JEFFERSON COUNTY ILLINOIS
Joel V. Baugh
JOEL V. BAUGH. One of the best known and public-spirited citizens
of Jefferson county, Illinois, is Joel V. BAUGH,editor of the Mount Vernon
News, who was born in Mount Vernon, May 19, 1838, and who has spent much
of his long and eminently useful life in his home community. He is the
son of Downing BAUGH, a native of Barren county, Kentucky, who removed
to Kaskaskia, Randolph county, Illinois, in the early days, 1820. The father
of the subject was a distinguished lawyer, who was born in Barren county,
Kentucky, in 1798. He lived in Barren county a short time and then moved
to Mount Vernon, Illinois; in 182x . He married Milly PACE. He was prominent
in public affairs, and was postmaster of Mount Vernon for many years. He
was a home student and began the practice of law when forty-seven years
old, having, studied law in his spare moments for some time. He was successful
from the first and he was appointed Circuit Judge in 1854, winning a record
as an honest and upright jurist. During the years 1840 and 1841 he was
enrolling and engrossing clerk of the twelfth General Assembly. He was
a Probate Justice in Jefferson county for a time. In 1857 he removed to
McGregor, Iowa, where he was elected Judge of the City Court. Judge Baugh
was one of those sterling pioneers who helped to form and mould the early
sentiments of this country. His death, which was deeply lamented by all
who knew him, occurred at McGregor, Iowa, in 1888, at the advanced age
of ninety-one years. He and his good wife were the parents of eight children,
four of whom are living in 1909, namely: Mrs. Mary E.FLY, of Mount Vernon;
J. W.; Joel V., our subject; Mrs. Harriet THURSTON, of Hot Springs, South
Our subject's mother died when he was small and he was reared by his
step-mother, known in her maidenhood as Sophronia DAVIS, of Moore's Prairie,
Jefferson county. She married Downing BAUGH in 1847 and her death occurred
in 1908, at the advanced age of ninety-seven years.
Joel V. BAUGH spent his early life in Mount Vernon, attending the common
schools. He early decided to devote his life to journalism, and accordingly
entered the office of the Jeffersonian in 1851, and he has been continuously
connected with the business since that time, making a great success and
becoming one of the molders of public opinion. He has had occasion to learn
the news-paper business in all its details. The first paper started in
Mount Vernon was the Jeffersonian, owned by John S.BOGAN. It was started
in 1851. Mr. John A. WALL and Mr. BAUGH were among his employees. The latter
worked three years with Mr. BOGAN.
In 1862 Mr. BAUGH and L. M.AMALA, a native of the Sandwich Islands,
started the first paper published in the Rocky Mountains outside of Denver.
This was called the Mining Life and was published at Central City, Colorado.
Mr. BAUGH was afterward one of the founders of the Sioux City (Iowa) Journal
in 1864. He did editorial work on many daily papers afterwards. In 1868
he started the Fairfield (Illinois) Democrat, and successfully managed
it for eight years. He then went to Evansville, where he did editorial
work. He was always regarded as a very capable man, having a felicity of
expression and being a painstaking editor.
Mr. BAUGH returned to Mount Vernon about sixteen years ago and assumed
charge of the News, and later published the Democrat here, which was merged
with the News in 1901. It is now published by the Mount Vernon News Company,
incorporated, of which our subject is editor.
The domestic life of Mr. BAUGH began in 1866 at Marshall-town, Iowa,
when he was united in marriage with Mary C.SWANSON, of that city. Two sons
have blessed this union, Harry B.. who is engaged in the restaurant business
in Salt Lake City, Utah; Ernest V. is superintendent of the dining car
department of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, with headquarters in Baltimore.
The subject's wife, who was a woman of many estimable traits, passed
to her rest February 3, 1908. Mr. BAUGH has taken considerable interest
in politics, but the only office he ever held was that of Police Magistrate
of Mount Vernon, which he resigned. He is a Mason in all three of its branches,
the Blue Lodge, the Chapter and Commandery. He is a member of the Methodist
church. He commands the unqualified respect of all who know him.
SOURCE: WALL'S HISTORY OF JEFFERSON CO 1909 pages 440-442
SUBMITTED BY: Misty Flannigan Dec 15, 1997