Edwin Y. Webb

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Webb c. 1913

Edwin Yates Webb (May 23, 1872 – February 7, 1955) was a Democratic U.S. Congressman from North Carolina from 1903 to 1919 and a federal judge from 1919 to 1948.


Born in Shelby, North Carolina, Webb attended Shelby Military Institute and then Wake Forest College, graduating in 1893. He studied law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was admitted to the bar in 1894, practicing law in his hometown of Shelby.

After completing postgraduate work at the University of Virginia Law School, he was named to the Wake Forest College Board of Trustees in 1898 and served a two-year term as a trustee of North Carolina Agricultural and Mechanical College (now North Carolina State University) from 1899 to 1901.

Elected the chair of the local Cleveland County Democratic committee in 1898, Webb was temporarily chairman of the state convention in 1900, was elected to the North Carolina Senate the same year, and ran for Congress successfully in 1902. He was elected to nine successive Congresses, serving from March 4, 1903 to November 10, 1919, when he resigned to accept an appointment by President Woodrow Wilson as a Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina. While in Congress, he chaired the Committee on the Judiciary and was one of the managers for the impeachment proceedings against U.S. Commerce Court Judge Robert W. Archbald.

Webb continued to serve as a district judge until his retirement on March 1, 1948; he died in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1955.

Webb was the brother of politician James L. Webb and the uncle of Fay Webb, the wife of O. Max Gardner. In debates within the North Carolina Democratic Party over women's suffrage in the late 1910s and early 1920s, Congressman Webb was opposed, while Gardner led those who supported the idea of granting the right to vote to women.[1]


  1. ^ Christensen, Rob. The Paradox of Tar Heel Politics. 2008: UNC Press.