Clinton B. Hughes
"It is the progressive, wide-awake man of affairs that makes the real
history of a community, and his influence as a potential factor of the
body politic is difficult to estimate. The examples such men furnish of
patient purpose and steadfast integrity strongly illustrate what is in the
power of each to accomplish, and there is always a full measure of
satisfaction in adverting even in a casual way to their achievements in
advancing the interests of their fellow men and in giving strength and
solidity to the institutions which make so much for the prosperity of the
community. Such a man is Clinton B. Hughes, and as such it is proper that
a review of his career be accorded a conspicuous place among the
representative citizens of Fayette county.
Mr. Hughes is the present popular and efficient mayor of West Union, Iowa,
and, although comparatively young in years, he has long been an
influential citizen of this locality. He was born near Strawberry point,
Clayton county, this state, July 16, 1878, and is the son of A. M. and Ida
E. (Hale) Hughes, the former born in Pennsylvania, January 9, 1855, and
the latter born in Maine, December 20, 1857. The maternal grandfather, R.
A. Hale, enlisted as a private in Company B, Twenty-first Iowa Volunteer
Infantry, in 1861, in which he served until 1863, when he was transferred
to the United States monitor “Chickasaw,” on which he served until the
close of the war. Andrew Hughes, uncle of Clinton B., died while in the
service of the Union, as a private in Company D, Twenty-first Iowa
Volunteer Infantry, his death occurring while at Memphis, Tennessee.
Clinton B. Hughes was the eldest of a family of eleven children,
consisting of five boys and six girls, named as follows: Clinton B., of
this review; James R., who is living at Springfield, Illinois, is
twenty-seven years old; Andrew B., aged eleven; Amos, aged nine; Howard
A., aged seven, all three live at Strawberry point, Iowa; Mrs. Eva M.
Cooper, who lives at Kingfisher, Oklahoma, is twenty-nine years old; Jane
Electa is twenty-four years old, unmarried, and lives in West Union;
Margaret died in 1889, when four years old; Cassy, aged nineteen, lives at
Strawberry Point, Iowa, where also live Harriet, aged seventeen years, and
Mary, aged fourteen years.
Clinton B. Hughes is a self-made man and is deserving of a great deal of
credit for what he has accomplished, having overcome the many obstacles
that arose in his life-path, removing them, one by one, until today he
holds a first place in the ranks of representative citizens of one of the
most progressive communities in the great commonwealth of Iowa, and as a
lawyer he has few peers. He received his education in the country schools
of Clayton county, Iowa, and graduated from the high school at Strawberry
Point in 1898; still thirsting for higher learning, he entered the State
University of Iowa, which conferred upon him the degree of Bachelor of
Laws in June, 1900. He soon had a good clientele, which has steadily
increased to the present time. He practiced his profession at Arlington,
Iowa, from November, 1902, to January, 1908, during which time he was the
busiest attorney Arlington had seen in years. Seeking a wider field for
the exercise of his talents, he came to West Union in January, 1908, and
opened an office, as a member of the firm of Ainsworth & Hughes, which is
one of the best known in the county. Since entering the legal field here
he has frequently figured in the most important cases in the local courts,
and has won a reputation as an earnest, forceful and learned attorney,
profoundly versed in the law and painstaking and persistent. He is the
local attorney for the Chicago Great Western Railroad Company, in Fayette
county, Iowa. He is secretary of the Jewell, Moyer & Company, a mercantile
corporation at Arlington, Iowa.
Politically, Mr. Hughes is a Republican and he has long been active in the
ranks. He was elected mayor of Arlington in 1904 and served until 1908;
during his four years’ incumbency in this important office he did a great
many things of permanent benefit to the place and won the hearty
commendation of all concerned. His splendid record as mayor preceded him
to West Union and on March 28, 1910, he was elected mayor of this city.
Mr. Hughes joined the Christian church in a country school house near
Strawberry Point, Iowa, and in 1908 he joined the Methodist Episcopal
church in West Union. Fraternally, he has long been active and prominent.
He is a member of West Union Lodge No. 69, Ancient Free and Accepted
Masons; Ansel Humphrey Chapter No. 80, Royal Arch Masons, at Fayette;
Langridge Commandery, No. 47, Knights Templar, West Union; ElKadir Shrine,
Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Zarephath Consistory, No. 4, Davenport, Iowa; Arbor
Vitae Camp No. 292, Modern Woodmen of America, West Union; West Union
Chapter No. 110, Order of the Eastern Star; Klondike Homestead No. 72,
Brotherhood of American Yeomen, of West Union; Round Grove Lodge No. 41,
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of West Union. He is also secretary of
the Wet Union Commercial Club and his labors in this capacity have done
much in furthering the interests of local industries.
Mr. Hughes was married on June 17, 1902, to Anna Opperman, daughter of H.
K. and Mary (Kramer) Opperman, of Strawberry Point, Iowa. Mrs. Hughes was
summoned to her reward on January 3, 1905, and on December 27, 1905, he
married Magdalena Opperman, a sister of his first wife. Mr. Hughes has the
following children: Flora M., seven years old; Donald M., five years old;
Harold A., three years old; Helen, two years old, and a son, Theodore,
born in 1909.