JUDGE WYNDHAM KEMP, a practitioner at the El Paso bar whose knowledge of the law and correct application as a representative have gained him prestige as a representative of the profession in Western Texas, was born in Gloucester county, Virginia, January 30, 1845, his parents being Judge Wydham and Ann Louisa (Perrin) Kemp.
Judge Kemp pursued his early education in the schools of Virginia and afterwards attended the Virginia Military Institute, which became noted on account of the large number of brave soldiers that it furnished to the Confederacy, many of them going direct into the field from their student life. Judge Kemp was for a time attached to Wise’s Brigade, Twenty-sixth Virginia regiment, as an independent volunteer in the Confederate service, then entered the Virginia Military Institute, which became noted on account of the large number of brave soldiers that it furnished to the Confederacy, many of them going direct into the field from their student life. Judge Kemp was for a time attached to Wise’s Brigade, Twenty-sixth Virginia Military Institute—whose cadets were also in the service—and after continuing there as a student for a time, he later joined the Richmond Howitzers, Second Company, and served with it until captured at Sailor’s Creek on the 6th of April, 1865—three days before General Lee’s surrender—his service being entirely in the state of Virginia.
Judge Kemp studied law in the office of his father, who was a prominent member of the bar at Gloucester Court-House, Virginia, and also served upon the bench there. Under his careful training, Mr. Kemp, of this review, gained a through knowledge of the principles of jurisprudence and was admitted to the bar in Virginia, in 1867, while the year 1869 witnessed his admission to the Texas bar. He came to this state tin 1867 and for a short time resided in Galveston, while later he took up his abode in Bryan. Subsequently he removed to Calvert, where he practiced law until coming to El Paso in 1885. Here he has since made his home and is to-day a member of the well known legal firm of Beall & Kemp, his partner being Captain Thomas J. Beall. This firm was organized at Bryan, Texas, in the latter ’60s, and the original partners under the name of Davis & Beall. It later became Davis, Beall & Tolliver, at Bryan, while later Judge Kemp, beginning in 1875, represented the firm at Calvert under the style of Davis, Beall & Kemp. About 1880 Captain Beall and Major Davis came to El Paso, where they joined in 1885 by Judge Kemp, and the firm continued in business as Davis, Beall & Kemp until the death of Major Davis in 1897.
Judge Kemp has served on the county bench and as a sub-district judge, but has not been a seeker for public office even in the line of his profession and is known rather as a lawyer at the bar than on the bench. He has a broad and comprehensive knowledge of the principles of jurisprudence and in the preparation of his cases displays great thoroughness and care. His devotion to his clients’ interests is proverbial and yet he never forgets that he owes his highest allegiance to the majesty of the law and in his practice attempts not to shroud the truth but to aid the court in determining the true state of affairs and thus rendering an impartial judgment.
Judge Kemp has been twice married. His first wife, who bore the maiden name of Mary Lewis Maury, died in El Paso, leaving a son and daughter, Hon. Maury Kemp, who is now county attorney of El Paso, and Anne Perrin Kemp. His present wife was Miss Mary S. Herndon, and by this union there were four children, John Page, Emily Wyndham, Herndon and Roland Gordon. The family represent a high social status wherein true worth is received as passports into good society. Judge Kemp moreover maintains a high standard of professional ethics and in his law practice has won the respect of his colleagues at the bar as well as success which attends capable effort.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. I, pp. 463-464.