Page 627-629, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


J. T. Hughes of Milton township, is one of the sturdy old pioneers of Butler county, who for over forty-five years has been a part of the life and progress of this county. Mr. Hughes was born in Fleming county, Kentucky. November 1, 1834. His parents were Jacob and Sarah (Gallagher) Hughes, natives of Virginia, the former of English and the latter of Irish descent. Jacob Hughes was a son of Thomas Hughes, an Englishman who settled in this country at an early date.

Jacob Hughes and his family removed from Kentucky to Indiana in 1838, when J. T. was four years of age. Young Hughes grew to manhood in Indiana, and on January 1, 1860, was united in marriage with Margaret Hass, a daughter of Jacob and Julia (Kinney) Hass, the for-


mer a native of North Carolina and the latter of Ohio. Jacob Hass went from North Carolina to Brown county, Ohio, with his parents when he was about eight years of age. Here he grew to manhood, and was married and reared a family of six children. At an early day he and his family removed to Indiana and settled on 160 acres of government land near Marion where the parents spent their lives.

After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Hughes settled on a farm in Owen county, Indiana, and later removed to Howard county, Indiana, and bought a farm near Fairfield. In the fall of 1871, they fitted up an emigrant wagon, and Mr. Hughes, his wife and four children started to Kansas by the overland route. They left their Indiana home September 11, 1871, and reached Butler county October 28, 1871. After reaching here they homesteaded 160 acres of land in Milton township, and built a log cabin, 16x16 feet, and this place has been the home of the Hughes family since that time. When they settled here their claim was covered by a luxurious growth of blue stem and three small cottonwood trees were the only timber growth that broke the monotony of the broad expanse of prairie. Mr. Hughes proceeded to break the prairie and began farming and stock raising in a small way, according to the usual custom in a new country. Like the other pioneers, the first few years here were a struggle for existence. He worked for other settlers at times in order to obtain a little money for provisions, his first work being for T. J. Powell for whom he broke prairie near Peabody, twenty-two miles away. Mrs. Hughes was very much afraid of Indians in the early days, as Indian stragglers were quite frequent in that neighborhood who were roaming back and forth from one reservation to another. One day an Indian called at the house and asked Mrs. Hughes where her husband was, and she answered that he was over there plowing, indicating the direction, but did not expain[sic] that he was twenty-two miles away. On one occasion the chief of the Kaw Indians, Thagainga, remained over night with the Hughes family while on his return trip to the capital at Washington, where he had been to see the "Great White Father," President Grant. The chief had a pocket knife which the President had presented him, of which he was very proud. In describing his visit to Washington he said: "Heap white people." When the Hughes family settled here game was plentiful, there being lots of deer and antelope, as well as small game. Their pioneer home was near one of the main traveled trails, which was followed quite extensively by Texas cattlemen, en route to and from Emporia, and they were often called upon to keep strangers over night which they invariably did, regardless of room, which was the general custom of those days.

To Mr. and Mrs. Hughes have been born the following children: Nora, married T. A. Bowyer, Potwin, Kans.; Edward, resides at home with his parents; Hattie J., married a Mr. Shepard and is now deceased; George, deputy sheriff of Butler county, El Dorado. Kans.; and Mrs. Charles E. Sheppard.


Mr. Hughes is a member of the Masonic lodge and he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. He has always taken a commendable interest in local affairs, but is inclined towards independence in politics. In 1890, he was elected township assessor, and after serving two terms as justice of the peace, declined to accept that office any longer. Mr. Hughes is one of the substantial citizens of Butler county and represents that type of pioneers who laid the foundation for the great civilization, progress and prosperity of the West.

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