Senator Xavier Thomas Prentis View All Years

Compiled Historical Information
Date of Death: 10/9/1978
Birth Place: Benton, Iowa
Birth County: Ringgold
Party Affiliation: Republican
Assemblies Served:
Senate: 53 (1949) - 59 (1961)
House: 48 (1939) - 51 (1945)
Home County: Ringgold
Family Members Who Served in the Iowa Legislature: Uncle: Percy L. Prentis; GAs 26 - 28
Xavier Thomas Prentis
Ringgold County


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

X T Prentis was born September 2, 1896, in Benton, Ringgold County, Iowa, the son of Glazier and Louisa Sams Prentis. He attended public schools in Ringgold County and the University of Iowa in Iowa City. He served in the United States Army and was employed by the United States Department of Labor for two years during World War I. In 1919, he was married to Gladys Tennant; they had two sons and two daughters.

Mr. Prentis’ given name was X T. The X and T were his grandfather’s initials and were passed on to him as his full name, a situation which caused him some problems, particularly when he was in the Army.

Mr. Prentis was reared on a farm and was interested in livestock and poultry production. He owned and operated the Prentis baby chick hatcheries and feed business in Mount Ayr for 40 years. He also represented the Buckeye Incubator Company in Iowa and Missouri and was district sales manager for 17 years. He served as president of the Iowa Poultry Improvement Association, and was a member of the Farm Bureau, the American Legion, the Mount Ayr Library Board, the Masonic Lodge and the Baptist Church.

In 1938, he was elected to represent Ringgold, Decatur and Union Counties in the Iowa House of Representatives and served there during the Forty-eighth through the Fifty-first General Assemblies. He was the Republican floor leader during the Fifty-first General Assembly. In 1948, he was elected to the Iowa Senate and served that body during the Fifty-third through the Fifty-ninth General Assemblies. In 1961, he was appointed to the Iowa State Tax Commission for a six-year term, and served as its chairman for two years.

During his tenure in the Senate, Mr. Prentis was a member of practically every standing committee, and was chairman of the very important committees on Governmental Affairs, Ways and Means, Appropriations and Tax Revision. He was a member of the powerful Budget and Financial Control Committee, the Legislative Research Committee, and chairman of the interim Iowa Tax Study Committee and the Government Reorganization Committee (nicknamed the Little Hoover Commission).

X T Prentis died at a Mount Ayr hospital on October 9, 1978, at the age of 82. He is survived by his widow, Gladys; two sons, Richard T. of Mount Ayr and Raymond E. of Ottumwa; two daughters, Anne Prentis Wittmann of Stamford, Connecticut, and Jean Prentis Reger of Horseheads, New York; eleven grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved by the Senate of the Sixty-eighth General Assembly of Iowa: That in the passing of the Honorable X T Prentis, the State has lost an honored citizen and a faithful and useful public servant, and the Senate by this resolution would express its appreciation of his services to his community, state and nation and tender its sympathy to the members of his family.

Be It Further Resolved: That a copy of this resolution be spread upon the Journal of the Senate and that the Secretary of the Senate be instructed to forward an enrolled copy to each member of his family.

DICK R. RAMSEY, Chairperson




The resolution was unanimously adopted.