by Jeffrey L. Thomas
As I have stated elsewhere on these pages, arguably Brynmawr's most famous native son who made his fortune in Scranton was none other than Benjamin Hughes, who rose from a humble miner to become one of the top officials of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western (D.L.&W) railroad in Scranton. Benjamin came to American in 1848 with his wife, Mary Davies, who was also from Brynmawr, and their child Esther. Mary Davies Hughes died in 1880, and the following year Benjamin married Ann, the widow of John Rosser, of Shamokin. Ann was also a native of Brynmawr, and remained Benjamin's wife until his death in 1900. Her obituary appears below.
23 January 1901
MRS. B. HUGHES DEAD
Passed Away Early Yesterday Morning
Entertained At A Tea
Mrs. Ann Hughes, relict of the late venerable Benjamin Hughes, died yesterday at her home at the corner of Washburn street and South Hyde Park avenue, where for many years her beloved husband resided prior to his demise on the first day of April last.
The announcement of her death came with unusual suddenness and surprise, inasmuch as it was not generally known that she was ill. Old age and a complication of ailments aggravated by a recent severe illness, caused her death. For years she had not been feeling well, and the absence of her husband hastened the end of her career. Although able to be about the house and to receive her numerous friends, she did not enjoy her usual health. On Sunday, a week or more ago, she became ill and was obliged to seek her bed. She gradually became weaker until on Monday last it was noticeable to those in almost constant attendance upon her that she could not long survive the malady with which she was afflicted, and at 10 o'clock that night she lapsed into unconsciousness and never rallied. At 3:30 o'clock yesterday morning she passed peacefully away to join the dear ones who had preceded her.
Mrs. Hughes was a woman of strong character and possessed qualities that endeared her to a wide and loyal legion of friends. She was kind and generous to those whom she knew and were in need of substantial assistance. These many deeds of kindness were done in silence and with the modesty that was a chief characteristic of her whole life. It was latterly spent in quietude and comfort at home, but in her earlier days she was a most active and useful woman. She was known to only those of West Scranton as the loving and devoted wife of one of the few of nature's noblemen, the lamented Benjamin Hughes. By the death of Mrs. Hughes, a most exemplary and most highly respected husband and wife have been called to the great and uncertain beyond, each responding to almost the same bugle call.
Born in Bryn Mawr, South Wales, in May 1820, she spent her childhood days in that town, receiving her education in the schools of that quaint old town. It is remarking strange that she died on the same day as the queen of England, who the deceased loved devotedly and of whom she was a subject for many years. Sixty-one years ago she emigrated to this country, first locating at St. Clair, Schuylkill county, Pa., where she remained until 1852, when she moved to Shamokin, Pa. There she was wedded to Mr. John Prosser, then a wealthy coal operator of that town. He subsequently died. In 1881 she was united at Shamokin to the late Mr. B. Hughes.
During those years she was prominently connected with the First Baptist church where her husband rendered many years of effectual service. Mrs. Hughes was closely affiliated with him in these duties and for years was the president of the Ladies Aid society of the church. Deceased never had any children but is survived by the following step-children; Mrs. A. B. Eynon, Mrs. John Evans, Westerly, R. I.,; Mrs. Luther Jones, Mrs. Jenkin T. Reese and Mrs. Jennie Stephens, a number of grandchildren and a sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Hughes, the only survivor of eight children.
The funeral services will be held tomorrow evening at 8 o'clock at the residence, 1201 Washburn street, the pastor of the First Welsh Baptist church officiating. On the following morning at 10:05 o'clock the remains will be taken to Shamokin, Pa., via the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western railroad for interment.
Ann Rosser Hughes was buried with her first husband, John Rosser, in the family plot in the cemetery at Shamokin. The large obelisk marker here mentions John, Ann, John's brother Thomas Rosser, and a woman names Mary Rees Jones, whose relationship to the family is unknown. In the same plot are John T. Eddy and his wife Mary Ann Hughes. Mary Ann was the daughter of Ann's sister Elizabeth Thomas, who married Joseph Hughes in Brynmawr, Wales, and, like John and Ann, emigrated to Pennsylvania in the 1840s. Below are several photographs of the Rosser-Hughes plot in the Shamokin cemetery taken in October of 2006.
Inscription of Ann Rosser-Hughes, which seems to indicate she was born in Nantyglo, Wales.
Ann Rosser Hughes
Nantyglo? South Wales
August 18, 1820
Jan 22 1901
Inscription of John Rosser, which indicates that he was born in Brecknock (Brynmawr), Wales, and died in Shamokin.
Brecknock? South Wales
??? ?? 1821
Died in Shamokin
September 3 1872
Aged ?? Yrs 7 Mo 14 Days
Inscription of Thomas Rosser, also indicating that he was born in Brecknock (Brynmawr), Wales, and died in Shamokin.
Born in Brynmawr ??? ????
?? ??? ????
Died in Shamokin
??? ?? 1871
Inscription of Mary Rees Jones, born in Brynmawr, Brecknock, Wales, and died in Shamokin.
Mary Rees Jones
Nov 30 1805?
Died in Shamokin
Dec 16, 1880
Aged 75 Years
Marker of John T. Eddy and his wife Mary Ann Hughes.
Read more about Ann's husband Benjamin Hughes
Return to the Brynmawr-Scranton connection page
Return to the Prominent Welshmen of Scranton page
Read more about the history of Hyde Park
Return to the Brynmawr, Wales History - Genealogy website
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