HON. JAMES CLARE HUGHES
HON. JAMES CLARE HUGHES one of the most prominent members of the Miami County bar, now serving as mayor of the city of Piqua, was born in Portsmouth, Ohio, February 5, 1875, son of Rev. Thomas L. and Hortense (Clare) Hughes.
His grandparents on the paternal side were Hon. Thomas L. and Ann (Jones) Hughes, both natives of Wales, who were married in Cincinnati, Ohio. The grandfather came to this country when in his thirty-fifth year and for some years was engaged in mercantile business at Oak Hill, Jackson County, Ohio.
He was afterwards a prominent official and stockholder in the Jefferson Furnace Company, engaged in the manufacture of pig iron. He was a prominent factor in Jackson County politics and at one time was elected to the Ohio State Legislature on the Republican ticket. He became quite well-to-do, and was also a man of good education and literary ability. He died at the age of ninety years in March, 1896. His wife had preceded him to the grave many years before, dying in 1857 when in her thirty-eighth year. They were the parents of five children.
Rev. Thomas L. Hughes was born in Jackson County, Ohio, April 27, 1850. After attending the common schools, he entered, at the age of fourteen, the Ohio University, from which he was in due time graduated. Subsequently he took a postgraduate course at Princeton University. He then entered upon the study of law in the Cincinnati Law College and in 1874 he was admitted to the bar in Jackson County, (having previously declined the Republican nomination for the State Legislature). He practiced his profession in Jackson County for two years, during which time he served one term as city solicitor. He began his theological studies in 1876 and was licensed to preach in June, 1877. His first charge was at Eckmansville and he was subsequently past or of Presbyterian churches at Pomeroy, Ohio and at Shelbyville, Indiana. In the fall of 1892 he became pastor of the Presbyterian church at Piqua, Ohio, where he remained until his death, which took place June 17, 1900. The degree of D. D. was bestowed upon him by Hanover College, and he was a man most highly esteemed for his scholarly attainments, his pulpit power and eloquence and his capability as a practical worker along religious and social lines of endeavor. By his wife, Hortense, who was a native of Jackson County, Ohio, he had six children, namely: James Clare, whose name heads this article; Catherine, wife of J. B. Wilkinson, of Piqua; Anna, Thomas L., Mary, and Emma.
James Clare Hughes, after laying the foundation of his education became a student at Washington and Jefferson College, at Washington, Penna., from which he was subsequently graduated. He was graduated from Indiana Law School, Indianapolis, in June, 1899, and he was admitted to the bar in June, 1900, beginning the practice of his profession in Piqua. In April of the following year he was elected city solicitor of Piqua, and he was again elected to the same office in 1903. He was first elected mayor of Piqua in 1905 and his re-election in 1907 is evidence that he gave the citizens an honest and capable administration, which may be said, indeed, of his entire incumbency of the office.
Mr. Hughes was married September 22, 1904, to Anna Blaushe Matthews of Piqua, of which union there is one son, Thomas Lloyd Hughes, born May 10, 1906. Mr. Hughes is a Presbyterian in religious belief. As a lawyer he has made a good reputation for ability, and as a citizen and public official he is held in high esteem for his public spirit, his devotion to duty, and his possession in large measure of those magnetic personal qualities which, without any sacrifice of principle, are potent to win and retain friends. All who know him will watch his future career with interest.
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