John Pugh, of Racine, who is filling the office of state game warden of Wisconsin, was born September 1, 1847, in the city in which he still makes his home. Almost three score years and ten have since come and gone and he has witnessed remarkable changes as the state has become thickly settled and the work of progress and improvement has been carried forward. His parents were James and Jeanette (Hughes) Pugh, both of whom were natives of Wales, but they were married in this County. The father on coming to the United States settled first in Utica, New York, afterward removing to Ohio and in 1842 arrived in Racine, where he resided until 1850. He then went to California, attracted by the discovery of gold on the Pacific coast, and for two years remained in that district, but in 1852 returned to Wisconsin. He died May 30, 1890, while his widow survived until 1892, and in their passing the County lost two of its representative and honored pioneer residents.
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John Pugh was educated in the common and high schools of Racine and was a youth of but seventeen years of age when, in 1864, he responded to the country’s call for aid, enlisting for one hundred days’ service. He was stationed on guard duty at Memphis and when his term of enlistment had expired he returned to Racine.
During the succeeding three years Mr. Pugh worked as a boiler maker in the railroad shops and then became a sailor on the Lakes, devoting his time to that pursuit from 1868 until 1894. The vessel on which he sailed suffered wreck off Chicago in the latter year and he then abandoned a seafaring life after having been master of ships for twenty years. He next accepted the position of foreman in a coal yard owned by his brother and thus continued for about four years. Since retiring from that position he has been state conservation and game warden, having been appointed to the position under Governor La Follette, having charge in his official capacity of Racine and Kenosha counties. He is deeply interested in the question of conserving the natural resources of the country and in protecting the game and he does everything in his power to uphold the law in this respect.
In 1879, when thirty-two years of age, Mr. Pugh was united in marriage to Miss Catherine Gittings and they had seven children: John, who is connected with the J. I. Case Threshing Machine Company; Catherine, a teacher, who resides at home; Ellen G., who is the wife of W. F. Boyd, of Carthage, Illinois: Jeanette, at home; Mary, who is engaged in school teaching and is also under the parental roof; Christopher, at home, and Elizabeth, who is deceased.
Mr. Pugh and his family are all members of the Presbyterian Church and in politics he has been a lifelong republican, ever loyal to the interests of the party. For two years he served as sheriff of the County. Fraternally he is connected with the Masons, having taken the degrees of lodge and chapter, and he is also identified with the Royal Arcanum. He was born on Park Street and on that thoroughfare in Racine has always spent his life. Great indeed have been the changes which have occurred during this period, a period in which Racine has emerged from village hood to take on all of the advantages of modern civilization. His experiences have been broad and varied and he is now proving a. most capable official, loyal to the interests of the state.