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Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 2. Biographies
by Major A. J. Roof. 1913
This age of intense and complex activity, such as modern conditions in their many aspects present for solution, has led to specialization, as it is beyond the power of the individual to give to a general line of work sufficient time and attention to become expert in all of its branches and details and of such value as to render service of the highest order. Senator Fred S. Hudson since up the profession of the law has become widely known as an expert in that branch of the legal profession which is designated as corporation law. He fills at present the important position of solicitor for the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Company for the state of Missouri with headquarters at Chillicothe, and also acts as lawyer for a number of other roads and corporations.
Fred S. Hudson was born January 27, 1868, near Hale, Carroll county, Missouri, and is a son of Milton Jefferson and Mary (Hanna) Hudson. The paternal grandfather, William Hudson, came in 1852 from Ohio to this state and settled near Hale. An estrangement from his family led to his removal to the west as there existed a difference of opinion between them in regard to the slave question. At that time he held views favorable to slavery and for that reason came to Missouri which was then a slave state, but when the country became involved in civil war, strange as it may seem, Mr. Hudson joined the Union forces while his Ohio relatives espoused the Confederate cause. Prior to his removal to Ohio he had married Nancy Hurd and of this union were born four children: William, who died while serving in the army, his death occurring shortly after the battle of Pea Ridge; Milton Jefferson, the father of our subject; Bentley, who resides in Carroll county; and Susanna, who became the wife of J. W. Jamison and makes her home at Hale, Carroll county. William Hudson, the grandfather, died in the early '70s. Milton J. Hudson, the father, was born in southeastern Ohio on the 3d of March, 1845, and was brought to Missouri by his parents when seven years of age. He attended the district schools near his home in Carroll county and assisted in the minor duties on his father's farm until the Civil war broke out and he enlisted for service in April, 1861, with the Eighteenth Missouri Infantry of Livingston county, serving until the close of the war, in August, 1865. He joined the ranks as a private and at the close of the war was discharged as first sergeant. He could have attained the rank of captain but by accepting the commission lie would have had to sacrifice about a year's pay besides buying a captain's uniform, and as it was understood that the war was practically at a close he considered it best not to do this. He was taken prisoner at the battle of Shiloh under B. M. Prentiss and for fourteen months was incarcerated in various prisons - Libby, Andersonville and at Macon, Georgia, - undergoing terrible hardships and suffering during this time, until when he was finally exchanged, he only weighed ninety-eight pounds. For many years he refused to accept a pension from the government, saying that his services were willingly offered and given, prompted by patriotism and not for monetary reasons, and it was only when his family insisted that he finally made an application to the government and during his later years received a monthly pension of twelve dollars. Death came to him suddenly when one morning, shortly after breakfast, lie walked out upon the front porch and he was suddenly seized with heart failure and expired. He had married Mary Hanna, a native of New York. She was left an orphan in early life and was reared at Oberlin, Ohio, and now resides in Hale, Carroll county. Our subject has two brothers and one sister, namely: Charles B., an attorney of Wichita, Kansas; Clyde M., an attorney and at present postmaster at Hale; and Mrs. Edna Fisk, of Colorado Springs, Colorado
Fred S. Hudson was educated in the common schools of Carroll county and graduated from the Northwestern Normal School at Stanberry, Missouri, in 1885. His first position was that of bookkeeper in a bank at Hale. The legal profession made a strong appeal to him at that age, however, and seemed to hold out to him wider opportunities for more rapid advancement than he saw in the banking field, and he therefore decided to study law, using his leisure moments, evenings and Sundays, for study and taking subsequently a law course in the office of S. J. Jones, of Carrollton, Missouri. In 1897 he was admitted to the bar and began the practice of his profession at Hale. The year 1902 marks his advent in Chillicothe, where he engaged in the general law practice, but soon he began to specialize along the line of corporation law. He was first employed by the Milwaukee Railroad Company in this city and gave such satisfaction to that company as to merit his promotion to the important position of general solicitor for the state of Missouri in 1911. He also is attorney for the Western Union Telegraph Company for northern Missouri and for a number of banks in Livingston and adjoining counties. He is the local attorney for the Wabash and Burlington lines and also for the Bell Telephone Company. That these great corporations have secured him to look after their vast interests speaks well for the ability of Mr. Hudson. Since assuming the position of solicitor for the Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad Company as the successor of E. M. Harber, of Trenton, the legal department of the road for Missouri has been reorganized and Senator Hudson has become its head. He has ten men under his jurisdiction in various parts of the state and Chillicothe, being the most centrally located city on the road, has been chosen as headquarters. Mr. Hudson maintains his offices on the second floor of the Citizens National Bank building where he has one of the best equipped and most complete law libraries in the state.
In 1892 Fred S. Hudson was married to Miss Ida Fink, of Hale, Carroll county, Missouri. Her father, Captain C. Fink, was among the early settlers of Livingston county, Missouri, in Utica and moved about twenty-five years ago to Hale. Mr. and Mrs. Hudson were the parents of two children, both of whom have passed away.
Mr. Hudson is a strong advocate of the principles of the republican party and has been active in its ranks. In 1904 he was a candidate for congress on his party's ticket but was defeated. In 1906, however, he was elected state senator and represented the people of the fourth district at Jefferson City for four years. While serving in the upper house he was active in the promotion of measures which have greatly benefited the state and especially the district which he represented. At this writing he is serving on the state executive republican committee and exerts an influence which has greatly contributed to the prestige of the party. His religious faith is that of the Christian church of which he is a member. In the Masonic order, of which he is a member of long years standing, he has attained high degree and is a past master of the blue lodge, a past high priest of the chapter, a past eminent commander and also a member of the Mystic Shrine. He is a man well qualified for his special work and for the position which he holds in connection with railway interests, and his great knowledge along his special line of work places him in a position of importance.