Alfred L. Sharpe biography

ALFRED L. SHARPE. Beginning his career of activity as a boy in the telegraph and railroad service, then going into mercantile trade, thence to cattle ranching, and, while still maintaining his interests in the latter, engaged in affairs of public nature, Mr. Sharpe has recently taken the important post of collector of customs at the port of El Paso, one of the most responsible positions in the Federal service of Texas.

Mr. Sharpe was born in Ravenna, Ohio, November 21, 1858, a son of John E. and Lavinna (Kellogg) Sharpe. He studied his first lessons in the schools of his native neighborhood. Though a mere boy, he was accepted as an employe of the Erie Railroad, did his work in a commendable manner and from increasingly important grades, and for twelve years remained in railroad an express service. From the Erie road he went with Cleveland, Lorain & Wheeling, and then employed with the Gould System. He has been in Texas since 1882. In 1892 he embarked in the hardware, implement and vehicle business at Georgetown, Texas. Seven years later, on his removal to West Texas, he engaged in the cattle business. At the present time owning one of the best ranches in the vicinity of San Elizario, he has gained his position in the business by the skill of management of affairs and men which he has learned to employ from youth up.

With success in business has come leisure to indulge his inclination for political and public service. He was elected a member of the twenty-ninth legislature to represent the one hundredth district–El Paso county. This is, as regards the amount of effective and beneficial legislation accomplished, one of the notable legislatures during the years of Texas’ political history. Of the enactments bearing upon the welfare of El Paso and the state of Texas, no measures were more important than the irrigation bill and the famous anti- gambling bill, both of which were introduced and passed by the efforts of Mr. Sharpe, and it is proof of his legislative skill that the latter measure and thereby placed a most effective instrument in the hands of executive officers for controlling public gambling. The content and purpose of the law is explained in its title, viz.: An act to prevent, by means of writ of injunction, at the suit of the state, or any citizen thereof, the habitual use, actual, contemplated or threatened, of any premises, place, building, or part thereof, for the purpose of gaming or keeping or exhibiting games prohibited by the laws of this state. Mr. Sharpe also took an active part in obtaining the revision of the present land law. Mr. Sharpe resigned his position in the legislature, December 22, 1905, to accept the office of collector of customs at the port of El Paso, district of Paso del Norte, this appointment being received from President Roosevelt.

Mr. Sharpe was married in 1895 to Miss Kate Leavell, of Georgetown, Texas. They have two children, John O. and Holland Sharpe.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, p. 473.