|From the Portrait and
Biographical Album of Racine and Kenosha Counties, Wisconsin containing
Biographical Sketches and Representative Citizens, Together with the biographies
of all the Governors of the State and of the Presidents of the United States."
Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago, 1892.
In the year 1840, Mr. Pugh went to work at Cravnant, a farm belonging to Dr. John Rhydderch Owen. It was here that he formed the acquaintance of Janet Hughes, who with their family and accompanied by Griffith Richards and several other families in the neighborhood, emigrated to America in April 1841. These families afterward became the nucleus of the first Welsh settlement in Racine County. Mr. Pugh seeing that his lady love was intending to come to America, determined to emigrate also. He had little means but worked his passage over. From New York, the party went to Newark, Ohio, and in the fall of the same year some of them came to Racine, but Mr. Pugh and others did not come to Wisconsin until the spring of 1842. A few months afterward he and Miss Hughes were married, theirs being the Welsh wedding in Racine. Twelve children were born unto them, but four died in childhood. Five sons and three daughters are yet living - Capt. John, who is part owner and master of the schooner, "Rainbow"; William H., the large coal dealer and vessel owner; James, a millwright, living at Staten Island, N.J.; Arthur and George, who are connected with their brother in the coal and wood business; Eleanor, wife of John R. Jones, who is merchandising on Sixth Street; Janet, wife of Lewis William, and Margaret, wife of Richard Peat. The two last named gentlemen are holding responsible positions with the J. I. Case Threshing Machine Company.
After his marriage Mr. Pugh was employed in different lumber yards in Racine until 1852, when he went to California. He spent fourteen months on the Pacific slope and was very successful. After his return, he followed teaming, and through hard labor, industry and good management, acquired a competency. He gave his children good educational advantages and left his family in comfortable circumstances. His love for his wife and children was one of the most marked characteristics, and he did everything in his power to enhance their interests and promote their happiness. He was a faithful friend and neighbor and always ready to do an act of kindness. Of a social, genial nature he was well know throughout Racine and vicinity, and was held in the highest regard by his many acquaintances. He was a valued citizen and took an active interest in everything pertaining to the welfare of the community. In the days of hand fire engines, he was one of the most active members of Company Three, which was comprised exclusively of Welshmen, and on various occasions they displayed great heroism. From the time of the organization of the party he was a zealous and ardent Republican, but never sought or desire office for himself. His health began to fail him some two years before his death, and although he suffered much her never murmured. With the hope of being benefited thereby, he visited the springs of Mt. Clemens, Mich., and for a time seemed better, but at last had to surrender to the fell destroyer. He died May 30, 1890, and was buried from the Welsh Presbyterian Church on the 2nd of June. He had been one of the faithful attendants and was a liberal supporter of that church. The former pastor, Rev. Joseph Roberts, came from Minneapolis to officiate at the funeral, and Rev. John F. Jones, of Milwaukee, and Rev. C. Percival, of Racine, also took part in the services.
Contributed by Helen Thorpe (3x great grandfather Robert, Jamesís older brother)