B. G. Salutes Her Colonel
Blooming Grove Times, April 24, 1964
by Jo Ann Tipping
During this hundredth anniversary of the Civil
War, 1961-1965, the Blooming Grove community is proud to honor a Confederate veteran, James Monroe Huff, who lived in this community from 1885 to 1935. He
was born on July 13, 1843, in Alabama and died on May 15, 1935, in Blooming Grove, Texas. Mr. Huff was buried in Corsicana, Texas.
Grove’s honored veteran came to the Blooming Grove community in 1891 after living in the states of Alabama and Arkansas. James Monroe Huff was a
picturesque figure in the Blooming Grove community. Whether he was sitting on the front porch or walking through the streets with the aid of his walking cane,
he gave the appearance of a proud Southern colonel. He was the type of figure who made people pause and take another look. Although he gave the appearance of
being a proud dignified colonel, he never ceased being friendly and courteous to everyone. One of his becoming characteristics was the tipping of his hat in a
James Monroe Huff enjoyed playing games and particularly liked dominoes. He became
very angry though…when his wife beat him in this game! The veteran was a member of the Methodist Church. He dearly loved to sing, and in his young days
he was a choir director. Mrs. Laura Huff Johnson, his daughter, has in her possession a baton used by Mr. Huff as a choir director; The
Homespun Dress was favorite song of his. Pete Huff, a son of James Monroe Huff, said that his father often read and sang from a copy of this song. James
Monroe Huff was named after our fifth president, James Monroe. He lived to be ninety-two years of age.
Three loves had Mr. Huff!
The Confederacy was his first love. It was brought out in his Masonic diary that he
was every inch a Confederate soldier…one who believed in Southern rights. The belief in Southern rights was clearly emphasized in his beloved song, The Homespun Dress. Two stanzas of this song state in a humorous way
his firm belief in Southern States Rights:
all, her all for Southern rights, Three cheers for Southern rights, and For Southern boys."
Mr. Huff had in his possession a miniature, frayed silk Confederate flag. James
Monroe Huff was wounded three times in three different battles. To honor the Confederacy, he wore these wounds as badges of honor. Such badges of honor were
scars on his chest and a finger missing on his right hand. Because he was proud to have been a Confederate soldier, he spoke boldly and proudly of a soldier’s
life. The news of Lee’s surrender was learned early by Mr. Huff because of the fact that he was standing near Lee when Lee surrendered. Mr. Huff repeated many
times to his daughter, Mrs. Laura Huff Johnson, that he admired Lee, and was proud to be near the famous General even though in the hour of defeat. After the
Civil War had ended, the Civil War Confederate Veterans met annually in conventions. James Monroe Huff managed to attend each of these except those of
his last two or three years. At each of these conventions he received a badge. Mrs. Laura Huff Johnson has in her possession every one of these badges received
by Mr. Huff in these conventions. While attending a convention in Alabama, Mr. Huff returned to the battleground on which he had been wounded. He recognized
the tree under which he had lain when he was wounded as a soldier. Here he relived his experiences of the Confederacy. Before leaving this memorable spot,
he cut a limb from the tree and carried it back to Blooming Grove with him. A friend of his, Ethan Melton, created a walking stick out of it. While attending
one of his beloved Confederate Veteran’s Convention’s, he was awarded the honorary title of Colonel. Colonel Huff dearly loved this title. Up until this
time he gave the appearance of a colonel, but now he became Blooming Grove’s one and only Colonel.
The Masonic Lodge was the second love of Blooming Grove’s honored Colonel. In
1870, Colonel Huff became a member of Prospect Bluff Lodge 236, Arkansas. From Arkansas he moved to Texas where he affiliated with the Dresden Lodge 218 on
January 31, 1885. Mr. Huff then transferred to the Cryer Creek Lodge on December
22, 1888. The Blooming Grove Masonic Lodge 497 was his next stop in 1891. Here
he was very proud to serve as Tyler from 1891 to 1935. Because of his love and
devotion to the Masonic Lodge, he kept a detailed diary of his rise as a mason.
Such rise consisted of the Capitular Masonry, Cryptic Masonry, Chivalric Masonry
and the Mystic Shrine. On February 23, 1909 the proud Colonel became a Royal
Arch Mason. Mason Huff carried on his watch chain an emblem of Royal Arch
Masonry. On November 26, 1929, Colonel James Monroe Huff was admitted and
received a noble of the Mystic Shrine in Karem Temple in Waco, Texas. Because
Colonel Huff was a staunch loyal member to the Masonic Lodge, the Blooming Grove
Chapter 497 presented him with a gold headed walking cane and a Masonic watch
fob that emphasized the position of a Shriner. The Colonel treasurer these gifts
and never ceased to boast about them with great pride. Although the Colonel had
many other interests, his devotion to the Masonic Lodge never ceased.
Colonel James Monroe Huff loved his community, Blooming Grove, Texas, very much!
He was eager to work for the community just as he had been eager to fight for
the Confederacy as a youth. He enjoyed all the activities, which originated in
the rural hamlet, and took part in many of them. For years the rural community
was known for its harvest fairs and parades. In most of the parades Colonel Huff
portrayed our National figure, Uncle Sam. To really look like Uncle Sam, he had
his daughter, Laura Huff Johnson, to make him an Uncle Sam’s hat, using one of
his broad, white Panama hats as a foundation. By wearing Uncle Sam’s hat in the community parades, he was saying to the world, “I am glad to be a part of
the U.S.A.” Truly, Colonel Huff loved his community.
Blooming Grove is indeed honored to salute her
one and only colonel, James Monroe Huff—a staunch Confederate soldier, loyal
member of the Masonic Lodge, a devoted member of the Blooming Grove Community,
and a proud citizen of the U.S.A.
Yes, Blooming Grove salutes the memory of the proud Colonel!
Excerpts from Reminiscences of the Boys in Gray, 1861-1865
James M. Huff, Blooming Grove, Tex.—Born July 13, 1843, near Perryville, Perry
County, Alabama. Enlisted in the Confederate Army May 25, 1861, at Marion, Ala, as private in Company K, Eighth Alabama Infantry, Cox’s Brigade, Anderson’s
Division, Longstreet’s and afterwards Hill Corps, Army of Northern Virginia.
first Captain was Duke Nalls and first Colonel, John A. Winston. Was wounded in the breast at the battle of Sharpsburg. At Gettysburg I lost the little finger
of my right hand and the third finger was broken, and at Petersburg a flesh wound in the right side. Was taken prisoner July 3, 1863, and sent first to
Baltimore and then to Fort Dalaware.
Was in the battles of Williamburg, Second Manassas, Salem Church, Gettysburg, Siege
of Richmond, Petersburg, Sharpsburg, and from there with Lee to Appomattox C.H., where we surrendered, April 9, 1865.
J. M HUFF - WEDDING
The Blooming Grove Times, March 19, 1926
J. M. Huff and wife celebrated Sunday their 60th wedding
anniversary. The celebration was not elaborate, but rather in
keeping with the modest, sober and beautiful life which has
characterized their happy voyage from 1867 up to the present.
They were married sixty years ago in Perry county, Alabama..
Judging from the way the “old folks” talk those were the…(paper
torn) “good times” were in ascendancy. Pleasure and plenty
reigned supreme, and it is a joy to sit and hear a couple of
sixty years together relate incidents of early life. The
incident of this celebration last Sunday brought before the
occasion the tune of “Arkansas Traveler,” it brought the
remembrance of “Swanee River,” and cast upon the memory’s canvas
very vividly recollections of happy days with all the
vicissitudes following the War Between the States.
Wed Over Half a Century
December 28, 1930, Blooming Grove, Texas
BLOOMING GROVE, Navarro Co., Texas. De 27. - Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Huff of
Blooming Grove will celebrate, on Jan. 16, the sixty-fourth anniversary of
their wedding. Mr. Huff is active and works as the agent here for the Singer
Sewing Machine Company. He was awarded a commission as Colonel of the United
Confederate Veterans last summer. Mrs. Huff recently was honored with a
party on her eighty-second birthday.
Mr. and Mrs. Huff have five children, W. M. Huff of Corsicana, Mrs. B. A.
Wilson and Mrs. M. B. Howard of Dallas, E. J. Huff and Mrs. George R. Mabry
of Blooming Grove; two grandchildren, Frances Louise Howard of Dallas and A.
F. Huff Jr. of Corsicana.
James Monroe Huff
13 Jul 1843-15 Apr 1935
April 18, 1935
J. M. Huff, Veteran of Civil War Dies
BLOOMING GROVE, Navarro Co., Texas, April 17. - J. M. Huff, 91, pioneer
resident of Navarro County, died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. G. R.
Mabry, Tuesday night. Funeral service will be held at the Methodist Church
Huff was a native of Alabama, but had lived in Texas fifty-nine years.
He was a Confederate veteran and was present at the surrender of Gen.
Robert E. Lee at the close of the war. He has been active in the circles of
the United Confederate Veteran and was promoted to Assistant Quartermaster
Huff was prominent in Masonic circles, having affiliated himself with the
order in 1870. He was also a member of the Shrine with membership in Karem
Temple, Waco. He had been tiler of the Blooming Grove Masonic Lodge No. 497
Surviving are two sons, W. M. Huff of Corsicana and E. J. Huff of Blooming
Grove and three daughters, Mrs. George R. Mabry of Blooming Grove; Mrs. B.
A. Wilson of Dallas and Mrs. M. B. Howard of Grandfield, Ok.
J. M. Huff
Aged Resident of Navarro County Visits Corsicana
J. M. Huff, long-time resident of Navarro county and one of the pioneers of
the Blooming Grove community, was in Corsicana today and stated that he
worked on the first house which was constructed in Blooming Grove. He stated
that he helped survey the town when it was laid out.
Mr. Huff is in find health and celebrated his eighty-first birthday
Mr. Huff stated that he had been a Mason since 1870. He enjoys the unusual
distinction of having been tiler of the Blooming Grove Lodge No. 497 during
the last thirty-five years.
NOTE: Nov 1, 1917
COL. J. M. HUFF, AGED 91, PASSED AWAY TUESDAY
Col. M. M. Huff, 91, Pioneer resident of Navarro county for 59
years, passed away Tuesday night at the home of his daughter, Mrs.
George R. Mabry, after a two months illness; the funeral was held
from the local Methodist church Thursday afternoon at 2 o'clock with
burial in Oakwood cemetery in Corsicana.
Col. M. M. Huff was a native of Alabama, but had resided in Texas
for 59 years and in Blooming Grove for 58 years. He was prominent in
the Methodist church for more than 40 years and had been affiliated
with the Masonic Lodge for 65 years. He was a confederate veteran
being mustered into the confederte army at Marion, Alabama, May 25,
1861, and served throughout the war. He served under Beneral Lee
after General Lee was placed in command of the confederate forces.
Col. Huff had been active in the circles of the United Veterans and
was promoted to assistant quartermaster general.
He had been prominent in Masonic circles for many years, having
affiliated himself with the roder in 1870. He was also a member of
the Shrine with membership in Karen [sic] Temple, Waco. He had been
tiler of the Blooming Grove Masonic Lodge since 1889.
Funeral rites were conducted by Rev. P. W. Utley, partor [sic] the
local Methodist church, assisted by Rev. T. E. Neal, pastor of the
First Methodist church of Corsicana.
Surviving are two sons: W. M. Huff of Corsicana and E. J. Huff of
Blooming Grove: three daughters, Mrs. B. A. Wilson of Dallas Okla.
and Mrs. G. R. Mabry of Blooming Grove.
- The Blooming Grove Times - Friday, April 18, 1935
- Submitted by
James Monroe Huff
July 13, 1843 - Apr 16, 1935
PIONEER RESIDENT DIED TUESDAY NIGHT IN BLOOMING GROVE
FUNERAL SERVICES THURSDAY FOR J. M. HUFF, VETERAN OF CIVIL WAR
BLOOMING GROVE, April 17.—(Spl.)—J. M. Huff, aged 91 years pioneer
resident of Navarro county, died at the home of his daughter, Mrs.
G. R. Mabry, here Tuesday night at 7:50 o’clock following a several
months illness, and the funeral will be held from the local
Methodist church Thursday afternoon at 2 o’clock with burial in
Mr. Huff was a native of Alabama, but had resided in Texas for 59
years. He was prominent in the Methodist church for more than 40
years and had been affiliated with the Masonic Lodge for 65 years.
He was a Confederate veteran. He was mustered into the Confederate
army at Marion, Alabama, May 35, 1861, and served throughout the was
with the exception of a short time on two furloughs due to wounds.
Wounded Three Times.
Mr. Huff was wounded three times—in the battles of Petersburg, Va.,
Sharpsburg, Maryland, Maryland; and Gettysburg, Pa. He was a member
of Company K, Eighth Alabama Regiment, Wilcox’s brigade, with
General A. P. Hill’s corps. He was present at the surrender of
General Robert E. Lee at the close of the war. He served under
General Lee after General Lee was placed in command of the
Confederate forces. He engaged in all of the battles of the Army in
North Virginia except during the time he was absent due to wounds,
and could graphically describe the surrender of General Lee that
ended the war.
The aged Confederate has been active in the circles of the United
Confederate Veterans and was promoted to assistant quarter-master
general by General R. A. Sneed.
Mr. Huff had been prominent in Masonic circles, having affiliated
himself with the order in 1870. He was also a member of the Shrine
with membership in Karem Temple, Waco. He had been tiler of the
Blooming Grove Masonic Lodge No. 497 since 1889.
Came to Texas in 1876.
The family came to Texas in 1876 and moved to the Blooming Grove
community in 1877, residing to that section since that time.
Mr. Huff was born July 13, 1843 in Perry county, Alabama. He was
married to Elizabeth Frances Jones in 1867. The couple had been
married 65 years when Mrs. Huff passed away at Blooming Grove in
Mr. Huff was in excellent health and led an active life until about
Christmas when he suffered an attack of influenza from which he
never fully recovered.
The funeral rites will be conducted by Rev. P. W. Utley, pastor of
the Blooming Grove Methodist church, assisted by Rev. T. Edgar Neal,
pastor of the First Methodist church of Corsicana. Mr. Huff will be
buried beside his wife. The Masons will have charge of the service
at the grave.
Surviving are two sons, W. M. Huff, Corsicana, and E. J. Huff,
Blooming Grove; three daughters, Mrs. George R. Mabry, Blooming
Grove; Mrs. B. A. Wilson, Dallas; and Mrs. M. B. Howard of
Grandfield, Okla. And other relatives.
The McCormick Funeral Home will have charge of the arrangements.
FUNERAL SERVICES HELD THURSDAY FOR COUNTY PIONEER
Funeral rites for J. M. Huff, 91, pioneer resident of Blooming Grove,
who died Tuesday night at 7:50 o’clock after a several months illness,
were held Thursday afternoon at 2 o’clock from the Blooming Grove
Methodist church with burial in
here. The rites were conducted by Rev. P. W. Utley, pastor of the
Blooming Grove church, assisted by Rev. T. Edgar Neal, pastor of the
First Methodist church of Corsicana.
Mr. Huff had long been prominent in the Methodist church, Masonic Lodge
circles and the United Confederate Veterans. He had been a Mason for 65
years. All throughout the Civil War he was assistant quartermaster
general of the veterans under General R. A. Sneed. He engaged in many
important battles during the war and was wounded three times. He was
with General Robert E. Lee when Lee surrendered ending the hostilities.
Mr. Huff was a member of the Karem Shrine Temple, Waco, and had been
tiler of the Blooming Grove Masonic lodge since 1889.
A native of Alabama, Mr. Huff came to Texas in 1876 and settled in the
Blooming Grove vicinity the following year and had resided there since
Masons had charge of the rites at the grave.
Mrs. Huff died in Blooming Grove in 1932.
Surviving are two sons, W. M. Huff, Corsicana, and E. J. Huff, Blooming
Grove; three daughters, Mrs. George R. Mabry, Blooming Grove; Mrs. B. A.
Wilson, Dallas; and Mrs. M. B. Howard of Grandfield, Okla. And other
See Also, Obituaries for
Frances Elizabeth (Jones) Huff
Oakwood Cemetery, Corsicana, Navarro