John and Janet McHugh
... John McHugh and Janet Mclean ...

John McHugh: Return to Launceston

1. Early life
2. John builds a life of his own
3. From Pottery to brick making
4. From Bricks to Coal Mining
5. Brickmaking at Spreyton
6. A return to Launceston

The 1914 and 1915 Wise Directory listings show John living in Devonport West rather than Spreyton.

James McHugh, manager of McHugh Bros in Launceston died in there in September 1914 and brother Hugh then took over as manager of the Launceston McHugh Bros but he too died only a few months later in May 1915.

 An agreement was made 17 Sep 1915 between Spreyton Brick and Drain Pipe Works (John McHugh) and his son-in-law, William Austin to allow William Austin to use the Company's plant etc. for the making of Pipes and Fittings, Gutter and Garden Tiles, at set prices, and bricks. This agreement freed John to return with his family to Launceston to run the Pottery which he did until his death in 1919.

The family did not go with him straight away.   In a letter dated 2 May 1917 to Senator Pearce seeking information about the war death of Alvin and also about Andrew, Elizabeth May states she had moved from Devonport West to 86 Wellington Street Launceston ten days earlier.

The North Western Advocate and Emu Bay Times 4 Jun 1917

A farewell evening to the Misses Corrie and Lily McHugh was held in the Baptist Hall on Friday evening. The Sunday school and Girls' Social Circle participated. Mr. A. W. Marshall, on behalf of the school, and Rev. F. A. Leeder for the members of the circle, voiced their regret at the departure of the young ladies, who are removing to Launceston to join their parents who have already settled there. Mr. F. Hughes responded on their behalf. Earlier in the week a similar gathering was held at the residence of Mr. C. J. Harrison, at which the members of the Baptist Tennis Club farewelled two of its active members. The Mises (sic) McHugh left Devonport by the afternoon train on Saturday for Launceston.

By mid 1917 John's wife and four of his children had joined him in Launceston, living in the McHugh family home at 86 Wellington Street. Now demolished, this was on the corner of Frederick Street.  Andrew was still fighting in the first World War, Alvin had given his life at Mouquet Farm, in France and Jessie was married to William Austin in Devonport. Baby of the family, Ronald, had just reached his teenage years.

Not yet aged 60, John had done a complete circle from Launceston, Deloraine, Ulverstone, North Motton, Dulverton, Spreton, Devonport and returned to manage McHugh Bros in Launceston. His adopted brother James Jackson had also died in service at McHugh Bros, (in 1892) and he and his sister Jessie Marshall were the only surviving children of John and Janet McHugh. 


 But he was not to enjoy a well earned retirement because two years later he succumbed to a heart attack and died.

Hobart Mercury 30 Sep 1919

Dr I. Grey Thompson has been instructed by the Coroner to make a post mortem examination of the body of Mr. John McHugh, of McHugh Bros, pottery manufacturers, Wellington road Launceston, who was found dead on Sunday afternoon alongside the Hobart road, at the foot of Strathroy Hill. Mr. McHugh had been riding a bicycle to Franklin Village, and, apparently had been taken suddenly ill, and expired. It is not considered likely that an inquest will be deemed necessary as deceased had been subject to heart attacks.

John's wife, Elizabeth May, was to live another 21 years, spending her last few years living with daughter Lillie at Trevallyn. 

Examiner 14 June 1941

The death occurred at the General Hospital. Launceston, on Tuesday of Mrs. Elizabeth M. McHugh of 59 Trevallyn Terrace, widow of the late Mr. John McHugh. The deceased was a member of the Baptist Tabernacle Church and was loved by all who knew her. The son and daughters are Mr. A. J. McHugh (Bradshaw's Creek), Mrs. W. Austin, Mrs. Norman Eccleston, Mrs. P. A. Harvey (Launceston), Mrs. H. Beale (Victoria) and Alvin Wilfred McHugh (deceased). The funeral, which took place on Thursday afternoon at the Carr Villa Cemetery, was attended by members of the Baptist Tabernacle, friends and relatives. Rev. P. C. Bennett conducted a short service at the home and at the cemetery. The chief mourners were Mr. A. J. McHugh (son), Arnold, Alvin, Andrew, Austin (nephews), and Keith Canon. Among the many beautiful wreaths were tokens from the Trevallyn Hospital Auxiliary, Tabernacle Auxiliary. Baptist Tabernacle, and directors and management of McHugh Bros. The funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr. C. T. Finney.