HUGH R. DUKE, of the village of Woodburn, was born in Clarke County, Virginia, November 28, 1836. His parents, Thomas and Sidney (Johnson) Duke, were born and reared in Virginia. His grandfather was one of the patriots who served in the war for American independence, and his father served in the war of 1812. He was in the garrison at Fort Henry, Baltimore, at the time of its bombardment by the British forces. In 1853 the family removed to Logan County, Ohio, where the father died in 1855, aged sixty-three years. Hugh, being the eldest child at home then had charge of the family. They moved to Jefferson County, Virginia [sic], and lived on rented land. July 18, 1861, Hugh enlisted in Company K, Seventh Iowa Infantry, in defense of the Union. His first action was at the battle of Fort Donelson; next in the terrible two days’ battle at Shiloh, and later the siege of Corinth. He was in the battle of Iuka and Corinth in 1862. In Middle Tennessee the regiment was doing hard duty until the relief of General Thomas’ army at Chattanooga. The regiment then joined the Fifteenth Corps, under command of General Logan, and became a part of Sherman’s grand army in its campaign against Johnston’s army; and at Atlanta, in the heroic campaign that followed, the Seventh bore an honorable part. In the battles that occurred between Chattanooga and Atlanta the Seventh also bore an honorable part, being nearly sixty days under fire. July 22 the regiment was engaged at Atlanta where General McPherson was killed; Sergeant Duke saw him fall and carried from the field. It was at the battle of Jonesboro; following the banners of Sherman to the sea; up through the Carolinas, and in the line of the grand review at Washington. While at Petersburg, Sergeant Duke was permitted to visit his sister, Mrs. Emily Writt, at Sutherland Station, Dinwiddie County, Virginia. He was honorably discharged July 22, 1865. The service of Sergeant Duke was honorable in the highest degree. He was in the hospital at Bird’s Point, in October, 1863, two weeks; participated in all the battles of his regiment, terminating only with the surrender of the rebel General Johnston’s army. He returned to Jefferson County, and June 13, 1867, was united in marriage with Miss Mary Frush, daughter of George Frush of Clarke county. She was born in Guernsey County, Ohio, August 3, 1841. In 1870 Mr. and Mrs. Duke went to LaBette County, Kansas, intending to remain, but being unable to get a good title to the railroad land upon which they had settled, they went to the northwestern part of the State and located a soldier’s warrant. After the loss of several successive crops by grasshoppers, Mr. Duke abandoned all hope of living in Kansas and returned to Jefferson County. In 1881 he removed to the village of Woodburn. He owns ninety-three acres, all within the corporation of Woodburn. He is a member and Adjutant of Davenport Post, No. 385, G.A.R. and both are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. They have five children living – Orrin D., Elmer E., Mary E., Ida May and Clyde Otho. Roscoe J. died of croup in February, 1881, aged two years and three months. Mr. Duke’s mother died in 1874 in Jefferson County, aged seventy-four years. One brother, Thomas, and sister, Emily, live in Virginia. Two brothers, David and William L., live in Jefferson County. A sister, Mrs. Sarah Johnson, lives in Woodburn, and Mrs. Mary Jane Drenner lives in Kansas. In politics Mr. Duke is a Republican.
SOURCE: Biographical and Historical Record of Clarke County, Iowa, Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1886 p. 322-3