Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wentzle Aena Stewart (1897-1983)

From the 1951 Kansas State Legislative composite portrait.

   A two-term member of the Kansas State House of Representatives from the county of Kiowa, Wentzle Aena Stewart has scant information available online, and although few details could be found regarding him, the picture shown above (located via a 1951 Kansas legislative composite portrait) comes as a welcome surprise. Although a Kansan for nearly all his life, Wentzle A. Stewart wasn't born in the state; his birth instead occurring in Iowa on December 31, 1897. The son of Henry E. (1868-1951) and Ida Stephens Stewart (1870-1958), Stewart removed with his family to Kansas shortly after his birth and in 1901 the family settled in Kiowa County.
    A veteran of the United States Navy, Stewart married in April 1924 to Ms. Elsie Jane Miller (1904-1994), with whom he would have three sons: Wesley Earl (birth-date unknown), Harold Alvin (died 1992) and Keith Allen (birth-date unknown). A farmer in Kiowa County for a good majority of his life, both Wentzle and his wife are noted as having been "very involved in organizing Kiowa County farming programs for men and women" and he himself was a past president of the Kiowa County Farm Bureau
   Prior to his service in state government Stewart had extensive involvement in civic affairs in Greensburg, serving as school treasurer for 22 years and as clerk for two. Stewart also held the posts of town clerk and trustee for eight and four years, respectively. In November 1948 he was elected as Kiowa County's representative to the Kansas General Assembly, garnering 1, 519 votes on election day. Stewart was returned to the legislature in November 1950 and served until the close of the session in 1953. Little else is known of Stewart's life following the conclusion of his term. He died at age 85 on January 3, 1983 and was later interred at Greensburg's Fairview Cemetery.

                                           Wentzle A. Stewart, from the 1950 Kansas Government Journal.

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