Hugh Dunnan is a retired farmer and one of the large landowners of Dix township. From his extensive realty holdings he derives a gratifying annual income and, moreover, deserves much credit for his success which has mainly been acquired through his own well directed efforts. A native of Pennsylvania, he was born in Lawrence county, April 4, 1839, his parents being John and Ann (Smiley) Dunnan, natives of Ireland and Pennsylvania respectively. The father was twice married but there were no children of the first marriage and after the death of his wife he wedded Miss Smiley in 1825 or 1826. Two of their children died in infancy, while those who reached adult age were: James A., now deceased, while his family resides at Mount Sterling, Iowa; Samuel R., living in Lisbon, Ohio; Robert S., who was a soldier of the United States army in the war of the Rebellion and died before Richmond, Virginia, in 1862; Hugh, of this review; and John, who resides at the old farm homestead at Mt. Jackson, Pennsylvania.
Hugh Dunnan was educated in the public schools of his native county and remained with his mother until his twenty-fourth year, when he joined Company D of the Fifth Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery to aid in the defense of the Union. Serving until the close of the war, he was mustered, out in Virginia, June 30, 1865. He participated in the battles of Rectortown, Salem and Gobler's Mountain, where he assisted in capturing four of General Moseby's cannon. This was the most sanguinary engagement which occurred during the months of December, January, February and March. There were also several other skirmishes with Moseby's men and when his term had expired Mr. Dunnan returned home in impaired health.
Resuming farming upon his mother's place, Mr. Dunnan there continued until 1876, at which time he was married. It was on the 19th of October of that year that he wedded Miss Eliza Jennings Wallace, a daughter of James and Mary Jane (Johnston) Wallace, who were of Scotch descent. Ancestors in the paternal line came from Scotland to America in 1812, while the maternal parents came from County Down, Ireland, in 1826. James Wallace was a miller and farmer, who was not only active in business affairs but also served his county in several offices, the duties of which he discharged with promptness and fidelity. He was overseer of the poor for twenty years or more and his long continuance in office plainly indicates his ability and fidelity. He died in June, 1888, while his wife passed away in 1894. They were the parents of twelve children, seven of whom reached adult age, namely: Thomas J., who served as a soldier of the Civil war as a member of Company C, Seventh Ohio Regiment, and is now deceased; William S., who also served in the Civil war as a member of Cooper's Battery, Pennsylvania Light Artillery, and was wounded in the seven days battle before Richmond in 1862, his death resulting therefrom two years later; Margaret E., the widow of William Aiken, of Alliance, Ohio; Eliza J., now Mrs. Dunnan; Ella J., the deceased wife of William McGinnis, a resident of Mount Jackson, Pennsylvania; Minerva, the wife of R. C. Gailey, of Newcastle, Pennsylvania; and Mary L., who makes her home in Chicago.
The home of Mr. and Mrs. Dunnan has been blessed with five children, as follows: James W., who is editor of the Eastern Illinois Register at Paxton; Margaret E.; Anna Jeannette; Martha M., who has passed away; and Luella E. The parents and children are members of the United Presbyterian church and principles of honor and integrity find place in their lives and govern their conduct. Mr. Dunnan is a member of Paxton Post, G. A. R., and his wife belongs to the Relief Corps, No. 125, of Paxton. Politically he is a democrat but has never been a politician in the sense of office seeking. His entire time and attention have been concentrated upon his business affairs, which, capably directed, have brought him splendid success. His investments have been carefully made and in all his business interests he has displayed an aptitude for successful management that makes him today one of the largest landowners of Paxton.

Extracted 16 Oct 2016 by Norma Hass from History of Ford County, Illinois, From Its Earliest Settlement to 1908, author E. A. Gardner, Volume 2, pages 589-591.

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