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Shaffer Bonewell
Charles Ervin Hughes (1927–1978).
Attorney and state legislator Charles E. Hughes represented Grayson County in the Texas House from 1951 to 1963. Courtesy Legislative Reference Library of Texas and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

HUGHES, CHARLES ERVIN (1927–1978). Charles Ervin Hughes, lawyer and state legislator, was born in Sherman, Texas, on April 30, 1927, to Roy Ervin and Mary Estell (Fowler) Hughes. Hughes received his education in the Sherman public school district, from which he graduated in 1944. After he graduated from Sherman High School, he began his undergraduate studies at the University of Texas. In 1951 he successfully graduated with both his law and undergraduate degrees. While attending the University of Texas, Hughes was an active member of both the Phi Kappa Sigma social fraternity and the Phi Delta Phi law fraternity. Additionally, upon completion of his law degree, he was admitted to the Texas Bar Association, and he remained a member until his death.

In 1951, immediately after graduating law school, Hughes ran his first campaign for the Texas House of Representatives. Running on the Democratic party ticket for District 44-2 (Grayson County), he won a narrow victory over Robert Doss (5,618 to 5,273). Hughes’s victory in 1951 began a legislative career in the Texas House of Representatives that spanned more than a decade from 1951 to 1963. During his tenure in the House, Hughes held many prominent committee positions including several committee chair or committee vice chair appointments. The committee vice chair positions that Hughes held included: the Commerce and Manufactures Committee (Fifty-fourth legislature), the Claims and Accounts Committee (Fifty-fifth legislature), Municipal and Private Corporations Committee (Fifty-sixth legislature), State Hospitals and Special Schools Committee (Fifty-sixth legislature), and the Congressional and Legislative Districts Committee (Fifty-seventh legislature).  Additionally, Hughes was the chair of the Congressional and Legislative Districts Committee (Fifty-sixth legislature), Public Lands and Buildings Committee (Fifty-seventh legislature), and the Insurance Investigating Special Committee (Fifty-seventh legislature). 

Hughes’s public service was not limited to his tenure in the Texas House. He additionally served as the chair of the Grayson County Democratic party from 1968 to 1972. Furthermore, he was appointed as the United States Magistrate for the Eastern District of Texas from 1971 to 1977. Hughes practiced law in Sherman from 1951 until his death in 1978 during which time he was a member of the Grayson County Bar Association, State Bar of Texas, the American Bar Association, and the North Texas Bar Association. 

On December 25, 1954, Hughes married Wilma Dean Winters in Sherman, Texas. Although Winters and Hughes never had any children of their own, Winters had two children from a previous marriage—De Esta Winters and Larry Winters. At the time of his death at the age of fifty-one in 1978, Charles Hughes was living in Denison, Texas. He passed away from hepatic encephalopathy at Texoma Medical Center on August 11, 1978. He was buried at West Hill Cemetery in Sherman, Texas. He was survived by his wife and two stepchildren.


Denison Press, July 28, 1950. Legislative Reference Library of Texas: Charles Hughes (http://www.lrl.state.tx.us/legeLeaders/members/memberDisplay.cfm?memberID=1062&searchparams=chamber=~city=~countyID=0~RcountyID=~district=~first=~gender=~last=hughes~leaderNote=~leg=~party=~roleDesc=~Committee=), accessed September 3, 2017. 

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Shaffer Bonewell, "HUGHES, CHARLES ERVIN ," accessed July 12, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fhugh.

Uploaded on September 10, 2017. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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