John Kelley Hough was born in 1838 in Cleveland, Ohio, and died in 1899. His father was Walter King Hough (1805-1868), and Nancy Kelley (1804-1848), both of Connecticut.
John enlisted in the 1st Michigan Regiment of Engineers and Mechanics in 1863 and was assigned to the "cook shanty." He participated in Sherman's March to the Sea. He mustered out on September 22, 1865.
During the War John had recurring illness, which he described asague, so that afterwards he was unable to provide adequately for his family.
After the war, in 1867, John married Sarah Jane Smith (1839-1917), also of Lapeer, Michigan. Sarah's parents were James P. Smith (1812-1863) and Mary S. Litchfield 1810-1895), both of England. John and Sarah had two children: Walter (1869-1896), and Ernest (1870-1940).