Born in Mankato, Kansas, Smith attended a public school and graduated from Mankato High School. During the First World War he served in the United States Army as a combat infantry officer from May 11, 1917, to September 4, 1919, with twenty-four months’ service overseas. He attended the University of Kansas in 1920 and the Yale Law School in 1922. He was admitted to the bar in 1923 and commenced practice in Kansas City, Kansas. He was admitted to practice in all federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court in 1934. From 1931 to 1940 he served as assistant attorney general and he was attorney for the Kansas Highway Commission from 1932 to 1940.
In 1933, the Kansas Legislature authorized the Highway Commission to hire 10 motor vehicle inspectors, increasing this number to 26 by November 1933. The legislation authorizing these inspectors charged them with the duty to patrol state highways as much as possible. In 1935, Governor Alfred Landon issued orders to the inspectors to “curb banditry” as far as the law would permit. With Landon’s support, and statewide police jurisdiction, the inspectors’ war on crime began.
Wint Smith, as chief of the legal department of the Highway Commission, served as director of the motor vehicle inspectors until the formation of the Kansas Highway Patrol in 1937.
During the Second World War, from May 1941 to December 1945, he served as lieutenant colonel and commanding officer of the 635th Tank Destroyer Battalion, with twenty-two months’ service overseas. When he retired he was a brigadier general, and he resumed the practicing of law.
Smith was elected as a Republican to the 80th United States Congress and to the six succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1947 – January 3, 1961). He was not a candidate for renomination in 1960 to the Eighty-seventh Congress and was succeeded by fellow Republican Robert J. Dole of Russell. He subsequently returned to his home in Mankato and engaged in farming and ranching.
- United States Congress. “Wint Smith (id: S000640)”. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kansas’s 6th congressional district
This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.