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Elbert Lee Trinkle

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E. Lee Trinkle
49th Governor of Virginia
In office
February 1, 1922 – February 1, 1926
LieutenantJunius West
Preceded byWestmoreland Davis
Succeeded byHarry F. Byrd
Chair of the National Governors Association
In office
November 17, 1924 – June 29, 1925
Preceded byChanning H. Cox
Succeeded byOwen Brewster
Member of the Virginia Senate
from the 5th district
In office
January 12, 1916 – January 11, 1922
Preceded byAlexander G. Crockett
Succeeded byJohn H. Crockett
Personal details
Elbert Lee Trinkle

(1876-03-12)March 12, 1876
Wytheville, Virginia, U.S.
DiedNovember 25, 1939(1939-11-25) (aged 63)
Richmond, Virginia, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseHelen Ball Sexton (1914–1939)
EducationHampden-Sydney College (BA)
University of Virginia (LLB)

Elbert Lee Trinkle (March 12, 1876 – November 25, 1939) was an American politician who served as the 49th Governor of Virginia from 1922 to 1926.



On March 12, 1876, Trinkle was born in Wytheville, Wythe County, Virginia, as the youngest son of the prominent Trinkle family. After graduating from Hampden–Sydney College in 1895, he studied law at the University of Virginia, where he was manager of the Virginia Glee Club,[1] and later opened a Wytheville law practice.

Trinkle served as the chairman and an elector of the Democratic Party in 1916. He served two terms in the Virginia Senate before his election as governor in 1921. Trinkle boasted of his support for woman suffrage and some newspapers credited his victory in the primary in part to the women's vote.[2] Trinkle also acted as a delegate for Virginia to the Democratic National Convention in 1924 and 1928. On November 25, 1939, he died in Richmond, Virginia, and was interred in East End Cemetery in Wytheville.

Trinkle Hall (formally known as Trinkle Library) on the campus of the University of Mary Washington and Trinkle Hall on the campus of the College of William and Mary were both named in his honor, as he helped secure funding to construct the buildings. However, due to the historical treatment of minorities during the Jim Crow segregation era in which he served, the University of Mary Washington elected to rename the hall, as it runs against the university's ASPIRE policy of inclusion among all students. On July 24, 2020, Mary Washington renamed Trinke Hall to James Farmer Hall, after the prominent civil rights activist and former professor at the university.[3] At William and Mary, Trinkle Hall was renamed in September 2020 to Unity Hall.[4] Trinkle Hall on the Radford University campus is also named for him.



1921; Trinkle was elected Governor of Virginia with 64.6% of the vote over Republican Henry W. Anderson and Black-and-tan Republican John Mitchell, Jr.


  1. ^ Corks and Curls. Vol. 11. 1898. pp. 190–191.
  2. ^ Tarter, Brent (2021). "'Why Should Not Women Vote?' – Virginia Men Who Supported Woman Suffrage". The UnCommonwealth: Voices from the Library of Virginia. Archived from the original on 2021-04-21. Retrieved 2021-08-10.
  3. ^ "UMW Chooses New Name for Building: James Farmer Hall". 24 July 2020.
  4. ^ "W&M board approves principles for naming, renaming campus spaces".

Media related to Elbert Lee Trinkle at Wikimedia Commons

Senate of Virginia
Preceded by Member of the Virginia Senate
from the 5th district

Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Democratic nominee for Governor of Virginia
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Governor of Virginia
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chair of the National Governors Association
Succeeded by