DAVIS, John William, Congress, WV (1873-1955)


DAVIS, John William, (son of John James Davis), a Representative from West Virginia; born in Clarksburg, Harrison County, W.Va., April 13, 1873; attended various private schools; was graduated from the literary department of Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Va., in 1892; taught school; reentered the university and was graduated from its law department in 1895; was admitted to the bar the same year and commenced practice in Clarksburg, W.Va.; professor of law at Washington and Lee University in 1896 and 1897; resumed the practice of law in Clarksburg, W.Va., in 1897; member of the State house of delegates in 1899; delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1904; president of the West Virginia Bar Association in 1906; appointed a member of the West Virginia Commission on Uniform State Laws in 1909; elected as a Democrat to the Sixty-second and Sixty-third Congresses and served from March 4, 1911, to August 29, 1913, when he resigned; one of the managers appointed by the House of Representatives in 1912 to conduct the impeachment proceedings against Robert W. Archbald, judge of the United States Commerce Court; Solicitor General of the United States 1913-1918; appointed Ambassador to the Court of St. James and served from November 21, 1918, to March 31, 1921; member of the American delegation for conference with Germany on the treatment and exchange of prisoners of war, held in Berne, Switzerland, in September 1918; honorary bencher of the Middle Temple, London, England; unsuccessful Democratic candidate for President of the United States in 1924; delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1932; was a resident of Nassau County, N.Y., and practiced law in New York City until his death; died in Charleston, S.C., March 24, 1955; interment in Locust Valley Cemetery, Glen Cove, Long Island, N.Y.

Harbaugh, William H. Lawyer’s Lawyer: The Life of John W. Davis . New York: Oxford University Press, 1973.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present