Henry Lightfoot was a lawyer, politician, jurist and Civil War vet. He was born in Lawrence County, Alabama, on December 29, 1846 and served in the Eleventh Alabama Cavalry during the Civil War. He graduated in 1869 from the law school of Cumberland University, Lebanon, Tennessee, and entered practice in Lawrence County, Tennessee. He moved to Texas in 1872, where he went into law partnership with General Sam Bell Maxey.
Lightfoot became prominent in Texas politics and was elected to the state Senate in 1880 and resigned in 1882.
In 1893 Lightfoot was appointed chief justice of the Court of Civil Appeals. In the 1894 election he was re-elected as chief justice of the Court of Appeals. He resigned in October 1897 and came to Skagway, Alaska, on legal business. According to the Skagway death record, he died here of Bright’s Disease on this day, August 24, 1901. His body was shipped back to Texas. Historically, Bright’s disease is often a catch-all for kidney diseases, but strictly speaking is glomerulonephritis, which may be a complication of streptococcal sore throat. If only he had had some Shaker’s Medicinal Spring Water – a sure cure for Bright’s Disease!
Year Book for Texas Austin: Gammel-Statesman, 1902, 1903; Skagway Death Record