07.23.2016 (G. Kueber)
(Below in italics is from the National Register listing; not verified for accuracy by this author.)
Dr. Claude Murray Hughes (1869-1927) built this center-hall, 2-story, double-pile Colonial Revival house in 1912 (Carter and Peck, 1993). The substantial residence is characterized by a hipped, v-crimp metal-sheathed roof, a projecting gable entry way, 1/1 double-hung windows, and decorative corbelling on the two interior chimneys. The gables projecting over the front and side facades feature decorative sawnwork. Doric columns support the wrap-around porch roof. On the interior, a parlor and former bedroom (now a kitchen) are to the west of the center hall and the dining room and another bedroom are to the east. There are four fireplaces on the first floor. The fireplaces in the center hall, dining room, and former parlor on the east side of the plan share a chimney. The mantelpieces feature mirrored overmantels and surrounds of ceramic tile bricks. The two-tiered hall mantel is flanked by colonettes on plinths and the shelf is supported by heavy brackets. Many of the original five- panel doors in fluted surrounds with bull's eye corner blocks remain. The stair was originally semi-enclosed but was fully enclosed in 1956 (Graybeal interview with Lois Hughes, July 10, 1997). The turned balustrade terminates in a fluted square newell. A vertical beaded board wainscot lines the staircase, while the second-level walls are sheathed in horizontal beaded board. The second-level ceiling is also sheathed in bead board. A mid-nineteenth-century 1-story frame kitchen ell with a stone chimney with brick stack was destroyed by a hurricane in 1996. The vertical board door leading from the main house dining room to the former ell remains. The structure was originally the home of Thomas Cox Ellis who died in 1890. Thomas Ellis' daughter, Elizabeth Mary Ellis, married Dr. Claude Murray Hughes. In 1912, Dr. Hughes had the larger house built to the south of the Ellis House which became the kitchen ell. Dr. Hughes was the son of Samuel Hughes who operated the Cedar Grove Academy between the 1850s and 1884. The Academy was considered one of the best in the county during that period (Blackwelder 1961, pp. 124-5).
Dr. Hughes' medical practice operated out of the pharmacy that was located between the house and the current site of the C.C. Oliver Auto and Tractor Repair Shop (15) was moved to this location ca.1913-14 so that a flour mill could be built on the site (Graybeal interview with Lois Hughes, July 23, 1997). Dr. Hughes, who was known as the "beloved physician," was very popular among residents of Cedar Grove. He resided in the house until his death in 1927 (Sexton interview with Griffin and Haley interview, February 25,1995). Dr. Hughes' remains are interred in the Eno Presbyterian Church Cemetery. His stone reads, "He saved others, himself he could not save."