William G. Conley

William Gustavus Conley January 8, 1866 – October 21, 1940 was an American politician who served as the 18th Governor of West Virginia as a Republican from 1929 to 1933

Life and politics

He was born near Kingwood to Major William Conley and Mary Courtney Freeburn He was a school teacher from 1886 to 1891 In 1892, he married Bertie Ison Martin In 1893 he graduated from West Virginia University with a degree in law Afterwards, he began a law practice in Parsons, West Virginia While there he served as Tucker County prosecuting attorney, and later as the mayor of Parsons He also founded and was the editor of the Parsons Advocate newspaper He also served as mayor of Kingwood from 1906 to 1908

In 1908, Governor William Dawson appointed Conley to the post of state Attorney General After being elected to the same office in 1908, he continued in that role under Governor William Glasscock In 1911, he argued before the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Virginia v West Virginia, 220 US 1 1911 which involved Virginia's pre-Civil War debt and West Virginia's share of it He was also involved in Maryland v West Virginia, 225 US 1 1912 which involved the border between Maryland and West Virginia

In 1912, Conley ran for Congress as a Republican but lost by 14 votes Over the next 12 years he was a lawyer in Charleston In 1924, he was appointed to the State Board of Education He served there until his resignation on March 1, 1929 He was elected as governor of West Virginia in November 1928 and was inaugurated on March 4, 1929 His time as governor was marked by the Great Depression His time as governor, limited by the state constitution at the time to one term, ended on March 4, 1933 He remained in Charleston and organized the law firm of Conley, Thompson, and Neff


  1. ^ "West Virginia's First Ladies," West Virginia Division of Culture and History, June 2007

External links

  • Biography of William G Conley
  • Inaugural Address of William G Conley
  • Charleston Daily Mail article on the death of William Gustavus Conley
Legal offices
Preceded by
Clark W May
Attorney General of West Virginia
Succeeded by
AA Lilly
Political offices
Preceded by
Howard M Gore
Governor of West Virginia
Succeeded by
H Guy Kump

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