Background, page design, and transcription format 2003 - 2009 Leona L. Gustafson

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Pages 591-592

(John M. Pugh Portrait)

ex-probate judge of Franklin county, and otherwise long a prominent citizen of Columbus, was born in Truro township, in that county, November 7, 1823, son of David and Jane(nee Murphy) Pugh, the former of whom is the subject of another notice in this history. He was educated, in the style prevalent at the early day, in the old log school houses, to which, in his case, a substantial addition was made at the Reynoldsburg high school, and subsequently at Central college. He supported himself at these schools in the summer by teaching school during the winter. His last school was taught in the summer of 1848, at Kirkersville, Licking county. September fourth, of that year, he began reading law with Major Samuel Brush, of Columbus, remaining with him until 1851, when he was admitted to practice at the November term of the supreme court, and sworn in by Hon. Peter Hitchcock, presiding judge of that court. In the spring of that year he had been elected to his first office, clerk of what was then Montgomery township, and included the city of Columbus. He was nominated on the Democratic ticket, and although the city was then Whig by nearly six hundred majority, he was elected auditor of the county, by the then unprecedented majority of one thousand four hundred and fifty-six. He was re-elected in 1835, and at the close of his second term retired to form a partnership in law practice with his old preceptor, Major Bush [Sic.]. Upon the retirement of the latter from practice, Mr. Pugh formed a partnership with the Hon. L. L. Critchfield. In 1863 he was nominated by the Democrats for probate judge, and was triumphantly elected, receiving subsequently the honor of four successive re-elections, retiring at last in February, 1879, after fifteen years' consecutive service, being in all probability the longest term in that office to be recorded for one man in Franklin county. He also served six years upon the State board of agriculture--two years as treasurer, and one year as president. For nearly six years he has been one of the commissioners of the State Reform School for Boys, near Lancaster, having been successively appointed to that post by Governors Allen, Hayes, and Bishop, and being two years president of the board. For eleven years he was treasurer of the Franklin County Agricultural society, and three years its president. It does not often occur that a lawyer in full practice, as Judge Pugh now is, in association with his son John C. L. Pugh, esq., manifests so hearty an interest in agricultural affairs, and is honored with so many offices of trust in connection with them. He is emphatically a Franklin county man, and also stands stoutly by the interests of Columbus. No enterprise has ever been projected for its true interest, that has not found in him a hearty supporter.

Judge Pugh was married on Christmas day, 1851 to Miss Martha F. Cook, by whom he has seven children living--four boys and three girls--one daughter having gone before.

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Page 592

father of Judge John M. Pugh, of Columbus, and other well known residents, was born in Radnorshire, South Wales, February 8, 1769. He emigrated to this country in the spring of 1801, landing in Baltimore on the fourth of May of that year. Here he engaged himself profitably, until the spring of 1802, when he came to Ohio, then, almost without exception, a wilderness, and made a settlement in what is now Radnor township, Delaware county, so called by him in memory of his ancestral home in Wales. He remained there until 1815, when he removed to Truro township, Franklin county, where he died, on the twenty-fourth of October, 1857, at the good old age of eighty-eight years, eight months, and fifteen days. His wife, Mrs. Jane Pugh, preceded him but a few months to the grave, dying on the eighth of March, next previous. They left children as follows: Judge John M. Pugh, of Columbus, David Pugh, Andrew Pugh, Mrs. May Shield, and Mrs. Jan Hutson.

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