Rufus A. Doughton
A Democrat, he was elected and served as the seventh Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina from 1893 to 1897 under Governor Elias Carr. He played an important role in establishing the road system in North Carolina. In 1896, Doughton ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. House of Representatives, losing to Romulus Z. Linney.
Doughton was later elected to the state House again, serving in the 1909, 1911, and 1913 sessions.
Rufus was one of twelve children of J.H. and Rebecca Doughton of Laurel Springs, North Carolina. All twelve children—men and women—went to college. Rufus attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His family home is now a bed and breakfast called Doughton Hall. His brother, Robert L. Doughton, served in the U.S. House of Representatives for many years (1911–1953) and helped write the Social Security Act. He chaired the House Ways and Means Committee for many years, longer than any other Congressman. A book called Hillbilly Women includes a story of a poor woman whose family needed money to bury a relative and walked over the ridge to ask "Rufe Doughton" for help.
Rufus Doughton married Sue Parks and they had two children. His son, James Kemp Doughton, followed in his footsteps, also getting elected to the state legislature and serving as Speaker of the House.
Thomas M. Holt
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