation in Neillsville. He was a member of the Catholic Church.


Mr. Hughes died Nov. 29, 1908. He left eight children: Mary, now deceased, who was the wife of Louie Handke James, of whom special mention is made elsewhere in this volume, and William, Daniel, John, Margaret, Michael and Archibald. Of Mrs. Hughes' first marriage to Mr. Cook, there was one child born: Samuel, who was 11 months and 2 weeks old when his father died, and who is now living on his father's original homestead. Three years ago Mrs. Hughes located a homestead near Union, Dawson County, Mont.



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