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.


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ANDERSON, JACOB QUINTON  1101 NORMAN CHAPEL ROAD NW CLEVELAND, 37312  Age at Arrest: 21 years old Arresting Agency: Collegedale Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) --- BEMUS, GREGORY EDWARD  185 MOCKINGBIRD DRIVE DUNLAP, 37327  Age at Arrest: 52 years old Arresting Agency: ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: Boy Scouts And Families Place Flags At National Cemetery

Boy Scouts and their families placed flags at the National Cemetery  Saturday  to honor veterans. (click for more)

Silence Ain’t Golden Anymore

There are times – moments – in life that you never forget. That night in 1972, sleeping over at my buddy Bart’s house, was one of them. We had been to a middle school concert and his big brother was in the band (very cool stuff for a 14-year-old!) and as we lay on the floor in our sleeping bags in Bart’s room he said he wanted to play a record that his brother listened to. And, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Prove No Improvement

The startling news that this year’s standardized testing was wasted on graduating seniors across Tennessee is most unsettling. This week it was learned the test results, which were to represent 10 percent of our seniors’ final grades, was a total bust. Coupled with last year’s gargantuan testing failure – the whole effort had to be scrapped -- it is now becoming realized that for ... (click for more)

Lookouts Clobber Biscuits Sunday, 9-2, To Complete Series

The Chattanooga Lookouts bats exploded for nine runs in a 9-2 victory over the Montgomery Biscuits in front of a crowd of 4,527 at AT&T Field. The second place Lookouts trail the Tennessee Smokies by 1 1/2 games. After a scoreless first inning, the Lookouts offense kicked into gear. Outfielder Travis Harrison led off the innings with a double and scored on a double ... (click for more)

Clarke, Lom Score In CFC Win Over Chivas U-23

After playing 75 minutes to a scoreless tie, Chattanooga Football Club's Darwin Lom scored the first goal giving CFC a 1-0 lead.  The second goal came six minutes later when Charlie Clarke headed in a cross to close out the scoring.  The Liga MX U-23 team had alot of support from the local crowd but could not find the back of the net.  The win is CFC's first ... (click for more)