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William Randolph Carpenter

Politician. Democrat. Born: April 24, 1894, Marion, Kansas. Died: July 26, 1956, Topeka, Kansas. Served in U.S. House of Representatives, 4th District: March 4, 1933, to January 3, 1937.

William R. Carpenter, a two-term Democratic congressman from Marion, was born April 24, 1894, in Marion, Marion County, Kansas, and there received a public school education. He then graduated from the law department of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1917 and was admitted to the bar, returning to Marion that same year to start a legal practice and pursue his agricultural interests. But Carpenter's civilian career was interrupted by military service. He organized Company M, Third Infantry Regiment, Kansas National Guard, and served as its second lieutenant. During the World War he was transferred to Company M, One Hundred and Thirty-ninth Infantry, Thirty-fifth Division, and was promoted to first lieutenant during the Argonne offensive, and served until his discharge on May 8, 1919. He served as a member of the Marion Board of Education (1925-1933) and the state house of representatives (1929-1933), before being elected to Congress in 1932 (served, March 4, 1933-January 3, 1937). Carpenter chose not to seek renomination in 1936 and resumed the practice of law. Carpenter was United States attorney for the district of Kansas (1945-1948), an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for governor in 1948, and a member of the United States Motor Carrier Claims Commission (1950-1952). He died in Topeka, Kansas, on July 26, 1956.

Entry: Carpenter, William Randolph

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: June 2011

Date Modified: May 2012

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.