Patrick Henry McHugh was born in Columbiana County,
Ohio, on October 15, 1839, son of Michael and Mary
(McCoy) McHugh. At the age of eight, Patrick accompanied
his parents, siblings (eleven born in all) and grandparents to
Wisconsin where on July 4, 1847, they would become one
of the first families to settle in the soon to be town of
Caledonia, Waupaca County, Wisconsin just outside New
When their father died in 1856, the children still at home
assumed the responsibilities of managing and operating the
large farm owned by their mother. The year 1863, however,
sent four McHugh sons, including Patrick, and an uncle
into the midst of the Civil War. Patrick served for almost a
year before being honorably discharged with physical
ailments due to the harsh conditions he fought in. These
problems would continue to plague him throughout his life.
The remaining McHugh boys returned home at war’s end,
but without their Uncle James, who died in Cornith,
Misssissippi of disease.
On June 28, 1870, Patrick married Laura Mary Danks, daughter of Eli and Susan (Cannon) Danks, who was born August 25, 1851 in Theresa, Dodge County, Wisconsin. Together, the McHughs had eight children: Johanna, James “Jim”, Samuel, Anna, Morgan, Addie, Patrick “Murphy” and Cecilia all born in Waupaca County. Patrick and Laura continued in farming pursuits in Caledonia and surrounding areas until the late 1890’s, when he accepted a job delivering supplies and groceries to remote northern Wisconsin lumber camps by wagon. In 1900, he decided to move his wife and younger children to one of these secluded areas that in the years following would be named Laona. The McHughs stayed with cousins, the John Delamater family until they completed construction of their own home. Laura became school teacher for the settlers' children in a one room building where students used the large windowsills as makeshift desks. Four of the McHugh children: Addie, Jim, Morgan and Cecilia remained there the rest of their lives. Laura McHugh passed away from cancer November 5, 1907. Patrick lived the remainder of his long life in Laona with his children and grandchildren, but deeply missed the beloved wife he always referred to as “My Laurie”. He died July 9, 1931 at the home of his daughter Anna Gropp Patrick and Laura’s Children
Johanna McHugh - (1871-1881) Johanna was born November 15, 1871, the first child of Patrick and Laura McHugh. She died at the age of nearly ten years on April 20, 1881 in Caledonia, Waupaca County of unknown causes.
James “Jim” McHugh - (1873-1952 ) Jim was born September 5, 1873. He married Anna Martha Zutz in Gillett, Oconto County, Wisconsin, June 29, 1909. Anna was born December 24, 1880 in West Prussia to August and Florentina Zutz. The couple moved to Laona in 1910 shortly after the death of their stillborn son on May 1st of that year. They later had two more boys: Carl Andrew Morgan McHugh who died of an epileptic seizure in Laona at the age of 8 on January 19, 1924 and Edmund Otto August McHugh born July 7, 1911 who lived his adult years in an institution when he was found to not be of sound mind. He died in Shawano, Wisconsin May 1979. Jim owned a dairy farm south of Laona and for many years took on the task of digging graves with his brother Morgan. Anna had to be placed in the Shawano County Asylum early on in their
marriage and died there of cancer October 3, 1945. James died when his Laona home in lower town caught fire on June 11, 1952.
Samuel Eli McHugh - (1875 -1959) Sam was born September 29, 1875 and lived in Waupaca and Outagamie Counties throughout his life. His first marriage took place May 11, 1897 to Mary Thibeau who died April 4, 1899 of consumption, almost three months after giving birth to their first born son January 28th. The baby named Joseph Sampson McHugh soon followed his mother in passing on May 12, 1899. Sam later married Ms. Katie M. Moder born April 18, 1882 in Dale, Wisconsin and together they had three children: Arthur, Francis and Lorraine. Katie passed away of old age in New London , November of 1972. Sam died in Clintonville, Wisconsin, March 27, 1959, after a long illness. Anna Malisia McHugh (Lehman-Stubblefield-Dawley-Gropp) (1878-1970) Annie was born March 3, 1878. She was a strong-willed, independent woman who ended up marrying (the family believes) four times. She had two children: Patrick and Anna Lehman with her first husband, Peter between 1897-1899 and daughter, Susan Gropp with her last husband Henry around 1916. Annie died on January 28, 1970.
Charles “Morgan” McHugh (1880-1960) Morg was born October 21, 1880 He stayed in
Laona his entire life and worked in area lumber camps and on his own in the trade. Morgan
never married. He died January 5, 1960 in Laona outside the door of his home in the early
morning hours. Although never thoroughly investigated by police, family members say he
was robbed by two area men and left for dead.
Laura “Adelaide” Mary McHugh (Eggebrecht) (1885-1960) Addie was born March 19,
1885. In 1908, she married Charles Eggebrecht, who served as one of the Connor
Company’s blacksmiths and as a leader in the CCC Camps. Addie kept house for her
husband and was mother to their only child, Laura (Faivre) born April 9, 1909 and died
April 1985. The Eggebrechts remained in Laona all their lives. Addie died on April 7,
1960 in Laona.
Patrick Aloysius “Murphy” McHugh (1887-1960)
“Murphy“, as he was called, was born May 15, 1885. He worked
various jobs throughout his life, but was a well digger by trade. He later was a cheese maker in the Oshkosh area where he resided for the last 30 years of his life. Murphy married Louise Eggebrecht on December 2, 1911 in Butternut, Wisconsin. Together they had two children: Donald and Gertrude. Patrick went on to marry two other times before his death on February 3, 1959 due to his failing
Cecilia Alida McHugh (Webb) (1890- 1988) Cecilia, the youngest of the McHugh children was born June 9, 1890. She was ten years old when the family moved to Laona and remained there to raise her own family. She married Leon Harvey Webb, son of Nathan and Annie (Doubleday) Webb in 1910. Leon, a kind and gentle man, was born February 6, 1888, and worked for the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad until his retirement. He passed away on October 27, 1966. For the next 22 years, Cecilia continued to live alone and tend to her home. The couple had eight children: Agnes (Carter), Leonard, Leon, Willard “Nick”, Audrey (Greenman), Wilma (LaBine), Edward, and Larry. She died in 1988 at the age of 98.