Friday, January 1, 2016

William Shugars

January 8th marks 135 years since the death of William Shugars.
Requiscat in pace
Erected by his Children
William was born on January 5, 1828 in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, the son of Daniel Shugars and Mary Lynch, and elder brother of George Shugars from the December 2014 blog post.  The family moved across the border to Maryland shortly before George's birth in 1840.  In the 1850 census, Daniel was working as a farmer in Baltimore County, owning real estate valued at $1,250.  William was working as a blacksmith, while siblings George and Margaret were attending school.
On September 14, 1854, William married Louisa Wilson at the Swan Hotel in Baltimore City.  Louisa was born in Carroll County, Maryland on June 3, 1836, the daughter of Amon Wilson and Susanna Gillis.

In the 1860 census, the couple were living near Finksburg in the Woolerys District of Carroll County.  William continued working as a blacksmith, along with Thomas Leatherwood.  He owned no real estate, but William's personal estate was valued at $200.
In the midst of the Civil War, William Shugars was drafted as a Private in the 8th Maryland Infantry Regiment on December 5, 1862 for a term of nine months.  He was described as having dark hair and a dark complexion, with hazel eyes, standing at a height of five feet, nine inches tall.  Though his muster roll cards are somewhat contradictory, there was a note that he had deserted in February 1863. He had returned to duty by March 18th, when he was transferred to Company B at Harpers Ferry.  In June and July, he served as company cook, before being discharged at the end of his nine-month term on August 23, 1863 at Rappahannock Station.
William and Louisa were living in Reisterstown and had three children by the 1870 census:  nine-year-old Maggie, seven-year-old William, and five-year-old Susan.  William was again listed as without any real estate, and he was now working simply as a laborer, not a blacksmith.  Louisa was keeping house, while the two elder children were attending school.
It is impossible now to know what happened, but by the 1880 census, William and Louisa had separated.  William was living with his sister Isabella's family in Baltimore County.  He was listed as "at home", without an occupation, and, most worryingly, was marked as being "insane".
Louisa, on the other hand, was living in Baltimore City in 1880 with the three children.  She was keeping house with her two daughters, and had taken on three boarders, while her son worked as a drayman.  Curiously, she claimed to be a widow.
William passed away the following year, on January 8, 1881, three days past his 53rd birthday.

In 1893, Louisa Shugars applied for a widow's pension based on William's service during the Civil War.  No mention was made of any marital discord between the two - but then, any such admission would certainly not have been to her advantage.  Louisa claimed that "her husband left no property + that she [had] no estate or income whatsoever;  and [was] not able to do much work, but [did] what she [could] to help to earn a livelihood;  that were it not for the kindness of her children and friends she would not be able to get along."
William's siblings George and Isabella both gave statements on Louisa's behalf, and she was granted a pension of $8 per month beginning on January 8, 1894, the thirteenth anniversary of William's death.

Louisa lived in Baltimore City until her death on September 28, 1910, at the age of 74.  She was interred at Loudon Park Cemetery.
William and Louisa's children were:
  • Margaret F. Shugars, 1860-1929, wife of Thomas F. Barron, Jr.
  • William Daniel Shugars, 1861-1920, husband of Maggie Hawks
  • Susan Shugars, c1865-????

Sources: (census records)

  • Year: 1850; Census Place: District 1, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M432_280; Page: 239B.
  • Year: 1860; Census Place: Woolerys, Carroll, Maryland; Roll: M653_471; Pages: 749-750.
  • Year: 1870; Census Place: Reisterstown, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M593_569; Page: 282B.
  • Year: 1880; Census Place: District 8, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: 496; Pages: 120C-120D.
  • Year: 1880; Census Place: Baltimore, Baltimore City, Maryland; Roll: 500; Page: 309B.
  • Year: 1900; Census Place: Baltimore Ward 17, Baltimore City, Maryland; Roll: 615; Page: 16A.
  • Year: 1910; Census Place: Baltimore Ward 17, Baltimore City, Maryland; Roll: T624_558; Page: 11A
Fold3 (Civil War records)

Maryland Archives (death & marriage records)

National Archives (pension file)

Cemetery photos © AgateGS

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