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William Chapman Revercomb

Senator William Chapman Revercomb (July 20, 1895-October 6, 1979) was born in Covington, Virginia. He attended Washington and Lee University, and following army service during World War I, earned a law degree from the University of Virginia in 1919. In 1925, Revercomb married Sara Hughes of Ashland, Virginia. They had four children.

Revercomb practiced law in Covington until 1922, when he relocated to Charleston and continued to practice his profession. Over the following years he would serve as a member of the Republican State Committee and as chairman of the State Judicial Convention of 1936. In 1942, Revercomb defeated former senator and sitting governor Matthew M. Neely for West Virginia’s open U.S. Senate seat. He quickly made a reputation as one of the Senate’s more conservative members. Running for reelection in 1948, he was defeated by Neely.

Revercomb settled back into the practice of law. This, however, did not stop him from attempting to return to the Senate. After claiming the Republican nomination in 1952, he was defeated by incumbent Harley Kilgore. Revercomb’s fortunes changed when Kilgore died before completing his term. In 1956, an election was held for the remaining two years of Kilgore’s unexpired term. Revercomb defeated Governor Marland in the general election to return to the Senate. Revercomb served until 1958, when he was defeated by Congressman Robert C. Byrd. Revercomb was the last Republican to be elected to the U.S. Senate from West Virginia in the 20th century.

Chapman Revercomb’s last attempt for elective office was a losing effort in the 1960 gubernatorial primary. .

Written by Michael K. Wilson


  1. Price, Samuel W. Jr. "A Stalwart Conservative in the Senate: William Chapman Revercomb." M.A. thesis, Marshall University, 1978.

  2. William Chapman Revercomb, 1895-1979. [electronic resource]. 2002.