Hon. Benjamin F. Gafford biography

HON. BENJAMIN F. GAFFORD, judge of the corporation court of Sherman, Texas, and a member of the Twenty-ninth Legislature, was born in south Georgia, July 1, 1871, a son of Patrick Henry and Eleanora (Green) Gafford. The father was a native of Ireland, and coming to the new world was married in Georgia to Miss Green, who was born in that state. In 1873 they came to Grayson county, Texas, where they spent their remaining days, the father passing away in March, 1878, at the comparatively early age of thirty-two years, his birth having occurred in 1846. His wife, who was born in 1848, survived until June 12, 1902, and made her home throughout the evening of her life with her son Benjamin, who was her only child.

Benjamin F. Gafford was but two years old when brought by his parents to Texas, and was a youth of only seven when he lost his father. He remained in his mother’s home until sixteen years of age, when he left her fireside to attend school, becoming a student in Springtown Baptist College, a boarding school. He afterward attended the public schools, therein completing his scholastic training. He was graduated when twenty years of age and soon afterward was married to a schoolmate, after which he engaged in teaching in northern Texas for ten years. During six years of that time he was employed in Grayson county and thus contributed in substantial measure to the intellectual development of this part of the state. From his early school life, however, Judge Gafford desired to become a member of the legal fraternity and directed his reading and study to this end. He continued the reading of law during his leisure hours, while pursuing his literary course and also while teaching, and in 1902 he was admitted to practice in the fifteenth judicial district court of Grayson county. He then opened a law office in Sherman and on the 26th of December, 1903, was appointed judge of the corporation court of this city. He also continues in the general practice of law and possesses a comprehensive knowledge of the principles of jurisprudence, together with a force and ability as an advocate or counselor that has gained him a prominent position among the representatives of his Sherman bar.

It was in 1891 that Judge Gafford was married to Miss Emma Tummins, of Parker county, Texas, who was also graduated from the Springtown Baptist College, and to them have been born four children: Grady, Fannie, Prentice and Gwendolyn, aged respectively twelve, ten, eight and three years. Judge Gafford has fraternal relations with various organizations, belonging to the Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Woodmen of the World, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Masonic lodge. He and his wife are members of the Central Christian church, and in his political views he is a Democrat. He has always taken an active interest in politics, from his childhood to the present time, and during the period of his manhood he has done capable, earnest and effective service for his party in campaigns, delivering many public addresses which have strengthened the position of the party through his clear and able presentation of the cause to the people at large, and has continued his political activity to the benefit of county and state as a member of the legislature. Judge Gafford is today one of the best known citizens of Grayson county, owing his service here as a teacher and lawyer and his admirable social qualities, which make him a general favorite in all classes.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. I, pp. 637-638.