WALTER A. HUXMAN, the twenty-seventh governor of Kansas, was born near Pretty Prairie, Kansas on February 16, 1887. His education was attained at Emporia State College and at the University of Kansas, where he earned a law degree in 1914. He established his legal career in Hutchinson, serving as the assistant county attorney from 1915 to 1919. He also served as city attorney from 1919 to 1921. Huxman entered politics in 1928, as an unsuccessful candidate for justice of the Kansas State Supreme Court. In 1931, he secured an appointment to the Kansas Tax Commission, a position he held until 1932 and which also brought him notable attention for his successful prosecution against the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad. After emerging as an accomplished keynote speaker and chairman at the 1936 Democratic State Convention, Huxman was drafted as the gubernatorial candidate. He won election and was sworn into the governorship on January 11, 1937. During his tenure, a sales tax token system was initiated, a uniform highway safety law was sanctioned, World War I soldier bonuses were paid, ad valorem tax charges were implemented, unemployment compensations benefits were approved, prohibition laws loosened, a new textbook commission was organized, and drivers' license regulations were amended. After running unsuccessfully for reelection, Huxman left office on January 9, 1938. He secured an appointment to the bench of the 10th U.S. District Court in Topeka, a position he held from 1939 to 1962. Governor Walter A. Huxman passed away on June 26, 1972, and was buried at the Memorial Park Cemetery in Topeka, Kansas.

Sources:

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

Kansas State Historical Society

Federal Judicial Center

The Political Graveyard