John Joseph Hughes

John Joseph Hughes was descended from a Welsh border family and was born in Birmingham.

As a child he went to private school and completed his education in Burton-on-Trent

Lived in Handsworth most of his life and became incensed by the condition of the roads he had to travel on going to his meetings.

He attended a meeting of the Highways committee and because he spoke so well he was proposed as a member of the board and was duly elected.

He represented Handsworth for many years and in 1884 he was elected to the Tame and Rea Drainage Board, he also occupied the chair on the Works Committee.

In 1885 he was largely responsible for the opening of a public reading room in Perry Barr. He took an active part in in bringing about a park which he felt was necessary for the life in the suburbs.

He was a member of the local council and served on the following committees Highway, Plans and Building, Finance, Park and Fire Brigade, General Purposes, District Sewage, Public Library and Technical School.

In politics he was a thorough-going Liberal and in religion he was very broad minded, for many years he worshipped at Mount Zion and the Church of the Saviour, where he held the office of warden until the church closed.

He was an artist by profession and is known for his style of landscape paintings. He was apprenticed to an auctioneer whilst in his teens, but his employer died and he entered the service of Mr W Holmes a well-known picture dealer. He cultivated his talent for drawing and became a pupil of Mr William Hall, the biographer and friend of David Cox.

He contributed to exhibitions held by the Society of Artists his work was also accepted by the Royal Academy and various London and provincial exhibitions.

He died on December 31st 1908 (buried 1909)  

Researched by Audrey Payne