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Earlier Picture of Holland Grist/Saw Mill
Covered Bridge
Bridge Builder

      At times while you are committing time and effort in researching your family history you come upon interesting stories. One of these stories is the life and family of a man known in Harrison County as the builder of the Simpson Creek Covered Bridge.

      While following my great great grandfather, Minter B. Miller of Upshur County, later of Kansas, Arkansas and later to California, I did some research on his sister, Mary Miller who married George Washington Hugill in Wirt County on March 24, 1844. She and her husband around 1850 decided to move to the northwest via the Oregon Trail and settle in Washington

      Checking to see where George had first appeared my search lead to Harrison County where he was born to John and Susannah (Davis) Hugill. Another son of John and Susannah was the bridge builder Asa S. Hugill.

      Asa had grown up on Mulberry Street in Clarksburg and married Susan Burton in Harrison County on April 8, 1857. To this marriage was born five sons, Homer, Edmund, Clay, Charlie, John, two daughters, Minnie, and Annie as listed in the Harrison County, WV 1880 Census.

      Asa enlisted at the beginning of the Civil War and served in the 12th West Virginia Infantry, Company E. He was listed as a Sergeant, age 32 on August 26, 1862 stationed in Wheeling, WV. On July 9, 1863 he was promoted from Sergeant to 2nd Lieutenant. Asa was transfered to Co. D 10th WV Vol Infantry June 16, 1865 and Commissioned Captain.

      At the end of the War he returned to Harrison County where Asa was a very talented Carpenter and was recognized for his vocation and came to the notice of the Harrison County Commission.

      Thomas S. Spates was appointed by the Harrison County Court as a commissioner to examine a site, prepare specifications, and receive bids for the construction af a bridge across Simpson Creek near Shinns Mills, made a report to the court on September 9, 1881 concerning his progress. After he informed the court that Asa S. Hugill submitted the lowest bid, ($700.00 for the woodwork and $4.00/perch for the wingwalls and abutments, the court awarded Mr. Hugill the contract. The same day, the court appointed Thomas S. Spates to superintend the construction of the bridge, and ordered that John Lowe be awarded $40.00 for land taken for right-of-way.

      On December 6, 1881, following Spates' report to the court that Hugill had built the bridge according to the plans and specifications, the court ordered that Hugill be paid a total of $1483.00, $442.00 of which was to be given to John Lowe. Spates was paid $30.00 for his services as a commissioner.

      The bridge was built near the Holland Grist and Saw Mill which was located about one half mile down stream from where the covered bridge is presently located. A flood washed out the bridge in July, 1999 and the bridge was brought back upstream and reconstructed at its present location

      Asa trained his son Homer as a carpenter, who was 23 years old at the time. Homer worked with his father in completing the bridge on time and on budget as contracted with the Harrison County Commission.

      Not much is known of Asa for the years between when he and his son built the Holland Mill Covered Bridge and the claim brought by his wife in 1917.

      Asa S. Hugill did apply for a military pension and received his pension in 1896.

      In 1898, Captain Hugill decided to be a candidate for the West Virginia House of Delegates from Harrison County. He made the statement that he must yeld to the solicitations of some of his Grand Army Comrades to make this move. He ran on his local reputation as a master carpenter and business man. He felt that he could succeed since he had served and obtain the rank of Captain and had received an honorable discharge from the Union Army.

      His political career was short lived and it is possible that some of his business adventures did not go well because he left his wife and he and his son moved to Montgomery County, OH. He appears in the 1900 Ohio census living in a boarding house with his son, Homer and both are listed as carpenters. He and Homer may have worked in the area of building or repairing bridges in the area. Although Homer remained in Montgomery County for the remainder of his life, Asa left probably to return home in Harrison County for a short time.

      Homer lived to the age of 72 but never married because he is found living in the National Military Home in 1930 where he passed away on May 24, 1930 and was buried in the Dayton National Cemetery.

      Asa reappears in Washington, DC in front of the Grand Jury as listed in the Evening Star when the Grand Jury returns a True Bill. In the Evening Star he is listed as being found guilty of the crime for which he was indicted and sentenced to four years in New Jersey state prison located at Trenton, NJ.

      After serving his four years in the NJ state prison he returned to Washington, DC and is listed in the 1910 Census living in a Boarding house owned by Morris and Dora Adler. Morris is listed as working as a salesman in a clothing store. Asa is listed only as a "Roomer" at the age of 78.

Found the record of death for Asa:
From Death Records for Washington, DC
Event Date: 27 Sep 1914/Address: 511 F. St. NW/Male/Age 82
Birth: 1832 West Virginia/Burial in Arlington Cemtery on 30 Sep 1914

      In 1910 Asa's wife Susan (Davis) Hugill was living as the head of the household with three of her younger children living with her on Pike Street in Clarksburg.

      She was living next door to her son Edmund, with hid 2nd wife, Minnie (Power) and five children and having one servant, Nellie Maher. Susan died on Jan 30, 1919 and is buried in the IOOF Cemetery in Clarksburg. Several of her descendants still live in West Virginia but few with the name of Hugill.
Claim was made for back pay owed to Asa S. Hugill during his enlistment during the Civil War by his widow, Susan J. Hugill and his heirs as follows:


SUSAN J. HUGILL
________________
LETTER FROM THE CHIEF CLERK OF THE COURT OF CLAIMS TRANSMITTING A COPY OF THE FINDINGS OF THE COURT IN THE CASE OF SUSAN J. HUGILL, WIDOW OF ASA S. HUGILL DECEASED, AGAINST THE UNITED STATES.
________________
January 19, 1917 -- Referred to the Committee on War Claims and ordered to be printed.
_________________

COURT OF CLAIMS, CLERK'S OFFICE
Washington, January 17, 1917
To the SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
Sir: Pursuant to the order of the court, I transmit herewith a certified copy of the findings of fact and conclusion filed by the court in the aforesaid cause, which case was referred to this court by resolution of the House of Representatives under the act of March 3, 1911, known as the Judicial Code.
I am, very respectfully, yours
Saml. A Putman
Chief Clerk Court of Claims

__________________


[Court of Claims. Congressional, No. 15835-258. Susan J. Hugill, widow of Asa S. Hugill, deceased, v. The United States]

STATEMENT OF CASE.

This is a claim for difference of pay for military service during the late Civil War.
On June 22, 1912, House bill 23375 was referred to this court by resolution of the United States house of Representatives for proceedings under section 151 of the Judicial code. the section of the bill which relates to this case reads as follows:
"Sec. 3. That the Secretary of the Treasury be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to pay to each of the following persons, or, if deceased, to the party entitled thereto, the sum of $2,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary, the same being for difference of pay between that of the grade in which service was rendered during the Civil War and the grade in which pay was received, or for pay for services from date of enrollment to commencement of pay as of the grade named in muster-roll, where no pay prior to muster or remoter has been received, namely * * * Asa S. Hugill.
The claimant thereafter appeared in this court and filed a petition in which it is alleged in substance: The she is a citizen of the United States residing in the county of Harrison, State of West Virginia, and is the widow of Asa S. Hugill, deceased.
That said decedent on august 7, 1862, was enrolled in the military service as sergeant Company E, Twelfth West Virginia Volunteer Infantry; that he was commissioned second lieutenant March 8, 1863, and mustered and paid as such from February 10, 1864; that he was promoted captain July 25, 1865.
That from March 8, 1863, until February 9, 1864, he rendered service in the rank and grade of second lieutenant and received the pay of a lower grade; that difference of pay amounts to $900.
The case was brought to a hearing on its merits on the 5th day of December, 1916. C.D. Pennebaker, Esq., appeared for the claimant, and the Attorney General, by P. G. Walker, Esq., his assistant and under his direction, appeared for the defense and protection of the interests of the United States.
The court, upon the evidence and after considering the briefs and arguments of counsel on both sides, makes the following.

FINDING OF FACT

I. The claimant, Susan J. Hugill, is a citizen of the United States, residing at Clarksburg, W.Va., and is the widow of Asa S. hugill, deceased, and the only person before the court as a party of this proceeding. Said decedent left the following children now surviving him, namely, Homer Hugill, now living at Dayton, Ohio, H.C. Hugill, now living at Asheville, N.C..; Charles Hugill, living at Marietta, Ohio and Edmund Hugill, Minnie Hugill, Annie Hugill, and John Hugill, all now residing at Clarksburg, W.Va.

II. Said Asa S. Hugill was enrolled in the military service August 7, 1862, and mustered in as first sergeant company E. Twelfth West Virginia Volunteer Infantry, to serve three years. He was appointed second lieutenant of said company by the governor of West Virginia,, to rank from march 8, 1863. The second lieutenant of the company was promoted to first lieutenant march 7, 1863, and no person was muster into service as his successor prior to February 10, 1864, date from which Asa S. Hugill has been recognized as such. There was a legal vacancy in the company from March 7 to June 20, 1863, and from the last named date to February 10, 1864, there was no such vacancy because the company remained between those dates continuously such vacancy because the company remained between those date continuously below the minimum number to entitle it to an officer of the grad of second lieutenant below the minimum number to entitle it to an officer of the grade of second lieutenant.

III. Said Asa S. Hugill performed the duty of a second lieutenant from March 8, 1863, to February 10, 1864, and on a record of the company for July, 1863, he was reported second lieutenant, present, with remark, "Promoted, vice J. R. Durham promoted first lieutenant. Rank as such march 8, 1863." He was paid as first sergeant to February 9, 1864, and , inclusive, and from February 10, 1864 as second lieutenant. He employed a private servant, not an enlisted man, from march 8, 1863, to February 10, 1864. The difference between the pay and subsistence of a second lieutenant of Infantry with servant and the pay and allowances of a first sergeant from March *, 1863, to February 9, 1864, would amount to $823.59, on which the internal-revenue tax would be $24.71.

IV. A claim for pay as second lieutenant prior to February 10, 1864, was presented to the accounting officers and disallowed for the reason that there was no evidence presented that would authorize a payment from a prior date.
Except as above stated, the claim was never presented to any officer or department of the Government prior to the presentation to Congress and reference to this court as here in before set forth in the statement of the case.

CONCLUSION
Upon the forgoing findings of fact the court concludes that the claim herein is neither a legal nor an equitable one against the United States.
BY THE COURT
Filed January 8, 1817
A true copy
Test this January 17. 1917
(seal) SAML A. PUTMAN
Chief Clerk Court of Claims

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