Senator J. (James) Kendall Lynes View All Years

Compiled Historical Information
Date of Death: 5/5/1962
Birth Place: Plainville, Iowa
Party Affiliation: Republican
Assemblies Served:
Senate: 49 (1941) - 59 (1961)
Home County: Bremer
Family Members Who Served in the Iowa Legislature: Brother: William S. Lynes; GAs 52 - 55; 59
J. (James) Kendall Lynes
Bremer County


MR. PRESIDENT: Your committee, appointed to prepare a suitable resolution commemorating the life, character and public service of the late Honorable J. Kendall Lynes, begs leave to submit the following memorial:

James Kendall Lynes, familiarly known since boyhood as Buster, was born on March 22, 1903, in Plainfield, Iowa. He was the son of James Jay Lynes and his wife Jennie, nee Vosseller, and the fourth child in the family of seven children. When he was two years old the family moved to a farm south of Plainfield where the deceased spent his boyhood years, enjoying his father’s interest in fine horses and often accompanying him on exhibition trips. He attended the Plainfield Public school and was graduated from the high school at the age of fifteen. He then attended the Cedar Valley Seminary at Osage.

At the age of sixteen, with his brother Leonard as a partner, he became actively engaged in farming and in the breeding of purebred Ayrshire cattle which he exhibited with great pride in the Midwestern and Western states. He was also a past director of the National Ayrshire Breeders Association and had sold Ayrshire cattle in many parts of the country.

On June 30, 1926, he was united in marriage to Miss Lenora Kuethe in St. Paul’s Church with pastor Fred Kuethe, uncle of the bride, officiating. To this union three children were born, one daughter, Lorraine and two sons, J. William and Carl Wallace. Their entire married life was spent on the family farm south of Plainfield. On December 10, 1933, he entered the fellowship of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Waverly by instruction in the Christian faith, and through the sacrament of Baptism. He continued his membership faithfully and was twice elected to the church council, serving as a trustee at the time of his death.

The deceased lived a busy life, following many interests and accepting many responsibilities. From 1940 until the time of his death he served without interruption as State Senator from his district and became widely known as an outstanding legislator. He was proud of the fact that he had achieved twenty-two (22) years of continuous Senate service at the youngest age of any of Iowa’s longtime legislators. He capped his legislative career as President pro-tempore of the Iowa Senate in 1959, and majority floor leader in the 1961 sesion. Even though the legislature meets only once every two years, Buster made politics a full time job. He was beginning his second four year term on the Legislative Interim Committee after the close of the 1961 session, which committee meets regularly during the interim. At the conclusion of the 1961 General Assembly, Senator Lynes received a significant recognition by being honored by the representatives of the press, radio and television as the outstanding legislator of the Fifty-ninth General Assembly.

The interests and activities and public services in which he was involved during his busy lifetime were many and varied. His life was filled with adventure and excitement. As a youth the powerfully built Lynes had a reputation as a “strong man” who accepted challenges of boxers and wrestlers at county fairs. He reportedly was never defeated.

He participated freely and constructively in the life of his community, he served his district and the State of Iowa with distinction, he was beloved in his church. Many honors came to him but they came to him only because he worked hard and followed a predictable path of integrity. He took great pride in having been elected an honorary member of the Iowa Bar Association at the closing of the 1961 session. His massive personality made him a man to be remembered.

On Saturday, May 5, he followed his usual rugged schedule, including a trip to Des Moines. Greatly fatigued he retired early and passed from this life peacefully in his sleep sometime before 11:00 p.m. He had attained the age of fifty-nine years, one month and thirteen days.

He is survived by his widow, his daughter, Lorraine (Mrs. Lee Chester), his two sons, William and Wallace and five grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved by the Senate of the Sixtieth General Assembly of Iowa: That in the passing of the Honorable J. Kendall Lynes, the State has lost an honored citizen and a dedicated public servant, and the Senate, by this resolution, expresses its appreciation of his service, and would tender its sympathy to the members of his family.

Be It Further Resolved: That a copy of this resolution be printed in the Journal of the Senate and that the Secretary of the Senate be directed to forward an enrolled copy of this resolution to each member of the family of the deceased.





The resolution was unanimously adopted.