Hamp Huff Family
Hamilton Wells (Hamp) Huff came to Grapeland, Texas, in December 1879, traveling by horseback from Georgia. In 1880, he was residing west of Grapeland on the farm of James Murchison and his mother, Caroline. He later worked on other farms west of Grapeland. It is known that he also worked for Charlie Beazley on the Murray Farm and for Frank Edens on the Redtown Farm. Hamp (as he was known) was born December 22, 1854, in Talbot County, Georgia, to Donaldson and Comfort Pinkard Huff. He was the youngest of four sons born to this marriage. Descendants of Hamp’s brothers have recently been located still living in the Talbot County, Georgia, area. Hamp’s father, Donaldson, was the son of Lewis Huff, who was the son of Daniel Huff. Lewis Huff and Daniel Huff lived in Brunswick County, Virginia. Little is known about Hamp’s life in Georgia before he came to Texas. He was orphaned by 1860 and lived with different relatives in Georgia until he was old enough to strike out on his own. Hamp married Caldonla (Ca (lie) Pennington Mobley on May 13, 1888. Callie was the daughter of Richard and Polly Walling Pennington. Hamp and Callie settled in Daly on land given to them by Callie’s father and later, Hamp purchased other adjoining land. Huff descendants still live on the land after almost 100 years. To this marriage were born four children. They were Robert Hill, Carrie Wells, Eugene (Brud) and Joe Paxton (Dock) Huff. All the Huffs from the Grapeland area are direct descendants from Hamp Huff. They include 21 grandchildren, 43 great grandchildren and over 50 great-great-grandchildren. Hamp Huff died August 26, 1926, and is buried in theDaly Cemetery. His wife, Callie, died February 24, 1918, and is also buried at the Daly Cemetery. In searching through old issues of “The Grapeland Messenger”, the following article was published a few weeks after the death of Mr. Huff. It was written by long-time friend and neighbor, W.W. (Sambo) Pridgen as a tribute to his departed friend, Hamp Huff.
In Memory Of My Friend and Neighbor, H.W. Huff
Mr. Huff died Thursday, August 26, 1926, after an illness of short duration, though for several years he had been growing feeble. I bade him good-bye Tuesday morning as I was on my way to spend a few days with my daughter at Fairfield, Texas. He assured me he was feeling better and thought he would soon be able to return to his home at Daly’s. Imagine my surprise Thursday to receive a message telling me he was passing away. I hastened home, but alas, found my good friend and companion gone, only his memory left. It is well for the living to express their sorrow and pay the tribute of respect due those who have been our associates and friends, who have before us passed over the line which is drawn between time and eternity. It is a duty demanded by friendship and affection and while engaged in this duty it reminds us that we, too, are mortal; that we, too, are hastening to the grave, that when a few more fleeting moments have passed, we will be called into the presence of that Creator, who has given us existence and opportunity and to whom we are responsible for the use of the possibilities He has placed in our grasp. I was closely associated with Mr. Huff for quite a number of years, we enjoying each other’s society and companionship, jokes and conversations. In the last few years since he became so feeble, it was custom of mine to visit him often, especially on Sunday. He was always glad to see me and bade me welcome with the words “Come in Sambo; I am glad to see you.” I always found him cheerful, despite his afflictions. We enjoyed many visits to our friends, Bro. Williams and his good wife. They were glad to have us visit them. These past pleasures will always be pleasant memories to me. He was a kind, affectionate father, a loving husband to his dear wife who had preceded him several years. My friend had his faults, and no man more regretted and deplored them than he. None of us are exempt. “To err is human.” Good-bye Hamp; we will miss you from your accustomed place on the porch in the summer, by the fireside in the winter; miss your genial smile, the cordial greeting, the hearty handshake. Our hearts are sad for we have known you long and well. No man can retain friends who are unworthy of them. Our long friendship proves his worthiness to me. I will cherish his memory as a possession dear to me. To his children I will say I was his friend, he was my friend, I am your friend and you have my sympathies in this sad hour. Let us hope and believe that his eyes have opened to the morning light of a never ending day.