Biography - Hiram A. Hudgens

HIRAM A. HUDGENS. An honored resident of Goreville, Hiram A. Hudgens has for twenty and more years been an important factor in advancing the mercantile interests of this part of Johnson county, and as an enterprising and keen-sighted merchant has never allowed anything to escape his observation that might improve his methods of carrying on business or add to the welfare and prosperity of the community. He was born January 31, 1868, in Williamson county, Illinois, a son of the late Zachariah Hudgens.

A native of Tennessee, Zachariah Hudgens came to Illinois with his father, John Hudgens, in 1855, locating in Williamson county. Imbued with a fine spirit of patriotism, he enlisted during the Civil war in Company E, One Hundred and Twenty-eighth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and served for a year, being commissioned first lieutenant of his company. Receiving his honorable discharge from the army, he returned to Williamson county, and was there employed in tilling the soil until accidentally killed by a locomotive at Marion in 1902. He married Mary J. Corksey, who was born in Tennessee, and died in Williamson county, Illinois, in 1888, succumbing to an attack of typhoid fever. Ten sons and four daughters were born of their marriage, as follows: J. B., of whom a brief account appears elsewhere in this work; Robert L.; Hiram A., the special subject of this brief biographical review; Joshua: Zachariah; Herman; Egbert; Hugh; Lee; Arthur; Emeranda, deceased, married Dr. Theodore Hudson; Mrs. Mary E. McInturff; Mrs. Nancy P. T. Nelson; and Alice, wife of T. A. Bradley.

After leaving the district schools Hiram A. Hudgens studied for two years in Ewing College, in Ewing, Illinois, and in the fall of 1888 completed a commercial course in a business college at Lexington, Kentucky. Locating then in the old town of Goreville, Mr. Hudgens was there engaged in mercantile pursuits until 1899, when he moved to the new town of Goreville, where he continued in business as a partner in the firm of Hudgens & Bradley until August, 1910. Since that time Mr. Hudgens has been in business alone, having bought out the building and stock of his former partner. The building is of brick, and he carries a fine stock of general merchandise, including a good line of dry goods, groceries and boots and shoes, his investment, including his stock of goods, exceeding seven thousand five hundred and sixty dollars. Mr. Hudgens has acquired a substantial property, owning a good residence in Goreville, and forty acres of land lying southwest of the village. He is active in public matters, having been village treasurer since the incorporation of the town, and is also treasurer of the school district. Fraternally he is a member of Goreville Lodge, No. 528, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of Goreville.

Mr. Hudgens has been twice married. He married first, December 23, 1894, Emma Mighell, a daughter of John and Hattie Mighell, early settlers of Goreville. She died in 1904, leaving three children, namely: Eula, a student in the Southern Illinois Normal University, at Carbondale; Gus; and Genevieve. Mr. Hudgens married, September 20, 1907, Bertie Kelley, daughter of John R. and Harriet Kelley, old and honored residents of Johnson county.

Extracted 14 Jan 2018 by Norma Hass from 1912 A History of Southern Illinois, volume 2, pages 677-678.

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