Mary Hughes Chadwick
Mary Hughes Chadwick, wife of Edward
H. Chadwick, was born in Union county, Indiana, December 3, 1853. She was the eldest child of Robert
and Sarah (Parkes) Hughes. Robert Hughes was of Welsh and German extraction. On the paternal side
he was descended from Welsh, on the maternal side, from German ancestors. His great-grandfather in the paternal
side was a Welsh Quaker, who came from Wales to Pennsylvania in the year 1699, upon the occasion of William Penn's
last visit to America. All annals of the intervining generations of this Highes family have been lost until
we come to Stephen Hughes, who was born in New Jersey about the year 1767. There is a tradition in
the Hughes family that Stephen Hughes served in the Revolutionary army in the closing years of the Revolutionary
war, under General Washington's command, and that he was close to General Washington, as an aide or in his "body-guard."
About the year 1810 he was married to Catherine Moyer, in the city of Philadephia. No chronicles
of the Moyer family have come down to her posterity other than that she and an elder sister were fashionable dress-makers
in the city of Philadelphia at the time her acquaintance with Stephen Hughes began. She was born in the city
of Philadelphia about the year 1786. Stephen Hughes and his bride took up their home in Union county, Pennsylvania,
and nine children were born to them there, seven of whom lived to manhood and womanhood. They were: John
Hughes; Mary married Joshua Langsdale, who was long prominent in the business life
of Indianapolis; Robert Hughes; Hannah married Isaac Vansickle, a
farmer in Union county, Indiana; Evan Hughes, Stephen Hughes and George Hughes. These
seven children are now all dead. Robert Hughes was born on the 17th day of November, 1817. About the
year 1837 John and Robert Hughes, having learned and become proficient in the mill-wright trade, migrated to the
great West and settled in Union county, Indiana. Soon after, their mother and father followed them, with
the remaining children. John and Robert Hughes had come to Indiana at a time most favorable for the plying
of their craft. There was a demand at that time all over central and southern Indiana for the erection of
flouring mills. Soon the younger brothers were absorbed into the growing business. The Hughes Brothers
erected mills at numerous points in Indiana, notably at Indianapolis, Connersville, Metamora, Bowling Green, Wabash,
Anderson and New Albany. They built the first flouring mill erected in Indianapolis, and the first paper
mill erected in the state of Indiana. They built the old flouring mill at Marietta, in Shelby county. The
last mill they built was the "Hanover Mill," in the "Hanover Community," on the Big Blue river,
in Hanover township, Shelby county. This was the largest frame flouring mill ever built in Shelby county.
It was then one of the best equipped mills in the state. It was built for Alexander Cory; about
the year 1850, and continued in active operation until it burnt down about the year 1885. The Hughes Brothers
were widely known throughout Indiana as accomplished mill-wrights.
Robert Hughes was married to Sarah Parkes on the 4th day of February, 1852. For more than two years they lived in Union county, Indiana. In 1854 Robert Hughes bought a large farm in the Windfall neighborhood, in Van Buren township, Shelby county, and there lived until his death, which occurred February 12, 1882. In 1862 Robert Hughes abandoned his trade to devote his time exclusively to agricultural pursuits. He was a most successful wheat grower. He was of a progressive spirit, and welcomed and aided new enterprises which promised the improvement of Shelby county. One of his long cherished hopes was the erection at Shelbyville of factories for the manufacture of agricultural implements. He was scrupulously honest and upright in his dealings with his fellow men. Though stern of face and character, he was kindly and generous in heart, helpful to all, an obliging neighbor, a worthy citizen. He never connected himself with any church. His life was chaste, his motives pure throughout, and he bequeathed to his children the memory of a life unstained.
To Robert and Sarah (Parkes) Hughes were born nine children: Mary, wife of Edward H. Chadwick; Rebecca J. and Catharine Hughes, unmarried; John Hughes, residing in Brandywine township, Shelby county; Dora, married to Simeon Lewis, now a widow; Mazie P., married to Horace M. Chadwick; Anna, married to Charles S. Patten, of Morristown; Sarah, married to William F. Robinson, of Van Buren township, and Edith, married to a southern man and now resides in New Orleans.
Sarah Parkes, married to Robert Hughes February 4, 1852, was born in Wabash county, August 20, 1828. She was a daughter of Thompson and Rebecca (Burtch) Parkes. Nothing is known to the Hughes family of Thompson Parkes, save that he was born about the year 1800, in New Jersey, and that while yet a young man he migrated to Wabash county, Indiana, where, in his early manhood, he was married to Rebecca Burtch. Rebecca Burtch was a daughter of Asa Burtch, who was born in Scotland, but came in early life to America, sojourning for awhile in the East, settling later in Wabash county, Indiana, and finally taking up his abode in Shelby county, where he owned considerable land. Asa Burtch and wife died in Shelby county, and both are buried in Hanover cemetery. Thompson Parkes and all his family, except Sarah Hughes, migrated to the state of Iowa about the year 1853, settling in Keokuk county. The descendants of the Parkes family are numerous and live mostly in Keokuk county, Iowa. Sarah Hughes departed this life on the 1st day of June, 1898, in the seventieth year of her life. She and her husband, Robert Hughes, are both buried in Forest Hill cemetery, Shelbyville. Stephen Hughes, father of Robert Hughes, departed this life about the year 1850 and is buried in the cemetery at Brownsville, Union county, Indiana. His wife, Catharine Hughes, died at the home of her son, Stephen Hughes, in Hamilton, Ohio, in the year 1874, and is buried in the cemetery there.
Chadwick's History of Shelby County, Indiana, by Edward H. Chadwick, B.A., assisted by well known local talent, B.F. Bowen & Co, Publishers: Indianapolis, IN, 1909, pp 874-875.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming