Biography of Kenneth E. Baughman


Kenneth Eugene Baughman was born in the Lutheran Hospital, Ft Dodge, Iowa, on November 18, 1939, to Catherine (Pratt) and Jess Baughman, and was raised with his brother Alan Baughman on the family farm in Center Township, Calhoun County, Iowa.  He attended Center Township Number 3 country school, and graduated from Manson Community High School in 1958.  While in high school he participated in debate, was a manager of the basketball team, and was President of his FFA chapter.  He also showed 4-H cattle at the Calhoun County Exposition in Rockwell City and was a 4-H grain judge at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines.

When he was a junior in high school in 1957 he joined the Iowa Air National Guard 133rd A.C. & W. Flight, stationed at Ft Dodge, Iowa.  He was honorably discharged from the USAF Reserve in 1963.

He received a scholarship from the Iowa Grain Dealers Association to attend Iowa State College where he majored in agricultural business and economics.  He became a member of Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity where he lived for four years.  He was a member of the Block and Bridle Animal Science Club, the Agricultural Business Club and was initiated into Alpha Zeta agricultural honorary fraternity. He also served as Business Manager for the Interfraternity Council, was the Business Manager and Treasurer of Alpha Gamma Rho, and was initiated into  Gamma Gamma Greek honorary fraternity.  While attending Iowa State University he lettered in intercollegiate debating and was for two years a farm market news reporter for WOI Radio and Television and the ISU agricultural Extension Service and the United States Department of Agriculture, working under pioneer radio broadcaster, R.C. (Cap) Bentley.  He was graduated from Iowa State University with a B.S. Degree in Agriculture in 1962.

He was thereafter admitted to the University of Illinois College of Law at Champaign, Illinois, in 1962 and graduated with an LLB in 1965.  While there he worked in the Agricultural Law Department at the University of Illinois College of Agriculture under N.G.P. Krausz.  He was initiated into Phi Alpha Delta legal fraternity.  Upon graduation he was admitted to the bars of the states of Iowa and Illinois, and subsequently was admitted to the Bars of the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Central and Southern Districts of Illinois, the Northern District of Iowa, and the U.S. Court of Appeals of the Eighth and Seventh Circuits.  He served as an Assistant States Attorney in the Counties of De Witt, Tazewell and Champaign Counties, being First Assistant States Attorney in Champaign County, from 1968-71.  In his forty years of the practice of law he has maintained offices in Springfield, Decatur, Monticello, Champaign & Danville, Illinois, serving over 20,000 clients.

In 1978 he was the Democratic Nominee for Congress from the 21st Congressional District of Illinois, which included Champaign, Bloomington, and Decatur.  In 1980 he appeared on a 60 Minutes television show with Harry Reasoner, which he helped Paul Loewenwarter produce.  He has written numerous articles for the Illinois Mennonite Historical Society and made many acquaintances on Mennonite Way trips he has made to Germany, France and Switzerland.  He spear headed a legal action that saved Allerton Park from a flood control project forever.

He is a member of the Wesley United Methodist Church in Urbana, the Piatt County Farm Bureau, the Champaign Urbana Kiwanis Club, the Western Star Lodge A.F. & A.M. in Champaign, the Ansar Shrine in Springfield, the Hamm-Burke American Legion Post in Monticello, Illinois, and The World Jewish Congress.

While attending Iowa State University he met Ann Louise Smith who was raised on a farm near West Bend, Iowa, and was a graduate of Algona, High School.  They were married at the Methodist Church in Algona, Iowa, on June 7th,1964, and were married for 36 years until her untimely death in Monticello, Illinois, in 2000.  She was the Home Economics teacher in the Monticello High School and 23 years and served as president of the Illinois Home Economic Teachers Association.  They have one daughter, Marguerite who resides in Redlands, California.  He married Rita Baughman in 2001.



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