The text below is from the
History of Bedford and Somerset Counties, Pennsylvania
with Genealogical and Personal History
Somerset County by William H. Welfley
Volume 3
The Lewis Publishing Company, New York/Chicago 1906
ppg. 13-16

"An honest tale speeds best when plainly told."

The Pugh family of Somerset county, including Hon. James L. Pugh, attorney at law, of Somerset borough, and subject of this sketch, are all descended from the great-grandfather who emigrated from Wales and settled in the state of New Jersey some time prior to the American Revolution. The Pughs are known to be of Welsh descent and not unlikely from the Welsh philologist and antiquarian, William Owen Pughe, retaining the final letter e, hence the orthography "Pugh" is believed to be more nearly correct than "Pew," which is the English spelling of the name. The change in the spelling of the name was made during the earlier school days of James L. Pugh and is believed to be the correct method and will be used in the writing of this sketch. The change in orthography seems to have been a matter of regret among the older members of the family, but it is now so well established that it seems desirable to continue the "Pugh." The great-grandfather, James Pugh, was an ardent Tory during the War of the Revolution, and it is said did not fare very well from the hands of the colonists. He resided in Jersey Shore, state of New Jersey, and had three sons, James, Nathan and William. There is an old log-book in the family that would seem to indicate that he was a mariner at one time; some say sea captain, but this is doubtful.

James Pugh, the grandfather of James L. Pugh, born January 23, 1764, emigrated from the state of New Jersey to Somerset county, which was then a part of Bedford county, about 1780. He was on his way to Greene county when James Black, the grandfather of Hon. Jeremiah S. Black, stopped him on his way and induced him to remain in what was then known as "The Glades." Here he located and remained for some time; becoming dissatisfied, he concluded to remove to the state of Kentucky, whither he went on a pack-horse trail in the early spring of the year. Not liking the country, he returned to Somerset connty the same year and located in Stony Creek township. He was married to Mary Hulet, of Trenton, New Jersey, and had three sons, James, Boaz and Hulet. He continued to reside in Stony Creek township until the date of his death in February, 1841. His wife, Mary Hulet Pugh, an active member of the Disciple church, died April 21, 1844. James and Boaz Pugh continued to reside in Stony Creek township, and Hulet Pugh. born January 4, 1788, the eldest, moved to the state of Ohio.

James Pugh, father of James L. Pugh, born January 8, 1794, married Rachael Smith, of German descent, who was born July 7, 1803. They were married May 14, 1832. They had eight children, four sons and four daughters: Rosanna, married to Alexander Saylor, deceased; Ephraim, deceased; Mary, married to Oliver Knepper, deceased; Elizabeth, deceased, married to Charles F. Rayman, deceased; Nancy, deceased, married to Josiah J. Long, deceased; Timothy, deceased; James L. and Boaz. James Pugh was a strict and consistent member of the Dunkard church. He died February 12, 1875. Rachael Pugh was a faithful member of the Lutheran church. She died April 28, 1882. They were buried in the old family graveyard on the old James Pugh farm in Stony Creek township, fulfilling the text, "That I may be buried by the grave of my father and of my mother."

Boaz Pugh was born May 11, 1796; was married to Susannah Weigle in January, 1822; she was born August 23, 1800. They had seven children: Hulet, deceased; Sarah Matilda, married to William H. Coleman, deceased; Delilah, deceased, married Emanuel Auman, deceased; Mary, married to Samuel Fox, deceased; Samson, deceased; John; and Rachael, married to John Trent, deceased. Boaz Pugh was a consistent member of the Disciple church and died March 5, 1876, and his wife, Susannah Pugh, belonged to same church, died March 5, 1886. They are buried in the old family graveyard. "When the dead are at rest, let their remembrance rest."

Rev. B. F. Pugh, the youngest son of James Pugh, whose family name is Boaz, was born August 4, 1847. He attended the country schools and when a mere boy enlisted, August 21, 1864, Company K, Two Hundred and Fourth Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, in the Union army of the War of the Rebellion. He did good service as a soldier and was honorably discharged at the close of the war. He returned home, attended the normal schools of the county, taught school, entered the Missionary Institute, now Susquehanna University, at Selinsgrove, Snyder county, Pennsylvania, studied theology, prepared himself for the Lutheran ministry under Dr. H. Zeigler and graduated in June, 1877. His first charge after being ordained a Lutheran minister, June 30, 1877, of the Evangelical Lutheran church, was at Orangeville, Illinois, where he met his future wife, Frances Adaline Cadwell. They were married September 10, 1878, at Elmira, New York. He is now located at Ottawa, Kansas, and writes:

"It is time to be old,
To take in sail."

James L. Pugh, son of James and Rachael Pugh, next to the youngest son, was born October 14, 1844, in Somerset township, Somerset county, Pennsylvania, on the farm of his father, about seven miles east of the town of Somerset, in what is known locally as "Sheep's Ridge." His early education was obtained from the common schools of the neighborhood, which were of the lowest and poorest grade. He attended a normal school at Somerset in charge of Professor J. J. Stutzman and commenced teaching school when he was but fourteen years of age; attended normal school and taught several terms of school. In 1860 the Civil war cloud, which had hung over the nation for some time, broke out in all its fury, and during the summer of 1862 he enlisted in the Union army and went forth to battle for his country. When he was but seventeen years of age. On August 14, 1862, he was mustered into service, Company D, One Hundred and Thirty-third Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. He was engaged in some of the hardest fought battles of that great civil conflict, including the battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, being wounded in the former battle three times. At the expiration of his first term of enlistment he returned home and taught one term of school. The war not having ended, he enlisted again on August 21, 1864, in Company K, Two Hundred and Fourth Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, known as the Fifth Heavy Artillery, being a corporal in that company. He did good active military service until the close of the war, when he was honorably discharged. Upon his return home he continued to attend the normal schools of the county and taught school during the winter term, which was then only four months. In 1867-68 he taught school in the state of Maryland, where the term was longer and the wages better. During the spring and summer months of these years he attended the State Normal School at Millersville, Pennsylvania. He returned to his native county and taught normal school successively for several terms; was principal of the high school at Somerset and Berlin, and took great interest in the schools and teachers' institutes of the county. On December 15, 1870, state superintendent of common schools, Professor J. P. Wickersham, appointed him county superintendent of the public schools of the county, which position he held and filled creditably for two years; about this time he commenced the study of the law, read for some time in the office of Hon. A. H. Coffroth at Somerset and later entered the law department of the University of Michigan, graduating in 1874. He returned to Somerset county and was admitted to the bar on May 14, 1874. He at once had an active and lucrative practice. In 1875 he was elected district attorney, serving in that capacity for a term of three years with credit and ability. During the legislative sessions of 1887-89 he was a member of the house of representatives, where he made a creditable record as a legislator. Since that time Mr. Pugh has applied himself assiduously to his legal practice, which has become large and lucrative, especially in the Orphans' court and commercial branches of the practice. He is an active member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and is reporter for the district reports from Somerset county. He possesses one of the finest libraries within the community, including many rare and costly volumes, in all amounting to over three thousand volumes. On the walls of the three rooms of his office in which this well selected library of books is kept are to be found a large number of portraits of members of the state and local bar, supreme judges and noted national and world-wide famous characters. Mr. Pugh seems to be wedded to his books, as he is unmarried. In his political life he has always been a Republican. In religion he is a member of the Episcopal church. He is a member of various societies and is a past master Mason by service in that order. Mr. Pugh is a plain, unassuming man, and views matters from none but a practical standpoint. He has been highly successful in his chosen profession. He is a director and vice-president of the First National Bank of Somerset, a director of the Somerset Trust Company, and a large stockholder in both of these concerns.

Photo of James L. Pugh from the same publication:

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