DRED DUGGER, of Scottville Township, is not only one of the foremost of the enlightened and progressive farmers and stock raisers of this county who have contributed so largely to its present important position as a highly developed, wealthy agricultural centre, but he is likewise a leader in its public life, having held various responsible civic offices from time to time for several years past, and is at present a prominent member of the Board of Supervisors.
Mr. Dugger is a native of this State, born in Gallatin County, June 13, 1838. His father, John Harrison Dugger, was born in Summer County, Tenn., March 14, 1814. His father, who bore the same name as our subject, was a pioneer of that State, and he was a soldier in the War of 1812, serving under Gen. Jackson at the battle of New Orleans. In 1829 he emigrated to Illinois, and was one of the early settlers of Gallatin County, where he entered land from the Government, which he developed into a farm, whereon he spent his remaining days, which were long in the land.
The father of our subject was a lad of fifteen years when he came to this State with his parents. The remainder of his youth was passed in Gallatin County, where in due time he married and established a home. He made a claim to a tract of Government land, and in the log house that he built upon it his son of whom we write was born. It was a primitive structure, the roof covered with boards rived by hand and held in place by poles, no nails entering into the construction of the house, and the floor was made of split puncheon. In 1845 the father sold that place, and on Christmas Day started for Macoupin County with his wife and four children, traveling with ox teams, and bringing all his earthly possessions with him, driving his stock before him, and camping by the wayside at night. Two weeks were consumed by this slow mode of journeying, and after his arrival at his destination mr. Dugger rented land in Scottville Township, which he farmed two years prior to buying a tract of one hundred and twenty acres on Apple Creek, to which he later added forty acres entered from the Government adjoining his original purchase. He lived there until 1856, and then sold that property and made another move, going to Missouri and taking up his residence in Adair County. In 1860 he returned to this county, and bought a part of some land that he had formerly owned. He has since sold that and now resides on section 6, of the same township (Scottville), where he is very pleasantly situated. He has been twice married. The maiden name of his first wife, mother of our subject, was Minerva Pritchett. She was a native of Williamson County, Tenn., and a daughter of William T. and Peggy Pritchett. She died in 1854. She was the mother of ten children. Mr. Dugger's second wife was Lucinda Sharp, a native of Illinois, and a daughter of Henry and Jane Sharp. Eleven children have been born of this marriage.
Dred Dugger was in his eighty year when the family came to this county. His education was obtained in the pioneer schools of the early years of the settlement of this region, that were taught in log houses, which were heated by fires in rude open fire places, and furnished with seats made by splitting logs that were hewn smooth on one side. Each building was lighted by the primitive method of removing a log the entire length of the room and a row of glass being inserted in the aperture thus made.
As soon as he was large enough our subject commenced to assist in the labors of the farm, and thus early became thoroughly drilled in agricultural pursuits. He resided with his parents until he commenced life for himself on rented land in Morgan County. He lived there from 1856 to 1862, and then invested in sixty acres of land in Scottville Township, at $4 an acre, to be paid on time. He built a hewn log house, with an earth and stick chimney, and for a time a blanket served for a door. Later he made a door with wooden hinges and a wooden latch. Four years after he purchased that place he exchanged it for the farm that he now owns and occupies. He has four hundred and seventy-five acres of choice land, the greater part of which is tillage and pasture, and it ranks as one of the best farms in this part of the county, its harvest fields being under fine cultivation, and its improvements of a high order, including a commodious and well arranged set of frame buildings.
Mr. Dugger has been very happy in his domestic relations, as by his marriage December 3, 1857 with Miss Sirena J. Hart, he secured a helpmate that has been all to him that a true wife can be to her husband. She was born at Hartland, in the southern part of Morgan County, and is a daughter of David and Elizabeth (Rhodes) Hart, pioneers of that part of Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Dugger have eleven children, named as follows, Elizabeth, Edgar A., Lillie M., Alice L., Clara L., Hattie B., Rozella, James E., Magnolia, Luru E. and Ralph Emerson.
The life of our subject has always been guided by the highest principles of right and honor and the power of honesty and unswerving integrity is shown by the implicit confidence in which he is held by all, and by the various positions of trust that his fellow citizens, in just recognition of his great worth and his capacity for affairs, have often called upon him to hold. He has a strong, well balanced mind, is a wise and safe counselor, and has a just appreciation of the best business methods, all of which make him a man of weight in the public life of township and county, and he is one of our best known civic officers. He keeps well informed on all topics of general interest, and especially in regard to politics, using his influence in favor of the Democratic party. He has served three years as Assessor, three years as Highway Commissioner, a like number of years as Collector, and several years as a member of the District School Board.
Mr. Dugger was elected Supervisor from Scottville Township in 1885, and has been re-elected each year since without opposition. As a member of that board he has been on various committees, was at one time Chairman of the Board and of the Judiciary Committee, and is now Chairman of the Committee on Abatement and Assessment. He is identified with the Union Alliance, No. 74, is President of the County Alliance, and was delegate from Macoupin County to the State Alliance at Springfield and is now elected a Delegate to the State convention in Springfield. Both our subject and his wife are people of true religious convictions, and are members in high standing of the Baptist Church.