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The Hughes Family Still Lives   

Elder James Henry Hughes, a Country Preacher and his wife Emily left Kentucky in 1854, before the Civil War, most likely as Freedman, to start a new life. Arriving in Charlestown, Indiana, a small town located in the southern most part of Indiana, life began anew and from their vision a new generation was born.

Elder James Henry preached the gospel and his beloved wife Emily was a homemaker. She bore children with two expiring  in infancy. The surviving siblings lived full lives with the boys leaving home early to make their own way in life. One son James Nathaniel (father of Langston Hughes) became a lawyer, another son John S. P. (Sanford Perry) worked on the railroad and amassed a fortune along the way.

Two of their girls left home as well. Sallie pursued higher education and became an educator. Myrtle migrated to Guthrie, Oklahoma, married and bore children of her own. Margaret stayed close to home and after presenting her "Calling Card" to a dashing, young William Henry Miller began her family.

The family of William Henry and Margaret MIller relocated to Columbus, Indiana in the 1880's and lived there for a few years. The Millers relocated one last time to Joliet, Illinois and settled at 156 South DeKalb Street, where their first family home still stands today.

Over the years, the Hughes Family has been granted the privilege of having a long and impressive history. Today, that history is still alive through the works of a literary icon, Langston Hughes, the Poet of the People, a pioneer of the Harlem Renaissance and "a cousin that found his family", "a cousin that found his roots".

Finally in 1958, after searching for many years, the newly found cousins provided Langston Hughes with knowledge of his father's family. Seeing an image of his grandmother, Emily Hughes for the first time, touching a  garment she wore and meeting and interacting with those relatives that had been lost and at last finally found.

Langston Hughes spent the last 10 years of his life sharing with those cousins he had been searching for all of those years. His family was at long last complete.

The Langston Hughes Family Museum is governed by a Board of Directors which is led by Marjorie R. Walton. Other board member include, Roma K. Ivey, Jean Ishmon, Diana Sandlin, Annie V. May and Karl O. Kendall. This group is dedicated to the purpose and vision of creating both an educational and cultural experience.

 


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