Jefferson County IL 
Family Histories
Downing Baugh came early, acted well his part as a business man, Judge, Justice of the Peace, enterprising and useful citizen. and above all, as a Christian. Some years ago he moved to McGregor, Iowa, and but recently died there at a ripe old age of-perhaps ninety-live. He left his imprint on the early history of Mount Vernon, and left with us his posterity, of which we are justly proud. His children were: Mrs. J. J. Fly, who is still with us, at an advanced age, and is the mother of Walter, Oscar and Addison Fly, and Mrs. Carrie Spiese and Amy, at home; Mrs. H. H. Wilkerson, who moved to Chicago and died; Thomas J. (dead); John W., our well known express agent-whose children are: 

Frank and Nellie; Joe V., the present editor of the Mount Vernon News, whose children are: Ernest and Harry, and Mrs. "Hat" Thurston, living in Dakota. The writer well remembers being one of the charivari party who "serenaded" Mrs. Fly and Mrs. Wilkerson-both having been married the same night, over fifty years ago. The Baughs then lived on what is now Herrin's corner. We were sent over to Aunt Mariah's, who kept gingerbread and cider about where George Carter now lives, for the "treat" and it was a good one--Just such a one as Aunt Mariah (colored) delighted to give. 



JOEL V. BAUGH. One of the best known and public-spirited citizens of Jefferson county, Illinois, is Joel V. BAUGH, editor of the Mount Vernon News, who was born in Mount Vernon, May 19, 1838, and who has spent much of his long and eminently useful life in his home community. He is the son of Downing BAUGH, a native of Barren county, Kentucky, who removed to Kaskaskia, Randolph county, Illinois, in the early days, 1820. The father of the subject was a distinguished lawyer, who was born in Barren county, Kentucky, in 1798. He lived in Barren county a short time and then moved to Mount Vernon, Illinois; in 182x . He married Milly PACE. He was prominent in public affairs, and was postmaster of Mount Vernon for many years. He was a home student and began the practice of law when forty-seven years old, having, studied law in his spare moments for some time. He was successful from the first and he was appointed Circuit Judge in 1854, winning a record as an honest and upright jurist. During the years 1840 and 1841 he was enrolling and engrossing clerk of the twelfth General Assembly. He was a Probate Justice in Jefferson county for a time. In 1857 he removed to McGregor, Iowa, where he was elected Judge of the City Court. Judge Baugh was one of those sterling pioneers who helped to form and mould the early sentiments of this country. His death, which was deeply lamented by all who knew him, occurred at McGregor, Iowa, in 1888, at the advanced age of ninety-one years. He and his good wife were the parents of eight children, four of whom are living in 1909, namely: Mrs. Mary E. FLY, of Mount Vernon; J. W.; Joel V., our subject; Mrs. Harriet THURSTON, of Hot Springs, South Dakota. 

Our subject's mother died when he was small and he was reared by his step-mother, known in her maidenhood as Sophronia DAVIS, of Moore's Prairie, Jefferson county. She married Downing BAUGH in 1847 and her death occurred in 1908, at the advanced age of ninety-seven years. 

Joel V. BAUGH spent his early life in Mount Vernon, attending the common schools. He early decided to devote his life to journalism, and accordingly entered the office of the Jeffersonian in 1851, and he has been continuously connected with the business since that time, making a great success and becoming one of the molders of public opinion. He has had occasion to learn the news-paper business in all its details. The first paper started in Mount Vernon was the Jeffersonian, owned by John S. BOGAN. It was started in 1851. Mr. John A. WALL and Mr. BAUGH were among his employees. The latter worked three years with Mr. BOGAN. 

In 1862 Mr. BAUGH and L. M. AMALA, a native of the Sandwich Islands, started the first paper published in the Rocky Mountains outside of Denver. This was called the Mining Life and was published at Central City, Colorado. Mr. BAUGH was afterward one of the founders of the Sioux City (Iowa) Journal in 1864. He did editorial work on many daily papers afterwards. In 1868 he started the Fairfield (Illinois) Democrat, and successfully managed it for eight years. He then went to Evansville, where he did editorial work. He was always regarded as a very capable man, having a felicity of expression and being a painstaking editor. 

Mr. BAUGH returned to Mount Vernon about sixteen years ago and assumed charge of the News, and later published the Democrat here, which was merged with the News in 1901. It is now published by the Mount Vernon News Company, incorporated, of which our subject is editor. 

The domestic life of Mr. BAUGH began in 1866 at Marshall-town, Iowa, when he was united in marriage with Mary C. SWANSON, of that city. Two sons have blessed this union, Harry B.. who is engaged in the restaurant business in Salt Lake City, Utah; Ernest V. is superintendent of the dining car department of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, with headquarters in Baltimore. 

The subject's wife, who was a woman of many estimable traits, passed to her rest February 3, 1908. Mr. BAUGH has taken considerable interest in politics, but the only office he ever held was that of Police Magistrate of Mount Vernon, which he resigned. He is a Mason in all three of its branches, the Blue Lodge, the Chapter and Commandery. He is a member of the Methodist church. He commands the unqualified respect of all who know him. 
SOURCE: WALL'S HISTORY OF JEFFERSON CO 1909 pages 440-442 See Photo
SUBMITTED BY: Misty Flannigan Dec 15, 1997 


Visit RootsWeb
Please send additions, corrections to 
Jefferson County Coordinator Cindy Ford
© 2005-2012 by Cindy Ford
All rights reserved