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.



Hixson Burglary Suspect Tries To Swim Away; Deputies Catch Him In Borrowed Boat

A Hixson burglary suspect on Wednesday tried to swim away from deputies, but to no avail.   The proprietor of Chattanooga Fish and Fun was notified when his camera system was triggered by an individual attempting to break into his business. The owner immediately contacted the Sheriff's Office and drove to the business location.   As deputies arrived on scene, ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: AGNEW, JOHN ROBERTSON  209 Old Mountain Rd Chattanooga, 37409  Age at Arrest: 23 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga DOMESTIC ASSAULT/AGGRAVATED --- ANGUS, WILLIAM DEAN  7 CENTRAL AVENUE TULLAHOMA, 37388  Age at Arrest: 35 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga Booked for ... (click for more)

Stormwater Fiasco And East Ridge Camping

When did the Chattanooga City Council get replaced by members of the East Ridge City Council? I don't recall a time in Chattanooga where they've voted to shoot the city in the foot more than they have lately.  If this goes through despite the environmental impact warnings and then Camp Jordan has increased flooding after spending millions on sports ball fields, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why I Am Thankful

You would think that after 40 years of publishing an annual list of things for which I am thankful, I’d be getting to the bottom of it, but it seems the older I get I have found I appreciate so much more around me. I take absolute delight in planting a flower, feeding the birds and throwing a ball for my dog. I find that the more people who I come to know the more who I come to ... (click for more)

Vandy Offers Vols Last Chance To Wipe Some Misery From 2017

Tennessee’s football season from hell comes to a mind-numbing conclusion on Saturday when the limping Vols take on a crippled Vanderbilt at Neyland Stadium at 4 p.m. in a game some network boob in a dark, smokey room in Birmingham, Alabama, decided was good enough to be televised by the SEC Network. Each of the longtime bitter rivals is 4-7 overall and a dismal 0-7 in conference ... (click for more)

JOHN HUNT: Thanksgiving 2017 Special As Always

I can’t believe it’s that time again.  Another year has come and gone and where did it all go? My father once told me that time really flies as you get older and I’m starting to believe him. But we’re back to one of my favorite holidays of the year – Thanksgiving – and I’m looking forward to spending quality time with family and friends.  I’m sure that I’ll eat too ... (click for more)