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William Edwin Chilton (March 17, 1858 – November 7, 1939) was a United States Senator from West Virginia. Born in Colesmouth, Virginia (now St. Albans, West Virginia), he attended public and private schools and graduated from Shelton College in St. Albans. He taught school, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1880, commencing practice in Charleston, West Virginia in 1882. He also engaged in the newspaper publishing business, and was prosecuting attorney of Kanawha County in 1883. In 1892 he was chairman of the Democratic State executive committee and was Secretary of State of West Virginia from 1893 to 1897.

William Chilton
Secretary of the Senate Democratic Caucus
In office
March 4, 1911 – March 4, 1913
LeaderThomas S. Martin
Preceded byRobert Latham Owen
Succeeded byWillard Saulsbury Jr.
United States Senator
from West Virginia
In office
March 4, 1911 – March 4, 1917
Preceded byNathan B. Scott
Succeeded byHoward Sutherland
Secretary of State of West Virginia
In office
March 4, 1893 – March 4, 1897
GovernorWilliam A. MacCorkle
Succeeded byWilliam M. O. Dawson
Personal details
William Edwin Chilton

(1858-03-17)March 17, 1858
Colesmouth, Virginia, U.S. (now St. Albans, West Virginia)
DiedNovember 7, 1939(1939-11-07) (aged 81)
Charleston, West Virginia, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationShelton College (BA)

Chilton was elected as a Democrat to the U.S. Senate and served from March 4, 1911, to March 3, 1917; while in the Senate, he was chairman of the Committee on Census (Sixty-third and Sixty-fourth Congresses) and of the Committee on Printing (Sixty-fourth Congress), and also served on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Chilton's bid for reelection in 1916 failed; he unsuccessfully contested the election of his opponent, Howard Sutherland.

After Chilton's term in the Senate, he resumed the practice of law and the newspaper publishing business in Charleston. He was an unsuccessful candidate for election to the Senate in 1924 and again in 1934. He died in Charleston in 1939; interment was in Teay's Hill Cemetery, St. Albans.

His parents' house at St. Albans, known as the Chilton House, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.[1]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.

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Political offices
Preceded by
William Ohley
Secretary of State of West Virginia
Succeeded by
William M. O. Dawson
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Nathan B. Scott
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from West Virginia
Served alongside: Clarence W. Watson, Nathan Goff Jr.
Succeeded by
Howard Sutherland
Preceded by
Robert M. La Follette Sr.
Chair of the Senate Census Committee
Succeeded by
Morris Sheppard
Preceded by
Duncan U. Fletcher
Chair of the Senate Printing Committee
Succeeded by
Marcus A. Smith
Party political offices
Preceded by
Robert Latham Owen
Secretary of the Senate Democratic Caucus
Succeeded by
Willard Saulsbury Jr.
First Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from West Virginia
(Class 1)

Succeeded by
Matthew M. Neely