Joe Huddleston, a life time resident of McClain County, was born July 5, 1909 in the Hopping Community east of Wayne, OK. He was the seventh son in a family of nine boys and two girls. Joe's father, Lacy Huddleston, was born in Tennessee, and his mother, Isabelle Jones, in Texas.
Joe attended school at Hopping and later Purcell when his family moved near to Purcell. In 1928 Joe married Louella Yates. They rented a farm southwest of Purcell where they lived for one year. They then moved to Purcell where they lived the rest of their lives. They had two sons, Billy Joe and Tommy Ray.
Joe had a small filling station and sundry market for 10 years. When World War II started, he went to work for Tinker Air Force Base and volunteered for overseas service. He was sent to Hawaii. When he returned, he quit Tinker and took a job as Chief of Police of Purcell and later became deputy sheriff of McClain County, which he held until a new sheriff was elected. He then went to work for a furniture store for two years before he started campaigning for sheriff.
In 1956 he was elected Sheriff, a position he held until he resigned eighteen years later. Joe's tenure as a lawman was during bootleg liquor days and the beginning of dope use in the Midwest. He is known for his service to the community. He is a member of the National Sheriff's Association and Oklahoma Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association.
These excerpts were taken from McCLAIN COUNTY HISTORY AND HERITAGE, Book 1. Written by Louella Huddleston.
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