Hugh McSurely was born at Lexington, Kentucky, July 14, 1806. His father came from the north of Ireland, and was a soldier under General Harrison in the War of 1812. He came to Adams County when a child and his whole life was spent there. In 1828, he was married to Mary Clark by the Rev. William Baldridge of Cherry Fork congregation. Of this church, he and his wife were members until the Unity Church was organized in 1846, when they transferred their membership there. He was an elder in the United Presbyterian Church at thirty years and held the office for fifty years. He was a man of decided convictions on all subjects. He was a Jacksonian Democrat from 1827 to 1836. He became a Whig in 1836, two years after the organization of that party. When the Whig party dissolved, he formed no other political ties until the formation of die Republican party, when he joined that party and continued in it all his life. He took a great interest in the church, in all public questions and in the welfare of his country. When the war broke out, he was fifty-five years of age, ten years over the limit of age for military duty. But he determined to enter the military service and did so. Here is his record: "Hugh McSurely, Private, Company E, 70th O. V. I. Captain, John T. Wilson. Enlisted November 1, 1861, for three years; aged 55. Discharged December 8, 1862, on Surgeon's Certificate of disability." Of course, he ought not to have gone and the Government should not have accepted him, but he did so and the inevitable followed. His age was against him and he broke down and was sent home. When he returned he sent his son, George A., now a resident of Oxford, Ohio, who took his place in the same company and regiment and served until July 28, 1865. His son, Samuel A., served in the First Ohio Heavy Artillery.

Hugh McSurely's wife died August 19, 1865. He contracted a second marriage with Ann McClanahan, who survives him. He had five children, the sons above named. Rev. William J. McSurely, D. D., of Hillsboro, Ohio, and Sarah A. McSurely, who resides on the home farm with his widow. Hugh McSurely always took an active interest in politics, though he was never a candidate for office. In the campaign of 1896, he took as much interest in the election of President McKinley as though he had forty years of life before him. He was honest and industrious: he was a public-spirited, honored and useful citizen and a cheerful Christian. He died December 5, 1896, in his ninety-first year.

 

From "History of Adams County, Ohio from its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time" - by Nelson W. Evans and Emmons B. Stivers - West Union, Ohio - Published by E. B. Stivers - 1900