Robert W. Hemphill

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Robert Witherspoon Hemphill
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina
In office
November 1, 1965 – May 10, 1980 (assumed senior status)
Appointed by Seated through operation of law
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by William Walter Wilkins
Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of South Carolina
In office
April 30, 1964 – November 1, 1965
Appointed by Lyndon Johnson
Preceded by George Bell Timmerman, Sr.
Succeeded by Position abolished
Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of South Carolina
In office
April 30, 1964 – November 1, 1965
Appointed by Lyndon Johnson
Preceded by George Bell Timmerman, Sr.
Succeeded by Position abolished
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 5th district
In office
January 3, 1957 – May 1, 1964
Preceded by James P. Richards
Succeeded by Thomas S. Gettys
Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives
In office
1947 – 1948
Personal details
Born (1915-05-10)May 10, 1915
Chester, South Carolina
Died December 25, 1983(1983-12-25) (aged 68)
Chester, South Carolina
Resting place Chester, South Carolina
Political party Democratic
Occupation lawyer, judge
Military service
Service/branch United States Army Air Corp
Years of service 1941 – 1945
Battles/wars World War Two

Robert Witherspoon Hemphill (May 10, 1915 - December 25, 1983) was a U.S. Representative from South Carolina, and later a long-serving United States federal judge. He was the great-great-nephew of Senator John Hemphill, great-nephew of John J. Hemphill, great-nephew of William Huggins Brawley, and great-great-grandson of Robert Witherspoon.

Born in Chester, South Carolina, Hemphill attended the public schools. He graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1936 and from the law school of the same university in 1938. At university, Hemphill was a member of the Euphradian Society.[1] He was admitted to the bar in 1938 and commenced the practice of law in Chester.

He volunteered in 1941 as a flying cadet in the United States Army Air Corps and served as a bomber pilot until December 1945. After returning from the war, he served as chairman of Chester County Democratic conventions in 1946 and 1947. He was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1946, serving from 1947 to 1948. He served as solicitor of the Sixth South Carolina Judicial Circuit from 1951 to 1956.

Hemphill was elected as a Democrat to the Eighty-fifth and to the three succeeding Congresses, serving from January 3, 1957, until his resignation May 1, 1964, to take a federal judicial post. During his Congressional service, he was a delegate to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Congress in London in 1959.

On April 15, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated Hemphill to a seat on both the United States District Court for the Eastern District of South Carolina and the United States District Court for the Western District of South Carolina, vacated by George Bell Timmerman, Sr. Hemphill was confirmed by the United States Senate, and received his commission, on April 30, 1964. He served as Chief Judge of the Eastern District from 1964 to 1965, but on November 1, 1965, the two District Courts were re-combined, and Hemphill was reassigned by operation of law to the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina. He served as Chief Judge of the entire District from 1979 to 1980, and then assumed senior status on May 10, 1980.

Hemphill was a resident of Chester until his death there on December 2, 1983. He was interred in Hopewell Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church Cemetery, in Chester.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Walker, Wesley, ed. (1935). Garnet and Black. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina. p. 187. 

Sources[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
George Bell Timmerman, Sr.
Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of South Carolina
1964 – 1965
Succeeded by
Position abolished
Preceded by
George Bell Timmerman, Sr.
Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of South Carolina
1964 – 1965
Succeeded by
Position abolished
Preceded by
Position established
Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina
1965 – 1980
Succeeded by
William Walter Wilkins
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
James P. Richards
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 5th congressional district

1957–1964
Succeeded by
Thomas S. Gettys