A.R. Meador opened a photography studio in De Leon in 1901 in the northern portion of a newly completed frame building which was shared with Tyler Cleaners. That location today would be immediately north of De Leon Auto Supply (216 N. Texas). In 1904 he hired Charles L. Huddleston as an apprentice.
Huddleston was a new arrival in De Leon, coming here at about the age of 21 from Putnam County, Tennessee where he was born and raised. His sister Hixie Huddleston Carr and husband had earlier settled in the Bunyan area between Dublin and Dublin.
Huddleston purchased the business from Meador in late 1907 and in 1909 married Maude Morene Freeman, another De Leonian whose family had come here around 1901 from Oxford, Mississippi.
Sometime between 1911 and 1920 when the frame buildings housing the cleaners and the studio was replaced by the masonry building standing today, Huddleston moved his shop to rear of the “Wall of Recall” building entering through the north door. In 1928 he relocated to the second floor of the Hampton building above Plemmons Drug.
His final location was in the old Post Office building shown above. It was located on the southeast corner of Reynosa and Houston where the north wing of the First Baptist Church now stands. He and his wife also lived in the studio. The Huddlestons probably occupied the building in the early 1940′s and continued there until it was closed in 1960 after about 56 years of photography and 53 years of ownership.
The photography studio was in the room behind the large picture windows on the left. There was also had a dark room, living room with studio counter, two bedrooms, a small bath and a vault probably left over from post office days. Lucille’s Beauty Salon also operated out the building utilizing a door on the west side of the building.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Huddleston died in 1968 and are buried in the De Leon cemetery. They had six children, Hazel (Cowen), Lona Ruth, Carver, Doyle, Charles and Byrum.