Waitman T. Willey

Waitman T. Willey bigraphy, stories - American politician

Waitman T. Willey : biography

October 18, 1811 – May 2, 1900

Waitman Thomas Willey (October 18, 1811May 2, 1900) was an American lawyer and politician from Morgantown, West Virginia. He represented both the states of Virginia and West Virginia in the United States Senate and was one of West Virginia’s first two Senators.

Willey was born in 1811, in a log cabin near the present day Farmington, West Virginia. He graduated from Madison College (later Allegheny College) at Uniontown, Pennsylvania, and settled at Morgantown in 1833. He built the Waitman T. Willey House in 1839-1840; it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. From 1841 to 1852 he served as Clerk of the County Court of Monongalia County and in 1852 was the Whig candidate for Congress. He became an activist at the First Wheeling Convention for West Virginia statehood. The "Restored Government of Virginia" elected him to the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy of Senator James M. Mason. He was later elected to serve as one of the first two U. S. Senators from West Virginia (1863–1871). On May 29, 1862, Willey presented the petition to Congress for the creation of West Virginia.