Simon Pollard Hughes, Jr. was born in Carthage, Tennessee the son of Simon P. Hughes and Mary Hubbard Hughes. Hughes Sr. originally from Prince Edward County, Virginia was a farmer, sheriff and a member of the Tennessee legislature from 1842–1843, Mary Hubbard was a native of Oglethorpe County, Georgia. In 1842 Mary Hughes died and the family moved to Bowie County, Texas. Hughes Sr. died in Texas in 1844.
Hughes moved to Arkansas in December 1849. Hughes was educated at Sylvan Academy and Clinton College in Tennessee. In 1853 Hughes was elected Sheriff of Monroe County, Arkansas and served for two years. Hughes was admitted to the Arkansas bar in 1857 and started private practice in Clarendon, Arkansas.
During the American Civil War Hughes was voted Captain of the 23rd Arkansas Infantry Regiment of the Confederate Army rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Later in the war, following a reorganization of the 23rd Arkansas, Hughes enlisted as a private in Morgan's Texas Cavalry.
Following the war, Hughes served in the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1866 to 1867 and was a delegate to the 1874 Arkansas Constitutional Convention. Hughes was elected to the post of Arkansas Attorney General and served from 1874 to 1877.
Hughes was elected Governor of Arkansas, being sworn in on January 1885. He was reelected in 1886. During his terms public executions were abolished in Arkansas and the sale of liquor was restricted.
In 1889 Hughes was elected to the Arkansas Supreme Court as an associate justice and served 16 years in this capacity.
Simon Pollard Hughes, Jr. died in Little Rock, Arkansas and is buried in historic Mount Holly Cemetery in Little Rock.
- Readnour, Harry (1995), Donovan, Timothy; Gatewood, Jr., Willard; Whayne, Jeannie, eds., The Governors of Arkansas: Essays in Political Biography, Fayetteville, Arkansas: University of Arkansas Press, pp. 83–89, ISBN 1-55728-331-1
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|width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Preceded by
James Henderson Berry |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|Governor of Arkansas
1885-1889 |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
James Philip Eagle |- |}
Template:Governors of Arkansas
de:Simon Hughes fi:Simon Pollard Hughes, Jr. sv:Simon Pollard Hughes