JOHN A. HUGHES the oldest living settler of his part of the county, is a native of Fleming County, Kentucky. He was born April 17, 1803, and is the son of Allen B., and Elizabeth (Tilton) Hughes. His father was a native of Virginia, and his mother was also a native of that State. His paternal ancestors are said to have been English, while those of his mother were Welsh. The exact time of their emigration is not known, but it is supposed to have been at an early day, when they located in Clermont County, then called Brown County, Ohio. Here they resided for nine or ten years. In 1823, John Hughes with his parents came to White County, Ill., and there lived for three years, and in the fall of 1826 came to this county. When he landed at Jacksonville it had only four houses and these were built of logs. His father first rented a few acres, and then entered eighty acres of land in Indian Creek and settled on the raw prairie. Here he resided for a short time and died in this county in 1835.
Our subject, John A. Hughes, was reared mostly in Ohio, and engaged chiefly in farming and in the milling business. Like most self-made men his educational advantages were few, and even those were obtained under difficulties. He attended in Ohio the subscription school, which was held in a log cabin built in the usual primitive style with greased paper for windows and slabs for benches with legs put in to keep them up. Being naturally fond of reading he has aimed to keep well posted on the general topics of the day, so that he is in reality principally self-educated. He first leased land on section 16, and afterward entered 240 acres of land near the present site of Murrayville, and settled on the same, when the country was in a wild and primitive condition, just as the Indians had left it. He first built a double log cabin, each room being 16 feet square and this he first occupied in 1832. He resided there a number of years and improved it from time to time until he had a very desirable frame house. He had virtually no means when he started, having invested all he had in land. By untiring industry and careful management he made of his land a good farm.
Like all of the pioneers Mr. Hughes was subjected to many hardships. He has been an eye witness of the gradual growth of the country, from a wild state into what it is to-day, and he himself has nobly done his part. He was married Feb. 20, 1827, to Elizabeth Webb, who has borne him nine children: Sarah A., wife of William McDonald, a native of Scotland; Mary, wife of A. Gunn, of this county; Allen B., in this county; William, in Kansas City, Mo.; Emily, wife of James Dikis, in Murrayville, Ill.; Robert R., Komer, Pratt County, Kan.; John T. in Sangamon County, Ill.; Harriette E., wife of Stewart Murray, in Kansas; Oliver P., in Cass County, Ill.
Mr. Hughes at one time owned about 1,200 acres of land which he has mostly divided among his children. He has been married three times. His first wife died in 1860, and his second was Abigail Hickes, the third who died in 1888 was the widow Entricen. Our subject is a thorough and self-made man, and is numbered among old settlers of Morgan County. He is now reaping the fruits of his early industry, enjoying life in his old age surrounded by his children. In politics, he is a Democrat, and his two sons, Robert and Oliver, served gallantly in the late war. He has always been at the head of every movement to improve the county or elevate society. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he has been Steward for about a quarter of a century, and his usual industry and energy have characterized his dealings with the church as well.