Remembering Charles T. Hughes

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Remembering Charles T. Hughes


Charles T. Hughes was athletic director at Eastern for 23 years. He came to Eastern in 1929 (the year I was born) and retired in 1972 (by this time I was also on the faculty, having come to Eastern in 1959).

In high school, in Todd County, he lettered in football, basketball and baseball. Although not a member of the track team, he was sent to the state meet in Lexington. He finished second and was offered a scholarship at U.K. There he earned letters in football, basketball, baseball and track (for a total of 13 letters) becoming the first four-letter man in U.K.’s history.

At Eastern, Hughes coached five sports over the years. He also served 27 years as chairman of the Department of Health and Physical Education. I thought of him mainly in connection with baseball. He was baseball coach at Eastern for 30 years and the school’s diamond is named the Turkey Hughes Field.

He had two sons, Charles (who was about my age) and Allen (who played football for Navy). Hughes stated one of his best basketball teams was the 1930-31 squad. This team included the Carr Creek boys who took their small school to the Kentucky basketball state finals and then on to the national finals.

There are various versions of how he became “Turkey.” The one I like had him doing some broken field running – and an observer was reported to say “look at that boy run. He runs just like a turkey!” He was a fine gentleman, an important part of Madison’s (athletic) heritage and I am glad I knew him.

NOTE: After my column on Clay’s Ferry, I received calls asking if I didn’t see the ferry at Doylesville. Of course I did, I just forgot to include it on my listing. Thanks for the reminder. Mrs. Marie Black said her relative, Harry Black, owned the river bottom at Doylesville and he built and operated the ferry, called Jackson’s ferry. The fare was 50 cents per ride.

Mrs. Amy Jett called about the Woods article. She said that Rice Woods opened the Chevrolet agency on South Second Street and his son Ernest Woods inherited the business. In 1933, her husband, Paul Jett, worked for the Woods’ for $10 per week. When delivering a new car he often had to teach the new owner how to drive. Mr. Jett was later one of Richmond’s most successful merchants – operating Paul Jett’s Men’s Store and then Jett and Hall’s. His son, Paul David Jett, now operates the business on Main Street.


Dr. Fred Engle




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Dr. Fred Engle, “Remembering Charles T. Hughes,” Madison's Heritage Online, accessed January 20, 2022,