Staples, Sidney Lee (1865–1937)

By: Randolph B. "Mike" Campbell and Brett J. Derbes

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: November 17, 2021

Sidney Lee Staples, legislator and Texas secretary of state, was born at Madisonville, Kentucky, on September 13, 1865, the son of Alexander J. and Gertrude (Gaines) Staples. He obtained his early education from a log cabin school in Madisonville before attending Transylvania College. He traveled to Hico, Texas, in 1885 to visit his sister and decided to stay in the state. Staples initially settled at Granbury College in Smithville and studied with Attorney General Charles A. Culberson. He later studied law in the office of Lee Riddle before entering the law school of the University of Texas; he also worked for a time at the General Land Office with William Sydney Porter. Later Staples practiced law at Smithville and represented Bastrop County in the House of the Twenty-fifth and Twenty-sixth legislatures (1897–1900) and Bastrop, Lee, and Burleson counties in the Senate of the Twenty-seventh Legislature. In the legislature he served on the judiciary, judicial districts, private land claims, education, and labor committees. Staples served as chairman of the Bastrop County Democratic Party. He married Augusta Barry on September 6, 1920. Staples was secretary of state under Pat M. Neff from 1921 to 1924. He was special counsel for the Labor Department in the attorney general's office at the time of his death in Austin on January 2, 1937. He was survived by his wife and one daughter. His gravesite is in the Oakwood Cemetery Annex in Austin.

Austin American, January 3, 1937, January 4, 1937. Austin American-Statesman, July 31, 1921. E. H. Loughery, Texas State Government (Austin: McLeod and Jackson, 1897).

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Randolph B. "Mike" Campbell and Brett J. Derbes, “Staples, Sidney Lee,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 27, 2022,

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November 17, 2021