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Hughes Manor

Hughes Manor, also known as White House Manor, 5849 Hamilton-Lebanon Road (Ohio 63), Monroe, Lemon Twp., was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994. The web site of the Ohio Historic Preservation Office (OHPO) of the Ohio Historical Society says the Monroe Pike "homestead is a fine example of a 19th century farm complete with a myriad of outbuildings and a stately residence. The architecture of the residence is of particular interest in that it clearly depicts a fashionable transition of architectural styles, specifically from Greek Revival to Queen Anne." OHPO said the manor consists of a house and five outbuildings. "Built in the late 1850's by farmer Job Mulford, the residence typified the Greek Revival style. After the Hughes family purchased the real estate in 1873 at the price of $20,000, the house became the residence of Samuel Hughes, son of Daniel Hughes. Although the house is most noted for its Victorian charm, many Greek Revival style features are still apparent." reports the OHPO. "In 1889, Samuel and Hattie Hughes ordered extensive changes to the house, updating it to the Queen Anne style, which was popular at the time." The Middletown Journal once described Hughes Manor as being "situated in a grove of stately trees that is a living monument to Mr. Hughes' intense love of nature, which he expressed particularly towards trees and flowers."

OHPO said "located along numerous commercial routes, Hughes Manor was ideally located. At the end of the drive is the intersection of Routes 4 and 63, providing access to the markets of Hamilton, Dayton, Cincinnati and Middletown. Less than one mile west away from the house, the Hughes could load their goods on the [Louisville, Cincinnati & Dayton] railroad, which had a station in LeSourdsville. In earlier years, the Miami & Erie Canal offered similar convenience." Hughes Manor, OHPO reports, "was the homestead of Samuel Kain Hughes, prominent Butler County agriculturist and political theorist, known throughout the county for nearly 40 years as 'the Sage of LeSourdsville.' The entire ensemble of buildings that make up Hughes Manor have a period of significance that spans from 1873-1924, interpreting a time period beginning with the year that Samuel K. Hughes obtained the home to the time of his death." The OHPO web site includes the following biographical information on Samuel Kain Hughes: "Samuel K. Hughes' father, Daniel Hughes, arrived in Ohio from Maryland around 1816, as a member of one of the first white families to settle in the area. Daniel was raised, along with his six siblings, on the family farm where his father had a successful blacksmithing shop. In 1833, at the age of 27, he married Anna B. Kain, a native of New Jersey. Daniel and Anna Hughes had three children, one female, Mary Jane, and two males, Samuel Kain and Elijah. "Following his marriage, Daniel Hughes settled on sixty acres of unimproved land in the southern part of Lemon Twp. . . . in an area called LeSourdsville. Within the next three years, Daniel Hughes, in partnership with his brother, Micajah Hughes, purchased an additional 100 acres of adjacent land and soon earned a reputation in Butler County as a successful farmer and stock raiser, specializing in raising horses and hogs. All of the land belonging to the brothers at this time was located south of Monroe Pike, and east of the Miami-Erie Canal. "By 1850, Daniel had bought out his brother's share and expanded his land holdings to include approximately 500 acres of land . . . . The 1850 Census describes Hughes as a farmer, owning real estate valued at $12,000. "Along with the help of his two sons, Samuel and Elijah, Daniel Hughes continued to prosper as a farmer and stock raiser, and by the 1860 Census, he had increased the value of his real estate holdings to an impressive $36,000. In 1873, they purchased 26 acres adjacent to the family tract from Job Mulford for $20,000, extending the family holdings to 526 acres. "Samuel soon moved into this home and assumed charge of the northern portion of the farm. Today, the part of this tract with buildings on it is called Hughes Manor. A few years later, the purchase of an additional 59 acres from neighbor William Shafer, located directly north of the Mulford purchase, completed the family holdings. "In 1877, Daniel Hughes turned the title of his land and real estate holdings over to Samuel and Elijah, who were to continue the family business in partnership. Seven years later, July 14, 1884, Daniel Hughes died. After taking charge of the farm, the sons made many improvements and increased their dealings in livestock. Samuel took a particular interest in the livestock raising and trading, whereas Elijah concentrated on the raising of crops. "The year after his father's death, Samuel K Hughes married Hattie B. Boudinet, formerly a housekeeper in the Hughes' household. Hattie Hughes was an oil painter of merit, specializing in canvas and china painting. Together, Samuel and Hattie collected fine art. "Following her death in 1910, Samuel remained a widower for a number of years, eventually marrying Hattie's sister, Mary Elizabeth Boudinet. No children were born in either marriage. "Politics were an important tradition in the Hughes family. Samuel carried on the legacy of his father, Daniel Hughes, and his grandfather, Elijah Hughes, who both had reputations as staunch Democrats. It was in the realm of politics and social theory that Samuel excelled. Samuel Kain Hughes' obituary described him as 'a forceful conversationalist, a brilliant orator, and one of the most interesting, appealing and forceful writers that the southwestern part of the state has produced.' "Samuel K Hughes devoted much attention to public matters and assumed an active role in the life of his community. He was a frequent contributor to Ohio newspapers, particularly the southern Ohio papers of Cincinnati, Hamilton, Middletown, and Dayton. His interests and writings focused mainly on subjects of contemporary political theory and social thought." The OHPO account continues: "Although Hughes espoused opinions about issues far beyond the boundaries of Butler County, he never publicly expressed interest in holding political office. However, he was a friend of many politicians, and Ohio Governors' Cox and Campbell were frequent visitors at his home on Monroe Pike. He was assured twice that he would win nomination as the Democratic candidate for the state senate, but declined the offers so that he could concentrate on local public matters and the family business. For 15 years, he held the position of the president of the Butler County Agricultural Board, which he helped found. He also served as the county road commissioner for a time. "Besides his political theorizing, Hughes was a busy and prosperous businessman. In addition to his extensive dealings in livestock, particularly cattle, he was a director and founder of the Monroe National Bank . . . and a director in the Miami Valley National Bank in Hamilton. He also had a hand in the manufacturing and coal mining industries and was the president of the Union Town Coal & Mining Co. in Kentucky for a number of years. He dabbled in real estate development as well. In 1891, in partnership with his brother, Samuel acquired an estate bordered on two sides by the Miami-Erie Canal and Hughes Street, and from this acquisition platted the Lakeside Addition to Middletown, consisting of 20 acres.

"Samuel K. Hughes lived to be 85 years of age, dying at his home Aug. 7, 1924. He had long suffered a heart condition that rendered him homebound. He remained active until shortly before his death, and continued to correspond with local newspapers and political journals and to hold political discussions with state and local leaders in his home.

"Following his death, the 586-acre estate was divided and sold by his widow, Mary Elizabeth Hughes. The 500 acres to the south of Monroe Pike was sold as one parcel to a local farmer, who continued to farm it. The land to the north of Monroe Pike was subdivided into 21 parcels and named Hughes Manor, after the estate. The home and outbuildings were all contained in one parcel and maintained their commanding view to the south. Mary Elizabeth stayed in the home until her death." (See LeSourdsville and Knorr.)

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