Family Histories of Coleman County, Texas

by Ruth Saunders

From A History of Coleman County and Its People, 1985 
edited by Judia and Ralph Terry, and Vena Bob Gates - used by permission

It was a lucky day for Coleman when the school board elected C. H. Hufford as the new superintendent of the Coleman City Schools.  He had been principal of Brownwood High School for seventeen years and brought with him to Coleman his wife, Georgia, and daughter, Mary.  Coleman citizens soon learned that Mr. Hufford was efficient and well prepared through experience and schooling to be an outstanding school administrator, being ever alert for new ideas, programs, or methods of teaching that would be advantageous for both students and teachers.  Having an intense interest and love for history and government, he reserved a time on his busy schedule to teach a class of American History or Civics and Economics each year to the senior classes.

An educational system was established and maintained that met the approval and commendations not only of the local school officials, but also of the Texas State Board of Education and The Southern Association of Colleges and secondary schools.  This meant that all required courses and many selective courses were now accredited and that graduates could readily enter institutions of higher learning without special examinations.  Another ambition for the students was good citizenship.  Mr. Hufford wanted excellent classroom conduct, courtesy to everyone, in or out of the school, and the students to have an interest in what was going on in our community.  He was obsessed with civic pride - personally writing a course of study on good citizenship for each and every grade in school.  The teacher was required to have lessons from this course periodically.  One section was on “Keep Coleman Clean.”  As recently as the summer of 1982, one former pupil coming out of the Coleman Post Office threw a useless scrap of paper on the sidewalk, took a few steps, hesitated, turned around and picked it up.  Seeing the author, he smiled and said, “I just heard a familiar voice from the past speaking to the student body saying, “Don’t bitter the streets of Coleman.  Keep Coleman Clean.”  Mr. Hufford was assisted and supported in all his undertakings by a most able principal at the high school, J. T. Runkle.  Mr. Runkle was a firm, yet compassionate, administrator and a marvelous teacher of the senior English classes as well as an excellent disciplinarian.

The unique methods of teaching and some of the original courses introduced into the school system soon became known as “The Coleman Way.”  The results were very satisfactory.  The percentage of failures dropped as the percentage of good grades rose for those attending higher institutions of learning.  “The Coleman Way” was right!

Mr. Hufford was certainly blessed with a devoted and intellectual wife and daughter.  Mrs. Hufford made a name for herself in the study clubs of Coleman, taught a Sunday School class in the Presbyterian Church, was an expert on Mexican cuisine, and became well known for her homemade, pulled butter mints.  Georgia Hufford was born in 1869 and lived a happy, influential life until her death May 10, 1957.

Dr. Mary Hufford, born September 8, 1904, established herself as an outstanding teacher at Texas Womens College in Denton where she taught English until she was elected Dean of Women.  This position she was holding at her death April 23, 1959.

C. H. Hufford was born August 11, 1865 in Star City, Nevada and was graduated from Elko Nevada High School, Howard Payne University, received his MA Degree from Boulder, Colorado.  Mr. Hufford died September 5, 1941.  His influence lives on in the lives of students, teachers, and friends, who will always remember “The Coleman Way.”

(Images to be added)

Mary Hufford

Charles Henry Hufford

Families History Index
Coleman County Index
Please send additional links, comments or suggestions for articles to:

This page last updated November 26, 2005
© 1982 - 2005 Ralph Terry.  All rights reserved.