Benjamin Blufford Sturgeon


Benjamin Blufford Sturgeon

Hart County, Kentucky, USA
Death 21 Jan 1931 (aged 70)
Paris, Lamar County, Texas, USA
Burial Paris, Lamar County, Texas, USA
Plot C1-04-04
Memorial ID 66664537 View Source
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Death Cert.#3818

SENATOR B. B. STURGEON, of Lamar county, Texas, is not only an able public official, but also one of the most noted criminal lawyers in this section of the South.

He has been throughout his career a close student not only of the law but also of men and his judgment rarely fails him. Possessed of a clear and convincing manner, with a personality that wins confidence, he has become renowned in the state as a strong and influential speaker. He has a keen and logical mind, one that detects flaws as easily in the argument of the opposing counsel as easily as it makes possible an unbreakable chain of reasoning on the part of the Senator. During his term as a state senator he was able to accomplish much for the people of his state, and all the work that he did was along the road of progress.

The father of B. B. Sturgeon was John Sturgeon, who was born in Kentucky. He spent his life in that state, a modest, unpretentious countryman, devoting himself to the work on his farm. He was a Democratic in politics but had no ambition to hold office. He possessed little more than the rudiments of an education, and lived out his life very quietly, dying in July, 1911, at the advanced age of ninety-two.

John married Catherine Cannon, a daughter of Isaac Cannon, and she died in 1910, the mother of eight children. Of these, George, the eldest, served his country as a soldier in the Confederate army, and after the war became a farmer; Elizabeth married S. M. Lay; A. A. Sturgeon died in Paris, Texas; Sarah married George Holton; Polly became the wife of Jefferson Barnes; George W. lives in Warren county, Kentucky; J. L. Sturgeon lives in Rock Hill, Kentucky, and Senator B. B. Sturgeon, of Paris. Of these children only the three last mentioned are living.

Senator Sturgeon was born in Warren county, Kentucky, in September, 1860. He attended the rural schools of the district and when he had become far enough advanced he entered Linden College, in Hardin county, Kentucky, where he prepared himself for the teaching profession. He taught in the rural schools of Kentucky for a time and also devoted a good many hours to reading law in his brother's office. After a time he came to Texas where he continued as a teacher, giving his spare time as heretofore to the reading of his law books. He spent six years as a teacher in Kentucky and Texas, his last school being at Roxton, Texas. He then abandoned the profession for the one in which he was much more interested and which promised him a greatersuccess.

Senator Sturgeon was admitted to the bar in Paris before Judge D. H. Scott and his first appearance as a lawyer was as counsel for the defense in a criminal case to which he was appointed by the court. In 1890 he was elected county attorney and during his four years in this office there was an unusually heavy criminal docket, many criminals being sent to prison through his able prosecutions.

Governor Sayres appointed him to the office of district attorney after his term as county attorney was completed and another era of vigorous prosecutions followed what had been a period of shameless violations of the law. This wide experience with criminal law rather shaped his destiny toward a career which has been mainly concerned in criminal practice, and which has brought him wide fame as a brilliant and successful criminal lawyer.

He has one of the largest practices in this section of the country, maintaining three offices in different cities. In Hugo, Oklahoma, he has an office in partnership with B. D. Jordan; in Clarksville, Texas, he is associated with R. J. Williams, and in Paris, Texas he is in partnership with Thomas L. Beauchamp. These three firms are the leading firms in the criminal practice of the localities in which they do business, and a large share of their clients are attracted by the reputation of Senator Sturgeon. In spite of the great amount of work which he is obliged to do, he never permits a small case to suffer on account of one of greater importance and this conscientious endeavor to treat all of his clients with equal consideration has won him widespread popularity.

In November, 1908, Senator Sturgeon was elected to the state senate of Texas from the Third district, which comprises the counties of Lamar and Fannin. He served in the Thirty-first and Thirty-second legislatures and in the six called sessions during his four year term. He served on a number of important committees, among them being the two judiciary committees, numbers one and two, and the committee on education, a subject in which he was always keenly interested. He was chairman of several of the committees to which he was assigned and became a power in the senate before his term was over.

He did some splendid work along the lines of the improvement of the graded high schools, in the guaranty of bank deposits, in the prevention of race track gambling, and in the abolishment of the state reformatory, and the substitution of the juvenile institution which has been located at Gatesville, for the purpose of correcting the criminal tendencies in wayward children. Whenever there was any legislation suggested toward abolishing the saloon in Texas Senator Sturgeon was one of its active supporters and he was also a member of the committee that investigated the conduct of Senator Bascom Thomas and voted against his expulsion from the senate.

Senator Sturgeon has always been a member of the Democratic party and since William Jennings Bryan first came into prominence he has been one of the Nebraskan's warm admirers, his admiration for him having greatly increased since the Baltimore convention of 1912. He has been very active in the campaigns for Mr. Bryan and Mr. Wilson and is well known among the leaders of the Democratic party outside of the bounds of his own state.

With the exception of his work and his political activities, his greatest enthusiasm has been for the cause of education. He himself created the district of East Paris and has served this district as president.

The senator was married at Independence, Kansas, on the 23rd of December, 1889, to Miss Sudie E. Jaggers, of Kentucky. Three children have been born to the senator and his wife: Grady, John F., and Aaron. Both Senator and Mrs. Sturgeon are actively identified with the Christian church, of Paris, of which he is an elder.
--from Message source given

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