from Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa by Manoah Hedge The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1906
John M. Pugh, extensively and successfully engaged in the real estate business in Oskaloosa, is a native of McLean county, Illinois, born on the 26th of March, 1857, his parents being Samuel T. and Elizabeth (Mackintorf) Pugh, both of wham were natives of East Tennnessee, and following their marriage they settIed upon a farm in McLean county, Illinois, becoming pioneers of that locality, but soon afterward on account of illness they returned to their old home in Tennessee and there Mr. Pugh was drafted for service in the Confederate army. He went to Vicksburg and for months was in the siege of that city and eventually starved to death there. His remains were afterward taken back to Tennessee for burial. His widow was left with five children and she managed to keep her family together. She lived until 1871, passing away at the age of thirty-six years. The sons and daughters of the household are: Minnie, now the wife of William Dobson, of Ulysses, Nebraska; William D., residing in Peoria, Illinois; John M., of Oskaloosa; Joseph E., who is living in Los Angeles, California; and one who died at the age of twenty years. John M. Pugh had but limited opportunities for acquiring an education, for in early life he and his brother worked out and earned the money to educate the younger members of the family. He has made his own way in life and deserves much credit for the success which has crowned his efforts. He was farming for twelve years near Delavan, Illinois, and then came to Mahaska county, making his way to Fremont, where in 1890 he bought a farm, residing thereon until 1898. The demand for farms in this part of the state was so great that he gradually merged his interests into the real estate business. His neighbors from Illinois came until he had located nearly four hundred farms or homes for them. He now gives his entire attention to the real estate business, for five years being a member of the firm of Pugh Brothers, of Oskaloosa, his partner being J. E. Pugh, but since that time he has been alone in business. Within the last two years he has not only handled Iowa property but has also bought and sold land in North Dakota and is one of the leading land dealers of Mahaska county. He has done much for the village of Fremont in the way of its up-building and improvement, having established elevators and other enterprises there. He may well be termed a promoter and one whose labors have been effective along the line of general progress as well as individual success. He removed to Oskaloosa in 1901, where he has a fine home. On the 8th of January, 1879, Mr. Pugh was married to Miss Mahala Vandeventer, a daughter of the Rev. David Vandeventer, minister of the Presbyterian denomination. Five children have been born of this marriage, but two died in infancy. Those, living are: Percy J., who is now living on a farm in Cedar township belonging to his father; and Estella M. and Warren, both at home. Mr. Pugh is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and has filled all of the chairs in the local lodge. He is also connected with the Knights of Pythias and has been a delegate to its grand lodge and he belongs to the Woodmen of the World. Deprived in his youth of many of the advantages which many regard as essential to success in life he has nevertheless made rapid and substantial progress in the business world. A man must essentially formulate and give shape to his own character and this Mr. Pugh has done, so directing his labors that he has won an honorable name as well as a competence. His work, too, has been of a character that has been of direct benefit to Mahaska county, proving a factor in bringing many families to the county and thus advancing its growth and prosperity.
Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy