Biography of Arthur S. Hughes
North Central Ohio Biographies





Arthur S. Hughes, who is president of the Hughes Keenan Company, Inc., is one of the important figures in the industrial life of Mansfield. He was born here, Nov. 13, 1878, the son of John Hughes, who for 40 years engaged in the ice business in this city.

The grandfather of John Hughes was William G. Hughes, a Hessian soldier, who was hired by King George III to fight against the American colonists during the Revolutionary War. Like many others of his class he deserted the army and settled in Pennsylvania. His son, the grandfather of Arthur S. Hughes, moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio about 1828 and settled nine miles east of Mansfield, being one of the pioneers of Richland County. He and his family were early converts to the faith of Alexander Campbell, the founder of the Christian or Disciples Church. The Hughes family attended services in the old log court house at Mansfield, this being one of the early centers of the church denomination started by Alexander Campbell

Arthur S. Hughes attended the public schools of Mansfield and served an apprenticeship as a boilermaker with the Aultman Taylor Company of Mansfield. When he was 20 years of age the company sent him to San Paulo, Brazil, to install boilers for an electric power plant, probably the first in Brazil. This was a great responsibility for a young man, and he was obliged to learn the language of Latin America, in order to manage a force of workmen. The boilers were shipped complete but it was necessary to connect them with the engines. The captain of the vessel that carried young Hughes as a passenger gave him sound advice concerning the care of his health in the torrid zone and cautioned him as to his dealings with the inhabitants, advice that proved of incalculable value. The two years spent at San Paulo, Rio Janiero and Bahia afforded excellent training, not only in actual construction work but in contact with human nature, perfecting the ability to handle men, which has made Mr. Hughes a responsible executive in advance of his years.

In 1906 Mr. Hughes was active in the organization of the Hughes Keenan Company, which was incorporated in the same year with a capital stock of $25,000. The company distributes a large tonnage of the manufactured products which leave Mansfield for distribution all over the country. It has the facilities for the fabrication of structural and pressed steel and ornamental iron. Some of its feature outputs consist of steel toilet partitions and pressed steel truck bodies for Ford cars. This is an industry that has had a steady and substantial growth. The company employs 150 men and has a monthly pay roll of $30,000. The plant covers six acres and the factory buildings are of modern construction. Mr. Keenan retired from the company in 1912 and since that date Mr. Hughes has been the controlling executive.

Mr. Hughes is president of the Lexington Furniture Company, president of the Superior Body Company, of Marion, Ind., director of the United Tractor & Equipment Company, of Chicago; and president of the Manufacturers Club.

Mr. Hughes married Miss Bessie Morgan. They have two children, Alberta May, and Mary Helen, both graduates of Mansfield High School.

Mr. Hughes is an active member of the First Christian Church and chairman of the Board of Trustees. He belongs to Mansfield Lodge, No. 35, F. & A. M.; Mansfield Chapter, R. A. M.; Mansfield Council, R. & S. M. M.; Mansfield Commander, K. T. No. 21; Dayton Consistory, 32nd degree; Baku Grotto, Past Monarch; and AI Koran Temple. He is vice president of the Board of Trustees, Y. M. C. A., and chairman of the Community Chest Fund of 1930. He also belongs to the Chamber of Commerce.

From:
History of North Central Ohio
Embracing Richland, Ashland, Wayne,
Medina, Lorin, Huron and Knox Counties
BY: William A. Duff
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1931


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