Important Park Viewians: Judge William C. Hueston (1880-1961)

William C. Hueston as Grand Commissioner of Education of the Elks, Judge Hueston frequently appeared on Elks' programs and at Elks affairs in the lodge uniform and fez as above

Once in a while I’m surprised when I find out something important about the neighborhood’s past that wasn’t previously known to me, especially when I was actually digging in newspapers for something completely different. One such occurrence happened recently when I was trying to find out more about the business KD Photographic Studios. While I haven’t been successful on that front yet, I did discover Judge William C. Hueston who resided with his family at 744 Park Road, NW, from 1930 to 1961.

William C. Hueston was born in Lexington, Kentucky, in 1880. His family later moved to Kansas City, Kansas. He was a graduate of the University of Kansas and an active community leader in Kansas City. He became the first African American graduate of the University of Chicago Law School. During this period he also lived part-time in Gary, Indiana. Beginning in 1927 he served as president of the National Negro Baseball League. Hueston is said to have been the first African American judge in Kansas and Gary, Indiana.

In Gary, Indiana, Hueston served as magistrate judge and helped establish the African American-owned Central State Bank. He was appointed by President Hoover to the National Memorial Commission for the building of the National Museum of African American History and Culture that was to have been built in 1929. He left Indiana in 1930 for Washington, D.C. and moved into 744 Park Road, NW, in October of that year. Indiana Senator James E. Watson was instrumental in Hueston’s moved to the District as he help bring about his appointment to become Assistant Solicitor with the U.S. Post Office. Hueston’s appointment as Assistant Solicitor was reported as the first time an African American attorney had ever served in the Post Office Department in a professional capacity. He later had his own law firm in Washington.

Hueston's house at 744 Park Road can still be seen by those interested in visiting the site

Hueston was active in setting up the law libraries at the Post Office Department and Howard University. He also served for many years as Commissioner of Education for the Grand Lodge of Colored Elks, a position established after Hueston created the Elks Education Department. The Education Department had awarded more than 800 scholarships to boys and girls through the Elks Annual Oratorical Contest and other activities by the time of Hueston’s death on November 25, 1961. He died in his home at 744 Park Road at the age of 81 of an apparent heart attack.

Sources:

“Elk Educational Commissioner Feted,” Afro-American, Mar. 16, 1940, p. 23.

Hicks, James L. “200,000 Elks Call Him Their Grand Secretary,” Afro-American, Aug. 14, 1954, p. A6.

“Judge Hueston Termed Warrior Who Knew Men: Rev Hoggard heard at Capital rites,” Afro-American, Dec. 9, 1961, p. 18.

Notable Kentucky African Americans Database: Hueston, William C., Sr., Available at: http://www.uky.edu/Libraries/NKAA/record.php?note_id=159

“William C. Hueston, 81, Government Attorney,” The Washington Post, Nov. 26, 1961, p. B7.

“William C. Hueston Appointed to Post in Solicitor’s Office,” Afro-American, June 7, 1930, p. 1.

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3 Comments on “Important Park Viewians: Judge William C. Hueston (1880-1961)”


  1. […] mounted police or even Harry Houdini’s escape from a locked jail cell here. Information on Judge William C. Hueston would also be appropriate […]

  2. Jeff Hueston Says:

    My father william chandler hueston was named after his father , he was from indiana . Did judge hueston have mixed race children ?

  3. William Hueston Reddick Says:

    This was my grandfather. I lived at 744 Park Rd until 1958 and then moved to Petworth. I still live in the District and check the house out every time I go down Park Road. This is one of the most informative articles I have read about Grandad. Thanks!!


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