Obituaries detail

Hugh A. Sprague III

Hugh A. Sprague III, 90, Brighton Gardens, Prairie Village, Kansas, a retired Missouri administrative law judge, died March 17, 2021.

He was born February 22, 1931, in St. Joseph, Missouri, the son of Floyd McEwen and Mary Chesney Sprague, and was named after his grandfather, Hugh A. Sprague, former editor and publisher of the St. Joseph News-Press & Gazette.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Sally Biles Sprague, after 51 years of marriage, and by his grandson, Mathew Chesney Sprague, both deceased in April, 2012.  Survivors include his two daughters, Elizabeth (Mrs. W. Perry Brandt), Kansas City, Mo., and Mary “Chesney” (Mrs. Timothy S. Eden), Chevy Chase, Md.; his son Hugh A. Sprague IV, St. Louis, Mo.; three grandchildren, Elizabeth “Betsy” Brandt, John Chesney Eden and Timothy Charles Eden, and his sister, Katherine (Mrs. William S. Emerson), Columbia, Mo.

Judge Sprague was a graduate of Phillips Academy (Andover) and Yale University, class of 1953.  He received his undergraduate degree in political science & international relations, and was a member of Chi Psi fraternity.

He enjoyed long-distance running before it achieved current popularity.  At Andover he placed third in the annual New England prep schools cross-country meet and was a member of Andover’s mile relay team which defeated rival Exeter in the Boston Athletic Association games in Boston Garden.  At Yale he lettered in cross-country and celebrated his 19th birthday by winning both the freshman Yale-Harvard individual two-mile race and the two-mile relay.

He served in Korea with the 1343rd Combat Engineer Battalion and with the Engineer Section, 8th Army Headquarters (Seoul), and is a member of the American Legion, Korean War Veterans Association, and the Scottish-American Military Society.

Following military service he served for seven years as the courthouse and political reporter on the St. Joseph Gazette, and in 1966 received a J.D. degree from U.M.K.C. Law School.  He was elected prosecuting attorney of Buchanan County in 1968 and was Missouri’s representative on the board of the National District Attorneys Association.

He was the Republican candidate for congress in 1970 from Missouri 6th congressional district, and was the first Missouri member of Young Americans for Freedom (YAF).

He joined the staff of newly-elected Missouri State Auditor Kit Bond in 1971, and served as legal and press assistant in Governor Bond’s first administration.  He served on the Missouri Public Service Commission, as an assistant attorney general under John Ashcroft, and as an administrative law judge with the Missouri Administrative Hearing Commission and the Missouri Division of Transportation. 

He was actively involved in the national Lewis & Clark Bicentennial observance, as a member of the Jefferson City L&C Bicentennial Task Force and as a re-enactor with the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles.  He worked jointly with his wife, Sally, and Sabra Tull Meyer, sculptor from Columbia, Mo., to organize a seven-year project to raise private funds and obtain governmental approval for a Lewis & Clark monument on the State Capitol grounds.  The five-figure heroic-size monument was completed and dedicated in 2008 on a hillside plaza between the State Capitol building and the Governor’s Mansion.

Memorials in his honor can be sent to the James and Vera Olson Fund for the Arts, in care of UMKC, 5115 Oak St., Kansas City, Mo., 64110.


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