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Edward W. Saunders

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Edward W. Saunders
Edward W. Saunders.jpg
Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia
In office
March 9, 1920 – December 16, 1921
Preceded byStafford G. Whittle
Succeeded byJesse F. West
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 5th district
In office
November 6, 1906 – February 29, 1920
Preceded byClaude A. Swanson
Succeeded byRorer A. James
38th Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates
In office
December 6, 1899 – December 4, 1901
Preceded byJohn F. Ryan
Succeeded byJohn F. Ryan
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates from Franklin County
In office
December 8, 1887 – December 4, 1901
Preceded byPeter Saunders, Jr.
Succeeded byJames P. Dudley
Personal details
Edward Watts Saunders

(1860-10-20)October 20, 1860
Franklin County, Virginia, US
DiedDecember 16, 1921(1921-12-16) (aged 61)
Rocky Mount, Virginia, US
Political partyDemocratic Party
Alma materUniversity of Virginia
Professionlawyer, politician, judge

Edward Watts Saunders (October 20, 1860 – December 16, 1921) was a Virginia lawyer, politician and judge, who served as Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, U.S. Representative and justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia.


Saunders was born in Franklin County, Virginia. His primary education was received from tutors at home and at Bellevue Academy in Bedford County. From the Academy, he entered the University of Virginia. After graduation, he joined Professor F.P. Brent in conducting a classical school at Onancock, in Accomack County. Returning to the University in the fall of 1881, he became a member of the law class taught by Professor John B. Minor and received his Bachelor of Law degree in 1882. That same year, he opened an office in Rocky Mount, Virginia. In 1887, he was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates and served there for seven terms, including two years (1899–1901) as Speaker. In 1901 he was elected Judge of the Fourth Judicial Circuit. When the circuits in Virginia were reorganized, as ordered by the Constitution of 1902, he became Judge of the Seventh Judicial Circuit. While serving in that capacity, he was elected to fill a vacancy in the United States Congress, where he remained for thirteen years. In 1920, he was elected to the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia. Judge Saunders served less than two years on this court before he died at his home in Rocky Mount, during the vacation of the court.

Electoral history

  • 1906; Saunders was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives with 50.88% of the vote in a special election, defeating Republican John W. Simmons; he concurrently was elected in the general election unopposed.
  • 1908; Saunders was re-elected with 50.28% of the vote, defeating Republican John M. Parsons and Independent E. Matthews.
  • 1910; Saunders was re-elected with 50.35% of the vote, defeating Republican Parsons, Independent John B. Anglin, and Socialist Bruce Anderson.
  • 1912; Saunders was re-elected with 62.05% of the vote, defeating Republican A.B. Hamner and Independent J. Celphas Shelton.
  • 1914; Saunders was re-elected with 65.47% of the vote, defeating Republican Charles A. Hermans, Independent William A. Fulton, and Socialist W.R. Keele.
  • 1916; Saunders was re-elected unopposed.
  • 1918; Saunders was re-elected unopposed.


Jamerson, Bruce F., Clerk of the House of Delegates, supervising (2007). Speakers and Clerks of the Virginia House of Delegates, 1776-2007. Richmond, Virginia: Virginia House of Delegates.

External links

Virginia House of Delegates
Preceded by Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates
Succeeded by
John F. Ryan
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 5th congressional district

Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 9 June 2022, at 00:12
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