Fletcher Hasby Huffman was born in Moscow, Ont. on March 17, 1881 to Milton and Jenny Huffman.
He first attended school at the Moscow Public School, then the historical grammar school at Newburg, followed by high school at Napanee.
From 1908-09, he attended teacher’s college in Ottawa and completed his special courses in Guelph.
Huffman came to Fort Frances in the spring of 1911 and first taught in the little red schoolhouse, which is now the Fort Frances Museum.
He married Alnora Mary Miller in 1911, whom he would go on to have two daughters with—Marion and Phyllis, who no longer reside in the district.
From there, Huffman went on to serve 30 years as the principal of Robert Moore School.
“In education circles, Huffman’s opinions were much more highly-respected than local people might have known,” read the Fort Frances Times article which announced his death in 1940.
“He was always an advanced thinker along educational lines, and instituted practices here years before they were generally adopted throughout the province.
“He was regarded as one of the most capable public school principals across Canada, rated by educationalists among the top few—some rated him as one of the two best in the Dominion,” the article added.
“Both in and out of school, he was an ardent admirer of youth. Outside school, his love of youth was displayed by his enthusiasm and active interest and participation in juvenile sports,” it noted.
“Nowhere was there ever any sports in this community but that Huffman was present, if it were at all possible for him to be there. He was an avowed apostle of the theory that the playing of young boys was among the most valuable experience of their early lives.
“He contributed his share by umpiring every game he possibly could of the softball games in the Kiwanis League. In earlier years, he also umpired hardball games.
“He was a regular patron of the hockey rink and took as much delight from the junior and juvenile games as he did from the senior games, where he was penalty timekeeper because of his ability to cool and moderate seething tempers.
“Boys from visiting teams who played hockey here liked Fletcher Huffman, just as did his students and ex-students.”
Huffman never saw the school that would be named after him, passing away on Nov. 26, 1940 following a paralytic stroke.
He was a member of the local Masonic Lodge, an elder in the United Church, a member of the Eastern Star Lodge, as well as active with the Kiwanis.
At one point in time, Huffman was the town assessor and member of the Chamber of Commerce.
For several years, he served as an officer in the Provincial Teachers’ Federation, holding various positions.