Ira Erven Huffman
|Mayor of Tucson, Arizona|
January 2, 1912 - January 4, 1915
|Johnston Knox Corbett|
|Born||March 13, 1870|
|Died||February 18, 1955 (aged 84)|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Branch/service||United States Army|
|Years of service||1917-1919|
|Unit||158th Infantry Medical Corps|
Ira Erven Huffman (March 13, 1870 - February 18, 1955) was mayor of Tucson, Arizona from January 2, 1912 to January 4, 1915, and was Tucson's first mayor elected under statehood. Huffman was a medical doctor who was a member of the State Board of Medical Examiners. In 1914 Huffman was president of Arizona State Medical Association.
Huffman was born on March 13, 1870 near Versailles, Indiana to Martha née Shackelford and John W. Huffman, First Lieutenant in the 68th Indiana Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. Later the same year the family moved to Polk County, Iowa where Huffman was educated in public schools. He received a Doctor of Medicine degree from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa in 1901. After graduation he became district physician of Greene County in Paton, Iowa. From 1902 and 1906 Huffman was city physician in Beaver, Utah. Huffman moved to Tucson, Arizona in 1907, and continued to practice medicine there until he retired in 1945.
Huffman was a Tucson City Councilman. In December 1910 he defeated the Republican candidate Percy Rider "by a good majority" to be elected mayor of Tucson. He was reelected unopposed in 1912. During his term streets were paved and graded, public parks were improved, and the price of electric light reduced. In 1914 Huffman ran for a third term but was defeated by the Republican challenger J. Knox Corbett by 300 votes in an "extremely heavy vote".
As mayor, Huffman officiated over the opening of the long distance telephone line from Tucson to El Paso, Texas in September 1911. Huffman spoke with Mayor Kelly of El Paso for five minutes, inviting him to visit Tucson.
On August 5, 1917, the Arizona National Guard was inducted into Federal Service. During World War I, Huffman served overseas as a major in the 158th Infantry Medical Corps from 1917 until June 1919. After the war Huffman led a group of men who obtained Pastime Park, an old recreation spot located north of the city, as Tucson's first hospital for veterans with tuberculosis. The Pastime Park hospital would become the Southern Arizona Veterans Affairs Hospital.
Huffman was a member of the American Medical Association, Arizona State, and Pima County Medical Societies.
In 1913 Huffman was president of the Arizona Rifle Association.
Huffman married September 1, 1910 Edith née Gillmore, daughter of another US Army officer during the Civil War, Isaac Gillmore, First Lieutenant of the 2nd Regiment Iowa Volunteer Cavalry. Ira and Edith had a son, Ira Erven Jr., and a daughter Alice.
Huffman died in the Tucson VA Hospital he helped found.
Huffman lived in a cottage style house built in 1911. The house is along University Boulevard.
This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.