Portrait and Biographical Record of
Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois.
Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens
of the Counties,
Together with biographies of all the
Governors of the State, and of the Presidents
of the United States.
Biographical Publishing Co
John Pugh. He of whom it is our
pleasant privilege to write in outline a short biographical sketch, enjoys the
distinction of being the oldest living settler in Shelby County, and although
having attained more than four-score years in age, he is still a hale and hearty
old gentleman. Although pioneer life was fraught with many drawbacks and
hardships, the lapse of time during which these uncomfortable features have been
entirely done away with, has cast a pleasing flow over the whole, and the
pleasures and adventures that were tinctured with a spice of danger and an
occasional bit of romance, are far better remembered that the privations of
ordinary routine existence.
When our subject made his advent into the State, the prairie was still a playground for the wild animals; when the larder needed replenishing, all he had to do was to shoulder his gun, and, going out into the woods, game was at hand. Wild deer and turkeys were as common as the domestic fowl in the barnyard to-day. His father was Thomas Pugh, who was probably born in North Carolina. His mother was Beulah (Hall) Pugh, who was probably a native of the same State as her husband. They were married, however in Christian Co., Ky., where they settled and lived until 1820, when they removed to this State, located in Cold Spring Township, Shelby County, and there they lived until about 1832, when they removed to a point about one mile north of Shelbyville. There they lived until their decease, which took place respectively, 1848 and 1842.
Our subject is one of four children, these being three sons and one daughter. Their names respectively, John, Robert, William and Nancy. John, the eldest of the family, was born in Christian County, Ky., September 20, 1809, and consequently was eleven years of age when his father removed to Shelby County. He was reared on a farm in this county, and lived with his father until his marriage took place, which auspicious event was celebrated at the residence of Rufus Inman, who also lived about one mile north of Shelbyville. The lady to whom he was united was a Miss Elizabeth Inman, who was probably born in Fayette County, this State, February 20, 1815.
After marriage the young couple settled about one mile south of Shelbyville, and there they lived for several years. They removed however to a place about three miles north of Shelbyville, but made that their home for a period of only three years, at the expiration of which time he sold out and removed to Texas, but made a stay of only about six months in that State, when he returned to Illinois and settled in Dry Point Township. They resided there about twenty years when again they sold and came to Tower Hill Township, of which place they have ever since been residents. Mrs. Elizabeth Pugh was taken away from her husband and family and joined "the innumerable throng," November 14, 1868. She was the mother of six children, five daughters and one son. They are by name Mary Ann, Nancy C, Martha, Eliza J., Sarah E., and William J. Pugh. Mary Ann was the wife of Henry Corley, and was a true and faithful helpmate until her decease which took place January 20, 1891. Nancy C. is the wife of P. M. Killam. Martha was the wife of Nelson Neil, and died October 10, 1864. Eliza J. is the wife of Thomas B. Hayden, and Sarah E. presides over the domestic affairs of the family of Joseph Wakefield. An extended sketch of the only son may be found in another part of this volume. Their mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Pugh, was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
The original of our sketch was a second time married, October 5, 1870, his bride being Mrs. Nancy Mize, a daughter of Andrew and Jane (Nowland) Henderson, and widow of Isaac Mize. She was born in the county February 19, 1839. By this union, Mr. Pugh has been the father of four children, the two eldest, however, died in infancy. The surviving children are John S. and Beulah L. Pugh. Our subject formerly affiliated with the Democratic party, but after the Rebellion broke out, he transferred his allegiance to the Republican party, of which, ever since, he has been a faithful and devoted adherent. In his church relations he is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and for years has been a generous supporter of Gospel work. He has always followed agricultural pursuits and is the owner of two hundred and forty acres of fine arable land upon which are excellent improvements.
Ho of whom we write is the object of the regard and veneration of the whole township. He is an interesting conversationalist, and to one who is interested in pioneer history, he is a fertile and reliable source if information.
Submitted by Marybeth Cox.