JOHN BELL HUDGENS. An active and highly esteemed citizen of Goreville, Johnson county, John Bell Hudgens has been cashier of the First National Bank for five or more years, a position for which by reason of his financial ability and business acumen he is amply qualified. A son of the late Zachariah Hudgens, he was born April 26, 1861, near Marion, Williamson county, on the home farm, which occupied the present site of the town of Hudgens.
Zachariah Hudgens was born in Tennessee, but was reared in Southern Illinois. In 1855, with his father, John, he settled in Williamson county, where during the Civil war, he enlisted in Company E, One Hundred and Twenty-eighth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, in which he served for a year, taking part in many important engagements. Returning home when discharged from the army, he continued to live on the farm and was a merchant until his death, in 1902, being then killed by a locomotive in Marion. He married Mary J. Cooksey, who was born in Tennessee, and died in Williamson county, Illinois, of typhoid fever, in 1888. Fourteen children were born of their union, as follows: John Bell, with whom this sketch is chiefly concerned; Robert L.; Hiram A.;
Joshua; Zachariah; Herman; Egbert; Hugh; Lee; Arthur; Emma Randal, widow of Dr. Theodore Hudson, whose son, Dr. Zachariah Hudson, is the only surviving heir of the Hudson estate; Mary E., wife of E. Mclnturff; Mrs. Nancy P. Nelson; and Alice, wife of T. A. Bradley, of whom a brief personal account is given on another page of this work.
Acquiring his early education in the district schools, John Bell Hudgens also obtained a thorough knowledge of the art and science of agriculture on the home farm, on which he remained, a valuable assistant, until twenty-four years of age. Locating then at Pulley Mills, he embarked in mercantile pursuits, and there, in 1893, in company with his father, purchased the flouring mill, and was prosperously engaged in milling and as a merchant for six years. Disposing of his mercantile business in 1899, Mr. Hudgens transferred his residence and his mill to Goreville, and devoted his energies to his milling operations until December 31, 1906. Being elected cashier of the First National Bank of Goreville, he assumed the position in January, 1907, and is filling the office to the eminent satisfaction of all connected with the institution, and to its patrons.
Mr. Hudgens has been twice married. He married first, in 1883, Anna S. L. Melnturff, a daughter of Adam and Mary Mclnturff. She was called to the higher life, in 1893, but ten short years after her marriage, and at her death left three children, Earl, Guy and Mary Ruby. Mr. Hudgens married for his second wife, in 1895, Bertie Fly, daughter of Dr. J. J. Fly, of whom a brief sketch may also be found in this biographical volume, and into their pleasant home five children have been born, namely: Arba Fly, Val, Wilhelma J; Emma Maxcine and John Jackson. Fraternally Mr. Hudgens is a member of Fountain Lodge, No. 396, Independent Order of Odd Fellows; of Goreville Lodge, No. 7936, Modern Woodmen of America, at Goreville, and also a member of Marion Lodge, No. 800, of the Order of Elks.