James M Hudson

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CAPT. JAMES M. HUDSON, of Kittanning, is a native of Westmoreland county, Pa. whither the family removed from Lancaster county. He is the son of Thomas Hudson and grandson of James Hudson.

James Hudson was reared in Lancaster county, married there, and in the early part of the nineteenth century brought his family to Westmoreland county, making the journey by wagon. Here he was engaged principally at the carpenter's trade, taking contracts for houses and various other buildings, and also speculated quite successfully in land. He bought land in Crab Tree Bottom for seven dollars an acre, the coal on which alone is now worth five hundred dollars an acre. He lived to the age of seventy-eight years, his death, in 1863, being caused by cancer on the hand. His wife, whose maiden name was McCauslin, was a native of Lancaster county and of Irish descent. She died at the age of fifty-five years in Westmoreland county. They had a family of eight children, six sons and two daughters. Mr Hudson was a member of the Presbyterian Church, and a Whig in politics.

Thomas Hudson, father of Captain Hudson, was born in 1806, in Lancaster county, Pa., and passed his youth there, being fourteen years old when he moved with the family to Westmoreland county. He learned the trade of cabinetmaking, and afterward also engaged in farming. He continued to live in Westmoreland county for some years following his marriage, in 1855, coming to Armstrong county, where he followed his trade for a time. In 1863 he engaged in farming, settling on a place in South Buffalo township, where he spent the rest of his life. He beccame quite well known in the community, serving as overseer of the poor and in other township offices. Mr. Hudson married Mary Kunkle, who was born in 1811, in Westmoreland county, of German parentage; she could not speak English at the time of her marriage. To this union were born six sons and two daughters, of whom James M. is the youngest. The father died at the age of seventy-five years, the mother at the age of eighty-six, in Kitanning, and they are buried in the McVill cemetery. They were members of the Presbyterian Church and he was a Democrat on political issues.

James M. Hudson was born March 15, 1852, at Garvers Ferry, in Westmoreland county, opposite Freeport. He was but a young child when the family settled in Armstrong county, where he received his schooling. He was only a boy of nine years, however, when he commenced work on the river, begining as a cook and working up until he became captain and pilot of steamboats, in which capacity he has been engaged for twenty-six years, for twenty years of this time on the Allegheny river.He has been a resident of Kittanning since 1901, and has long had his business headquarters there.He is now in partnership with his sons, the firm being J.M. Hudson & Sons, and they deal in sand and gravel. They have several barges, one steamboat, hoisting apparatus and sand dredge, being well equipped to handle the large business they have built up. Captain Hudson is indeed a self-made man, and a representative member of a family whose operations on the Allegheny river have made them well known over all this part of Pennsylvania. From 1864 he and his brothers were interested in oil boating, and they have all acquired extensive interests on the river, owning so much stock in craft of all sorts that it is said their investments constitute two thirds of all on the river outside of Pittsburgh.

 

Captain Hudson married Catherine Bowser, daughter of Noah Bowser, an early settler of Armstrong county, and to them were born six children: Charles T., Thomas Noah, Herbert P., Mabel Gertude, Grover Cleveland and Henry Arthur. The mother died Jan. 19, 1901 and is buried in the McVill cemetery. In June 1909, Captain Hudson married (second) Mary Brodhead, who was born in Kittanning, daughter of Frank and Sarah (King) Brodhead, and granddaughterof George Brodhead, being a descendant of General Brodhead. By this union there is one child, Paul Brodhead. The family home is at 225 Maple street, where Captain Hudson owns a fine modern brick residence. He is a prominent member of the First M.E. Church, with which he has been connected for thirty-nine years, and has served faithfully as trustee and steward. Politically he is a Democrat.

Source Pages 415-416 Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed September 1998 by Rodney G Rosborough for the Armstrong County Beers Project.
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/armstrong/)

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