Contributed by Mary Rollins
Centennial History of Arkansas, Vol. III, pub The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
1922, pp 940-941


     Thomas N. Sanford, attorney at law of Waldron and county judge of Scott county, was born in Sebastian county, Arkansas, December 29, 1854, his parents being Muse and Nancy M. (Hughes) Sanford. The latter was a daughter of Allen Hughes, who came to Arkansas in an early day, settling in Benton county, where he devoted the remainder of his life to the occupation of farming. His daughter, Mrs. Sanford, was born in Benton county. It was at Jenny Lind, Arkansas, that she became the wife of Muse Sanford, whose birth occurred near Carlisle, Kentucky, and who in the year 1833 came to Arkansas. He always devoted his time and energies to farming and was quite successful in the conduct of his affairs. He died in Scott county, while his wife departed this life in Huntington, Arkansas. Both were consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal church, South, and in politics he was a democrat. They had a family of six children three of whom are living: A. A., who is a physician, practicing at Duran, New Mexico; Thomas N.; and Lee, a farmer in Scott county.
     Thomas N. Sanford is indebted to the public school system of Sebastian county for the educational privileges which he enjoyed and which qualified him for life's practical and responsible duties. He was reared to farm work and continued to devote his attention to the task of tilling the soil and caring for the crops until he reached the age of twenty years, when he took up the study of law and was admitted to the bar in April, 1875. He began practice in Booneville, Arkansas, where he remained for two years and then removed to Paris, this state, where he also practiced for two years. He afterwards spent a similar period as an attorney at Fort Smith and on the 1st of June, 1880, came to Waldron, Scott county, where he has since lived. Throughout the intervening period he has been identified with the bench and bar of this county and has long occupied a position of distinction as an able lawyer and jurist. In 1901 he was elected prosecuting attorney and removed to Fort Smith, occupying the position for twelve years, making his home in this city during that period. Following his retirement from office he returned to Waldron in 1902 and resumed private practice. In January, 1920, he was elected county judge and has since occupied the bench of the court of Scott county. He also engages to some extent in the private practice of law and has made a splendid record both as an advocate and as a judge. He holds to high professional standards and as an attorney his devotion to his clients' interests is proverbial, while upon the bench his rulings are strictly fair and impartial.       Judge Sanford has membership in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, of which his wife was also a member. Fraternally he is a Mason, loyal to the teachings and principles of the craft. In politics he is a democrat and has always been one of the active party workers. He has never but once been a defeated candidate for office, although his name has appeared many times on the party ticket.
     In 1918 Judge Sanford was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who died in the month of June. He resides in Waldron and owns a farm in this county. His attention, however, is largely given to his law practice and his judicial duties and in both connections his reputation places him among the prominent members of the Scott county bar.

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