Sarah Tilghman Hughes (Sarah Tilghman Hughes)

Sarah Tilghman Hughes

Kennedy Assassination Figure, Judge and Lawyer. Born  in Baltimore, Maryland,  she was the daughter of James Cooke and Elizabeth Haughton Tilghman. She went to high school at the girls-only Salem Academy in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where she was elected president of the freshman class. Her determined personality extended to the athletic field where she participated in intramural track and field, gymnastics, and basketball. In 1917 she graduated from Goucher College with an A.B. in biology. After two years of teaching science at Salem Academy, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, she enrolled in the George Washington University Law School, from which she received an LL.B. degree in 1922. During this period she was a member of the Washington, D.C., police force, a job in which she worked primarily with juveniles. She married George Ernest Hughes of Palestine, Texas, a classmate, on March 13, 1922. The same year, they moved to Dallas.  In 1923 Sarah joined the firm of Priest, Herndon, and Ledbetter. She remained with the firm until 1935, when Governor James Allred appointed her to the bench of the Fourteenth District Court in Dallas. She was the first woman state district judge in Texas. In 1936 she was elected in her own right and was reelected on six subsequent occasions, the last in 1960. Sarah had served three terms in the Texas House of Representatives. She was among the first women elected to the legislature after the granting of woman suffrage and was active in debates over major issues of the day-oil proration laws, penal-system reform, and public school land usage. President John F. Kennedy appointed her in October 1961, she became the first woman to serve as a federal district judge in Texas. She was served as Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963. Since she was the closest Federal official, she was detailed  to swear in Lyndon Baines Johnson as President of the United States after President Kennedy was pronounced dead. She and her husband never had children. She died at the age of 88. (bio by: Shock)  Family links:  Parents:  James Cooke Tilghman (1858 – 1925)  Elizabeth Haughton Tilghman (1860 – 1933)  Spouse:  George Ernest Hughes (1892 – 1964)


  • August, 02, 1896
  • USA


  • April, 04, 1985


  • Sparkman Hillcrest Memorial Park
  • Texas
  • USA

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