Charles R. Hewins is in point of continuous service one of the oldest educators in Kansas. His work had been accomplished almost entirely within the limits of Doniphan County. For thirty years he had been connected with the schools of that county and in November, 1916, he was elected county superintendent, beginning May 14, 1917.
Mr. Hewins represents a pioneer family of Northeastern Kansas, and his own birth occurred near Wathena on December 1, 1866. His family were Colonial settlers in Maine from England. His grandfather, John A. Hewins, Sr., was a native of Maine, followed farming in that state all his life and died at Augusta in 1879. He married Roxanna Day, also a native of Maine, who died near Augusta.
J. A. Hewins, father of Professor Hewins, was born near Augusta, Maine, in 1828, grew up in the Pine Tree State and arrived in Kansas in the spring of 1866, the same year that his son Charles R. was born. He was one of the early farmers in the vicinity of Wathena, and supent many industrious years in that locality, where he died in 1914. He was an old soldier of the Union, having enlisted from Iowa in 1861 in Company I of the Twenty-first Iowa Infantry. He was through all the war and most of his service was on the western border along the Mississippi. He participated in the movement to keep Price’s army out of Kansas. Politically he was a republican and was a member of the Baptist Church. J. A. Hewins married Susan Rappelye, who was born near Penn Yan, New York, in 1843 and died at their home near Wathena in 1909. To their marriage were born three children: Charles R.; Ella, wife of Joseph Cordonier, a farmer near Wathena; and John, who is engaged in farming near Knoxville, Tennessee.
Charles R. Hewins grew up on his father’s farm in Doniphan County, attended the rural schools there, and in 1885 graduated from the high school of St. Joseph, Missouri. After high school he took up teaching in Kansas, and at intervals attended college to supplement his earlier advantages. For two years he was a student in the noted old Park College at Parkville, Missouri, and for one year attended Campbell University at Holton, Kansas. His thirty years of experience as a teacher in Doniphan County includes nine years of rural sehools and for twenty-one consecutive years he was principal of the Severance High School. Thus to his present office of county superintendent he brought an unexcelled experience and understanding of all local conditions, and the school system of the county may be naturally expected to derive vast good and benefit from his administration. As county superintendent his supervision extends to eighty schools, a total enrollment of 3,900 pupils and a teaching staff of 135.
Mr. Hewins is a republican in politics. He is an active member of the Doniphan County and Kansas State Teachers’ associations. While a teacher is usually a poor man, Mr. Hewins had exercised a commendable degree of thrift, and besides his home at Troy, Kansas, he owned a well improved farm of 160 acres in Union Township of Doniphan County.
Mr. Hewins married in this county in 1900 Miss Delia A. Heeney, member of the well known pioneer Heeney family. She is a daughter of Barney and Mary (O’Neil) Heeney, both now deceased. Her father located on a farm in Doniphan County in 1859, before Kansas became a state.