Payne Harry Ratner

Payne Ratner
28th Governor of Kansas
In office
January 9, 1939 – January 11, 1943
Lieutenant Carl E. Friend
Preceded by Walter A. Huxman
Succeeded by Andrew F. Schoeppel
Personal details
Born October 3, 1896
Casey, Illinois
Died December 27, 1974 (aged 78)
Wichita, Kansas
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Cliffe Dodd
Profession attorney, politician
Religion Disciples of Christ

Payne Harry Ratner (October 3, 1896 – December 27, 1974) was the 28th Governor of Kansas from 1939 to 1943.


Born in Casey, Illinois, Ratner graduated from Blackwell High School in Oklahoma. During World War I he served as an ensign in the U.S. Navy. He earned a law degree at Washington University in St. Louis in 1920.[1] He married Cliffe Dodd on August 21, 1920[2] and they had three children, Jurie, Teno, and Darb.


Ratner practiced law in Sibley, Iowa, and then in Parsons, Kansas. In Parsons, he was the Labette County Attorney from 1923 to 1927. He was elected as a Republican to the Kansas State Senate in 1929 and also served as State Senator from 1937 to 1939.[3]

Winning the 1938 Republican gubernatorial nomination and the election, Ratner was sworn in as Governor of Kansas on January 9, 1939. He was reelected in 1940. During his tenure, a department of labor was established, a department of revenue and taxation was organized, the highway commission was given authority over the vehicle department, a teacher's pension plan was implemented, a small permanent building fund for schools was authorized, and the state fire marshal's office, the hotel commission, and the inspector of restaurants were re-established.[4] He left office on January 11, 1943 and retired from politics. In 1962 Ratner was indicted on unethical legal activities; the case was dismissed; and he was cleared of all charges.


Ratner died in 1974 in Wichita, Kansas. He is interred at the Wichita Park Cemetery and Mausoleum, Wichita, Sedgwick County, Kansas USA.[5]


External links

  • [1] National Governors Association website
  • [2] Famous Folks of Parsons, Kansas
  • Find-A-Grave profile for Payne Ratner
  • The Political Graveyard

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