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Governor of Kansas, 1937-1939
Walter Augustus Huxman was born in Pretty Prairie, Kansas, on February 16, 1887. After completing his basic education he went on to Emporia State College, and then to the University of Kansas School of Law. He graduated from the latter in 1914, and was admitted to the Kansas State Bar Association in 1915. On January 21, 1915, he married Eula M. Biggs, with whom he subsequently had one daughter, Ruth.
Soon after receiving his license to practice law, Huxman became an Assistant Prosecutor for Reno County (Kansas), and he served in that capacity until entering private practice in Hutchinson, Kansas, in 1919. He was appointed City Attorney for Hutchinson in that same year, and served in that capacity until 1921.
Huxman first entered politics in 1928, when he was an unsuccessful candidate for Justice of the Kansas State Supreme Court.
Huxman's next venture into politics came in 1931, when he was appointed to the Kansas State Tax Commission. During his one-year term, he gained notoriety 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 in as Governor of Kansas 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, 1939.
On April 29, 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt nominated Huxman as Associate Justice for the Tenth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on May 17, and was sworn into office on May 23. He was elevated to Senior Justice on May 1, 1957, and served in that capacity until 1962.
Walter A. Huxman died in Topeka, Kansas, on June 26, 1972, and was buried in that city's Memorial Park Cemetery.
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This page was last updated on June 21, 2017.