Longtime Schoolmaster, Historian And Author Nat Hughes Dies At 81

Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Dr. Hughes
Dr. Hughes

Nathaniel “Nat” Cheairs Hughes, Jr., Phd., former headmaster of Girls Preparatory School (GPS) , died early Wednesday morning at the age of 81. 

A native of Chattanooga and life-long history student, Dr. Hughes received his B.A. in history from Yale University in 1953, a master’s degree and his doctorate degree in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1956.

Dr. Hughes was commissioned in the United States Marine Corps as a lieutenant, where he served 2 years as an amphibious tank commander.  He reached the rank of captain while serving in the Marine Corps Reserve.

He began his educational career in 1959, serving for three years at the Webb School in Bell Buckle, Tn., where he coached and taught history and English.  He was appointed headmaster of St. Mary’s Episcopal School in Memphis, in 1962, where he served for more than 11 years, helping the school grow and prosper.

In 1973, Dr. Hughes moved with his wife and three children to Chattanooga and became headmaster of GPS, where he served faithfully for 14 years.  In 1986, he was presented the William R. “Old Sawney” Webb Award “in honor of his distinguished career as a headmaster.”

Upon retiring in 1987, Dr. Hughes turned to his passion for history and writing.  He has authored 35 books, including fiction and non-fiction, and in 2000 was awarded the Charles L. Defour Award for a lifetime of achievement in the historiography of the American Civil War.

Dr. Hughes served as a lay reader in the Episcopal Church and as a vestryman in three parishes.  He has been a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chattanooga since 1973.  He was a member of the Tennessee Historical Society and the Southern Historical Association and was past-president of the Tennessee Association of Independent Schools.

He is survived by his wife, Buckner Latimore Hughes; and children Frank (D’Arcy), Lookout Mountain; David (Kathaleen), Chattanooga; and Sam (Mitzi), Omaha, and grandchildren, Kelsey, David, Jr., Nathan, Scott, Mary, Adam and Samantha.

Details about Dr. Hughes’ memorial service will be announced later.


Upcoming City Council Agenda For Tuesday

Here is the upcoming City Council agenda for Tuesday: I. Call to Order. II. Pledge of Allegiance/Invocation (Councilman Anderson). III. Minute Approval. IV. Special Presentation. V. Ordinances – Final Reading: VI. Ordinances – First Reading: VII. Resolutions: ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT a. A resolution authorizing the Administrator of the Department ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Housing Authority Takes Action On East Lake Courts Fight

The Chattanooga Housing Authority took action with those involved in a fight at East Lake Courts that occurred late last week. Two female victims were involved in the altercation that led to warrants being issued for seven individuals.  13   individuals were identified by CHA authorities ... (click for more)

Don't Make A Mockery Of Memorial Day - And Response

We're told Memorial Day is the day to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in order that we, as Americans and others around the world, might live free, unshackled (invisible or otherwise) and without oppression. But how is that so when so many in America continue to be denied those freedoms? Others whose family and friends made the ultimate sacrifice? Their surviving families ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Chincoteague Mourns ‘Dude’

In the span of a person’s life, there are some things that simply can’t be explained to be totally understood. And of all the spectacles I have ever personally witnessed, one of the best is that day in late July when they “pen the ponies” at Chincoteague Island, Va. I’m serious. Over 50,000 people watch every year as volunteer “Saltwater Cowboys” swim the wild ponies to the mainland ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Girls Win Second Straight A-AA Track Title

MURFREESBORO – The Signal Mountain Eagles won last year’s Class A-AA state track title by a scant six points, but it wasn’t nearly that close this year. With Camryn Bowman and McKenzie Ethridge both winning two events, the Eagles had a one-point lead following the field events, but ending up scoring 96 points and winning by 24 over runner-up East Nashville. While Signal Mountain ... (click for more)

Baylor To Face GPS Again For D-II State Softball Title

MURFREESBORO – It will be another Baylor-GPS battle for the championship in Division II softball as Baylor advanced with a 10-3 win over St. Benedict while GPS later beat the Lady Eagles by a 2-0 final for the right to face the Lady Red Raiders again. This year’s D-II tournament was similar to last year as Baylor beat GPS on the first day before the Bruisers came back and beat ... (click for more)