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James Hudson

HUDSON, James. — Of James Hudson it may be said that opportunity has never knocked vainly at his door, but rather has found a lighted candle to guide its approach, and, within, a mind and energy responsive to its promptings and exactions. To this happy faculty of readiness do countless thousands owe their success in life. In this instance, allied to business sagacity and practical common sense, it has raised this well-known pioneer to large landownership in Walnut Grove Township, to prominence in politics, activity in religious affairs, and keen interest in the promotion of education, good government, and other civilizing agencies. Mr. Hudson was born in Jefferson County, Ill., June 16, 1839, a son of Edwin and Sarah (Lyles) Hudson. His parents were of the South, the father being born in Mecklenburg County, Va., and the mother, in Hickman County, Tenn. They were married in Tennessee, and previous to their coming to Illinois in 1838, lived some years in the former State. About 1854 the family moved to Canton, Fulton County, Ill., and here James Hudson completed his education in the public schools. In October, 1863, at the age of twenty-four, he married Louise M. Green, and established a home of his own on a farm in Knox County, Ill., where he lived until coming to McDonough County in 1868. Purchasing land in Walnut Grove Township, he added thereto as success permitted, until he became the owner of 872 acres of as fine land as is to be found in the Central West. Studying agriculture from a scientific standpoint, and keeping abreast of the times upon the multitudinous subjects of interest and use to the farmer, he came to represent the kind of country life and effort which, from time immemorial, has been increasingly associated with the foundation of communities. In 1896 Mr. Hudson retired from active management of his farm to the town of Bushnell, where he owns four residences, and where he has surrounded himself with the comforts and refinements of existence. In early life Mr. Hudson subscribed to the principles of the Democratic party, and ever since has been a stanch and uncompromising supporter. While he ever has regarded politics as a side issue, he has been drawn into the vortex of preferment by special executive and organization ability. For seven years he has been a member of the Board of Supervisors of Walnut Grove Township, and since coming to Bushnell has been on the Board of Education for six years. One of the most hotly contested elections in the history of the county was that for the mayoralty of Bushnell in the spring of 1905, the opposing forces being represented by Mr. Hudson of the Citizens' party, and Mr. Harris of the Republican. According to the original count Mr. Harris won the election by nine votes, but fraud being suspected, a recount was secured upon the demand of Mr. Hudson, and it was found that he had been defeated by a majority of twelve votes. Political excitement probably never ran higher in the quiet, law-abiding town of Bushnell. The Presbyterian Church, in which he has been an elder, has for many years profited by the personal exertions and generous monetary support of Mr. Hudson, and he is a leader in its charities and enterprises looking to moral uplift of the people. Fraternally, he is connected with the Masons, being a member of the T. J. Pickett Lodge No. 307. Mr. and Mrs. Hudson are parents of four children: Zalmon, Eva Maud, Mary Lucretia and Rosa May. The practical and useful life of Mr. Hudson is a reflex of his character. He is above all subterfuge, and especially in his political action is he fearless in denouncing wrong and upholding right. To an unusually satisfying degree does he enjoy the confidence and esteem of his fellowmen.

Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, pages 913-914, extracted 09 Mar 2019 by Norma Hass.

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