Papers of Zachariah Taylor Shugart
(1805-1881), Quaker abolitionist and an operator of the Quaker line of the Underground
Railroad in Cass County, Michigan.
Zachariah Taylor Shugart was born in December 1805 in Surry County, North Carolina to
Quakers George Shugart and Mary Shugart. In the 1820s, the Shugarts left North Carolina for
Indiana over the issue of slavery. The family first settled in Wayne and then Randolph
County, Indiana. There Zachariah married fellow Quaker Suzanna Harris. Here their first four
children were born: Levi, born in 1827; Kelita, born in 1829; Malinda in 1834; and Lucinda,
born in 1840. Shortly after Lucinda's birth, the Shugarts left Indiana and moved to Cass
County, Michigan, where their youngest child Joseph was born in 1842. In the 1840s and
1850s, Shugart operated a stretch of the Quaker line of the Underground Railroad. His
brothers John and George who lived in Indiana, were also conductors of the local line. In
1854, the Shugarts moved to Iowa, first living in Belle Plaine and then Irving. Late in
life, Zachariah Shugart became a Universalist. He died in Irving in January 1881. Levi
Shugart returned to Indiana and became a farmer and married Nancy Overturf. Kelita Shugart
studied medicine and ran a successful medical practice and a drugstore in Belle Plaine. In
the 1860s, with his wife Martha Reames, Kelita moved to Colorado and later to Southern
California. The youngest son, Joseph, enlisted in the 28th Regiment of Iowa Infantry in
August 1862. He was killed in the battle of Cedar Creek on October 19, 1864.
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