William R. Orthwein

William Robert Orthwein (October 16, 1881 – October 2, 1955) was an American sportsman, attorney, business executive and political activist.

William R. Orthwein
Personal information
Full nameWilliam Robert Orthwein
National teamUnited States
Born(1881-10-16)October 16, 1881
St. Louis, Missouri
DiedOctober 2, 1955(1955-10-02) (aged 73)
St. Louis, Missouri
StrokesBackstroke, freestyle, water polo
ClubMissouri Athletic Club
College teamYale University

Early life

William Robert Orthwein was born on October 16, 1881. His father, William D. Orthwein, was a German-born grain merchant.

Orthwein graduated from Yale University.[1] While at Yale in November 1902, he was arrested on charges of assaulting a ticket seller for a Yale-Harvard football game;[2] one month later, he was fined for it.[3]

Orthwein competed in the 1904 Summer Olympics as a freestyle and backstroke swimmer and water polo player.[1] He won a bronze medals as a member of American 4x50-yard freestyle relay team and as a member of the Missouri Athletic Club water polo team. He also finished fourth in the 100-yard backstroke.[1]

Orthwein received a law degree from the Washington University School of Law.[1]


Orthwein was an attorney.[4] He served as the vice president and general counsel of the Kinloch Telephone Company in 1920.[5] In that capacity, he refused to sell the business to the Bell Telephone Company.[5]

During World War II, he served as a supply commissioner for the City of St. Louis.[4] Meanwhile, Orthwein joined the Republican Party.[4] In 1948, he ran unsuccessful for the nomination of lieutenant-governor.[4][6]

Personal life

Orthwein married Nina Kent Baldwin. They had a son, William R. Orthwein, Jr..[1]


Orthwein died on October 2, 1955 at the Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.[4]


  1. "Bill Orthwein". Sports Reference. Retrieved October 8, 2015.
  2. "For Attacking Speculators. Prominent Yale Students Placed Under Arrest". The Bismarck Tribune. Bismarck, North Dakota. November 26, 1902. p. 1. Retrieved October 7, 2015 via Newspapers.com.
  3. "STUDENTS FINED. Yale Men Pay for Assaulting a Ticket Speculator". The Idaho Statesman. Boise City, Idaho. December 13, 1902. p. 1. Retrieved October 7, 2015 via Newspapers.com.
  4. "St. Louis Attorney, GOP Leader, Dies". Moberly Monitor-Index. Moberly, Missouri. October 3, 1955. p. 5. Retrieved October 7, 2015 via Newspapers.com.
  5. "Kinloch Sale Here Denied By Orthwein: "Absolutely No Grounds" for Reports, Says Kinloch Official, In Letter to Telegraph. Chiefs' Reply Is Delayed: Bell Company Head Says "Unforeseen Complications" Have Prevented Completing of Plan". Alton Evening Telegraph. Alton, Illinois. July 12, 1920. p. 1. Retrieved October 9, 2015 via Newspapers.com.
  6. "Unofficial County Election Vote". The Sedalia Democrat. Sedalia, Missouri. August 4, 1948. p. 1. Retrieved October 9, 2015 via Newspapers.com.

See also

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