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W. Arthur Winstead

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

William Arthur Winstead
W. Arthur Winstead.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Mississippi's 4th district
In office
January 3, 1963 – January 3, 1965
Preceded byJohn Bell Williams
Succeeded byPrentiss Walker
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Mississippi's 5th district
In office
January 3, 1943 – January 3, 1963
Preceded byRoss Collins
Succeeded byWilliam M. Colmer
Personal details
Born(1904-01-06)January 6, 1904
Philadelphia, Mississippi, USA
DiedMarch 14, 1995(1995-03-14) (aged 91)
Philadelphia, Mississippi
Resting placeCedar Lawn Cemetery in Philadelphia, Mississippi
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materClark Memorial College

University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa

University of Southern Mississippi
OccupationFarmer, educator
Automobile dealer

William Arthur Winstead (January 6, 1904 – March 14, 1995) was a farmer and politician, elected as U.S. Representative from Mississippi's 4th congressional district, serving from 1943 to 1965. He surprisingly lost the 1964 election by a substantial margin, when his Republican opponent, Prentiss Walker, benefited by voters supporting Barry Goldwater in his presidential campaign in the state.

Early life and education

Born near Philadelphia, Mississippi, Winstead attended the public schools, Clarke Memorial College in Newton, Mississippi; and the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. He graduated in 1931 from the University of Southern Mississippi, then known as Mississippi Southern College, at Hattiesburg.

Winstead was a farmer. In his first elected office, he became the superintendent of education in his native Neshoba County, serving from 1935 to 1942.

Political career

Winstead was elected as a Democrat to the Seventy-eighth and to the ten succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1943 – January 3, 1965). Like nearly all other Mississippi Democrats, he was an ardent segregationist and signed the Southern Manifesto after the United States Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) that segregated schools were unconstitutional.

Having won the Democratic Party primary in what was essentially a one-party state since the state constitution's effective disfranchisement of blacks in 1890, Winstead was unopposed in his first bid for Congress. With its backing at that time almost entirely African-American, the Republican Party had become comatose after disfranchisement of almost all of its base and most of its membership.[1] Democratic nomination subsequently became tantamount to election, thus, Winstead faced an opponent once during his ten successful campaigns.

However, in 1964, Winstead was defeated by Republican challenger Prentiss Walker by a shocking 11-point margin.[2] Winstead was swept out in large part from the district and state swinging dramatically to support Barry Goldwater's presidential bid. Goldwater carried over half of Mississippi's counties by over 90 percent of the vote.

Return to private life

Winstead resumed agricultural pursuits. He later became an automobile dealer. From 1968 to 1971, he was appointed as the commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Public Welfare under Governor John Bell Williams, one of his former U.S. House colleagues.

Winstead died at the age of ninety-one in Philadelphia, Mississippi. He is interred there at Cedar Lawn Cemetery.


  1. ^ Phillips, Kevin P.; The Emerging Republican Majority, pp. 208, 210 ISBN 9780691163246
  2. ^ Our Campaigns; Arthur Winstead
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Ross Collins
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Mississippi's 5th congressional district

Succeeded by
William M. Colmer
Preceded by
John B. Williams
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Mississippi's 4th congressional district

Succeeded by
Prentiss Walker

This page was last edited on 9 February 2020, at 22:33
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