JUDGE STERLING P. HUFF, district judge of the Forty-sixth judicial district of Texas, has for a number of years been a prominent resident of Vernon, Wilbarger county, and as a lawyer and citizen gained a position of marked esteem throughout the northwestern part of the Lone Star state. His legal career is especially noteworthy, for since his admission to the Texas bar some twenty-five years ago he has been connected in practice with a number of influential men and has participated with a number of influential men and has participated, on one side or the other, in many of the important cases and legal business in North Texas.
Judge Huff was born in Greene county, Missouri, February 3, 1856, being a son of Dr. Alpheus M. and Mary (Pipkin) Huff. His father was also a native Missourian, and by profession a physician. He brought his family to Texas in 1860, practiced for a time at Fish Creek, in Cooke county, then located in Whitesboro and during the remainder of his active career practiced there. His long and useful life came to a close at Whitesboro in January, 1897. At the breaking out of the Civil war he enlisted among the Texans as a private soldier in the Confederate army, but after following in the rank and file for a time he was appointed surgeon in the hospital service, and was employed in that capacity during the rest of the war. Judge Huff’s mother was born in Missouri, and is still living at her home in Whitesboro.
Judge Huff was four years of age when his home was transferred from Missouri to Texas, and he was reared and received his preliminary education at Whitesboro. His first preceptors in the law were the members of the firm of Woods, Fears & Wilkinson, at Sherman, Texas. Of this firm, Captain J. D. Woods is now a state senator and A. E. Wilkinson is reporter for the state supreme court. The prominent legal firm later became Woods and Wilkinson, under whom Judge Huff completed his studies. He was admitted to the bar at Sherman by Judge Bledsoe, in April, 1880. In the fall of that same year he located at Montague, the county seat of Montague county, and practiced there until his removal to Vernon in 1888, since which year his interests have been centered around the latter city.
Judge Huff has had some strong and able partners during his career in the legal arena. His first professional associate was W. J. Jemison, at Montague, where he was later in partnership with Judge R. D. Rudgley. His last partner at Montague was W. F. Bowman, who was afterward appointed third assistant attorney general under Attorney General Culberson, and became private secretary to the latter when he was governor. In Vernon Judge Huff practiced as a member of Huff, Wells & Wallers. He formed a partnership with Hon. John H. Stephens on the latter’s locating here in 1890, and this relationship existed until Mr. Stephens was elected to congress, in 1896, at which time the firm of Huff & Huff (R. W. Hall) came into being, and had a successful career until Judge Huff was chosen to his present position. In addition to the partnerships mentioned Judge Huff has at various times had in his office as associates or students had in his office as associates or students several young men who have since attained to successful positions in the legal profession.
During nearly all this time active connection with his absorbing legal practice Judge Huff has taken a prominent part in public affairs. Previous to his admission to the bar he was elected city attorney to Whitesboro. In the fall of 1882 he was chosen to the office of county attorney of Montague county, declining a re-nomination in 1884, but accepted the nomination again in 1886 and served a second term of two years. In 1896 he was presidential elector for the thirteenth congressional district of Texas, casting his vote for Bryan. At the time of his election to the district judgeship he was serving as mayor of Vernon. By the votes of the people he came to his present position of district judge in 1902, and is still serving as such. The forty-sixth judicial district embraces six counties—Wilbarger, Childress, Hardeman, Foard, Hall and Collingsworth. In June, 1904, he was chosen as a delegate to the state Democratic convention at San Antonio. For several years he was chosen as a delegate to the state Democratic convention at San Antonio. For several years he has been a prominent figure in the party affairs in this portion of the state.
Judge Huff is also popular and active in fraternal circles, and is a Knight of Pythias, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Woodmen, and belongs to the Methodist church. He was married at Montague to Miss Ellen Martin, and they have three children: Agnes, Mary and Vance.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 198-199.