Famous Hoosiers: Winfield Denton

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

Throughout the two hundred year history, there have been numerous politicians serving and representing the state of Indiana. As we continue our series, “Famous Hoosiers”, we are discussing another Tri-State and Evansville native, Winfield Denton.

Headshot photograph of Winfield Denton, 1957. Credit: Pocket Congressional Directory (1957)

Winfield Denton was born on October 28, 1896 to George and Sara Denton. Denton served in World War 1 and World War 2 in the United States Army. He attended and graduated from DePauw University in 1919 and Harvard University in 1922, receiving his J.D. After graduating, he opened a law firm in Evansville and served as prosecuting attorney for Vanderburgh County in 1932 to 1936. His local position proved to be stepping-stone for future endeavors in politics (Biographical Directory, n.d.;, 2006).

His political career started as a representative as a Democrat at the Indiana House of Representative in 1937 until 1942; moreover, Denton served as the minority leader in 1941 and as a member of the Indiana Budget Committee in 1937 to 1942. From there, Denton served at the House of Representatives of Indiana’s Eighth District in Washington, D.C. for eight two-year terms, 1949-1953 and 1955-1967. Denton passed away on November 2, 1971 in Evansville, Indiana (Biographical Directory, n.d.; Representative Winfield Denton, n.d.). The federal building and U.S. Courthouse in downtown Evansville is named in his honor.

Re-Election Pamphlet for Denton, n.d. Credit:

Inside of Denton’s collection at the University Archives and Special Collections, are some legislature proposals and personal correspondences during his time in the Indiana House of Representatives. These papers are available to the public for viewing and research.


Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. (n.d.). Denton, Winfield Kirkpatrick (1896-1971). Retrieved (2006 February 28). Winfield Kirkpatrick Denton. Retrieved from

Representative Winfield Denton (n.d.). Retrieved from