Biography of Hon. William A. Kittinger
HON. WILLIAM A. KITTINGER. A former state senator from Madison County, ex-prosecuting attorney of Madison and Hamilton counties, and for many years closely connected with the political and public affairs of the County, Mr. Kittinger has been both a prominent and useful citizen of Anderson for more than four decades, and throughout that time has practiced his profession of the law. As a criminal lawyer Mr. Kittinger is probably unsurpassed in this section of Indiana, and is a man of the highest standing in his profession and as a citizen.
Mr. Kittinger was not born to fortune, and probably few successful men in Madison County today have overcome during their youth more obstacles than Mr. Kittinger. He was born in Wayne County, near Richmond, Indiana, October 17, 1849. His father, John Smith, was a native of Germany, a shoe maker by trade and after coming to America settled at Richmond, Indiana. There he married Miss Delilah Turk, who was born in Virginia, where her father died, and was brought by her mother to Wayne County, Indiana, where she grew to womanhood. She died in 1850, when her son William was about one year old, and the father John Smith then returned to Germany, in order to secure his interests in an estate, but was never heard of again, after leaving Indiana. He left behind two children, the oldest of whom, Thomas, died at the age of three years. William A., an orphan baby, was taken into the home of William L. Kittinger, and in this way he adopted the name by which he is now known and honored. Mr. Kittinger in 1855 moved to Henry County, Indiana, and was engaged as a saw mill operator and fanner near Middletown. In that vicinity, William A. grew up and as an orphan boy without influential relatives or friends had only limited advantages and nearly all his time was taken for the work about the home and farm, so that his schooling was very meagre. Industry, ambition and perseverance have always been qualities of his character, and it is owing to these faculties that he won a successful position in life against many and heavy odds. He finally gained a sufficient education to enable him to teach school, and when eighteen years old taught in Union Township of Madison County, and was afterwards similarly employed in Lafayette Township. The summer seasons were spent in farm work and in reading law, and while a very young man he also became interested in the ministry and was licensed to preach in the Christian church. His first license Was obtained in Darke County, Ohio, and his second at Richmond, Indiana, and for two summers he supplied vacant pulpits in different sections of the state. Finally Mr. Kittinger took up the study of law in the office of Judge E. B. Goodykoontz at Anderson. On August 2, 1872, he was admitted to practice, and at once moved to Missouri, and opened an office at Bolivar in Polk County. He had just begun to get acquainted and earn his first fees in Polk County when a telegram announced the failure of theank at Anderson in which his money was deposited, and he at once returned to the city, in order to look after his hard earned savings. On his return he took up the practice of law, and in that way has been engaged in his profession in this city for forty years.
Many important public services have interrupted the career of Mr. Kittinger in his regular profession. He was elected in October, 1880, prosecuting attorney for the twenty-fourth judicial circuit including Hamilton and Madison counties. He was reelected to the position in 1882, and gave a very satisfactory account of his administration during four years. After leaving the office he formed a partnership with Judge R. Lake, which lasted six months. He then fitted up all office of his own on the southside of the public square, but the building in which he was located was burned to the ground in less than a month after he had occupied the office, and he suffered a heavy loss for him at that stage of his career. February 1, 1886, he became a partner of L. M. Schwinn, and the firm of Kittinger & Schwinn became recognized as one of the strongest aggregations of legal talent in this section of the state. Through all these years his reputation was growing as a criminal lawyer, and at the present time there is no abler practitioner in this special department in central Indiana than William A. Kittinger.
Mr. Kittinger was in politics a Democrat until 1878, and from that time forward allied himself with the Republicans. In 1888-90 he served as secretary of the Republican County Central Committee and is regarded as one of the strongest and most influential workers for his party in Madison County. In 1888 he was nominated on the Republican ticket representative to the legislature and led his party ticket by about one hundred ‘and twenty-five ballots, though he was unable to overcome the Democratic majority in the County. In 1900 he was elected to the state senate from Madison County and in 1904 he was renominated for this office, and thus served for eight years his term as state senator ending January, 1908, In 1908 Mr. Kittinger was nominated and elected state senator on the senatorial district, and as a legislator has an excellent record.
At Columbus Grove, Ohio, September 9, 1874, Mr. Kittinger married Miss Martha E. Kunneke, who was born in Dayton, Ohio, and reared in Columbus Grove. The three children of Mr. Kittinger now living are: Theodore, a graduate of the Annapolis Naval Academy of Annapolis, Maryland; Leslie F., Tschentscher of Chicago, Ill., and Helen M. the wife of Blanchard J. Horne. Mr. Kittinger is a Scottish Rite Mason and a Shriner. He is affiliated with Mt. Moriah Lodge No. 77 A. F. & A. M., in which he served as master of the lodge; with Anderson Chapter of which he is a past-high priest; and Anderson Commandery No. 32 K. T. Of which he has been eminent commander. He also is a member of the Order of The Eastern Star and has a membership in the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and with the Rebekahs. He is one of the well known members of the County Bar Association.