Father of the Highway Marker Program

Historical Marker #1420 in Frankfort honors Walter Allerton Wentworth, who was known as the father of the Kentucky Historical Highway Marker Program.

A native of New Hampshire, Wentworth was a graduate of Iowa State University and received his master's degree from Michigan State University. For nearly thirty years he was the director of public relations for the Borden Company in New York. During World War II he was a Zone Commander for Civil Defense in New York City. His wife, the former Aubyn Chinn Watson, was a native of Frankfort. When Wentworth retired from Borden in 1956, he and his wife moved to the capital.

Wentworth was active in the Sons of the American Revolution, serving as President General of the National Society from 1958 to 1959, and as president of the Isaac Shelby Chapter. He was chairman of the Frankfort Municipal Housing Commission for eight years and was also a long-time member of the advisory committee of the Salvation Army. He was a member of the Civil War Round Table and an Elder and Trustee of the First Presbyterian Church, in Frankfort.

In 1962, after serving a four-year term on the Kentucky Historical Society’s Executive Committee, Wentworth was elected chairman of the Kentucky Historical Highway Marker Program. At that time, eighty percent of the few highway markers in existence were within a thirty-mile radius of Lexington. Under his leadership, nearly one thousand historical markers were added, ensuring that every county in Kentucky had at least one marker. Wentworth served as chairman of the program until his death on May 11, 1971, at the age of 82.

Today, it is fitting that W. A. Wentworth is commemorated with his own historical marker.



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