No biographical history of Hancock county would be complete without fitting reference to the life and the services of the Hon.William R. Hough, a venerable and highly respected citizen of Greenfield, and who for many years was regarded as a leader of the bar of the Hancock circuit court, a former state senator and ever foremost in promoting the best interests of the community of which he has been a very vital factor since the year 1856, a period of six decades, during which time he has been a witness to, and an active participant in, the wonderful development that has marked this region within the past generation or more.
William R. Hough was born in Wayne county, Indiana, October 9, 1833, son of Alfred and Anna (Marine) Hough, and was reared in Elkhart county, this state, to which place his parents had moved when he was a child. He received an excellent education in his youth and his attention early was attracted to the legal profession. After having taught school two winters in Lagrange county, in pursuance of his design to take up the practice of law, he entered the office of Capt. Reuben A. Riley, at Greenfield, in 1856, he then being in the twenty-third year of his age and under that careful preceptorship was presently competent to take the require examination for admission to the bar. In 1858 and 1859 he acted as school examiner, having been appoint to that office for each of said years by the board of commissioners of this county. Upon being admitted to practice he continued his residence in Greenfield and very soon was recognized as a forceful figure at the bar of this circuit. In 1860 Mr. Hough was elected district attorney for the district comprising Hancock, Madison, Henry, Rush and Decatur counties, and for the term of two years prosecuted the pleas of the state to the satisfaction of all law abiding citizens. In 1872 he was elected, as the nominee of the Republicans of the senatorial district then composed of Hancock and Henry counties, to a seat in the upper house of the Indiana General Assembly. While sitting in the senate Mr.Hough performed an admirable service, not only in behalf of his district, but for the state at large, and was regarded as one of the leaders in that body. Mr. Hough was an able lawyer and during the long period of his practice at Greenfield was very successful. In 1888 he admitted to partnership with him his son, William A. Hough, who was admitted to the bar in that year, and a few years later, having acquired an ample competency, he retired from the general practice of the law, but continued as local counsel for the Pennsylvania Railway Company, a position which he has held since September, 1876.. Since that time he has been living quietly retired at his pleasant home in Greenfield, where for many years he and his wife enjoyed countless evidences of the high regard in which they were held throughout the entire community. Mrs. Hough died on June 26, 1900.
Mrs. Hough, who before her marriage was Matilda C. McDowell, was born near Edinburgh, Scotland, coming to America with he widowed mother and family when he was a young girl. To her union with Mr. Hough three children were born, William A., a prominent attorney of Greenfield, a biographical sketch of whom is presented elsewhere in this volume; Clarence A., of Chicago, and Mary Mabel, who died at the age of seven years. Mr. and Mrs. Hough were for many years, as since her death he has been, earnest in all good works hereabout and have done much to promote the better interest of their home community. Though not actively affiliated with any of the organized church bodies, Mr. Hough ever has been a liberal contributor to church and other local beneficences and has done much to help elevate the social and cultural life of the community. Mr. Hough has been an active member of the Republican party from the time of its organization. His religious opinions more nearly accord with doctrines of the Unitarian church than any other. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and was for many years in affiliation with the Odd Fellows.
Transcribed from History of Hancock County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions by George J. Richman, B. L., Federal Publishing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1916. Page 1104-1106.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI November 17, 2001.
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