Alston G. Dayton

Congressman Alston G. Dayton, Republican of West Virginia, 1896

Alston Gordon Dayton (October 18, 1857 July 30, 1920) was a Republican politician from West Virginia who served as a United States Representative, and later as a United States federal judge.


Born in Philippi, West Virginia (then part of Virginia), Dalton received an A.B. from West Virginia University at Morgantown, West Virginia in June 1878. He read law to enter the Bar in the same year, entering practice with his father, Spencer Dayton,[1] in Philippi. He received an M.A. from WVU in 1880. He received an appointment to fill an unexpired term as the prosecuting attorney of Upshur County, West Virginia in 1879, serving until 1884. He followed this term by serving as prosecuting attorney for Barbour County, West Virginia from 1884 to 1888. He thereafter returned to private practice in West Virginia from 1886 to 1895.

In 1894, Dayton won election from West Virginia's 2nd District[2] as a Republican to the Fifty-fourth Congress, defeating the incumbent William Lyne Wilson.[1] He served in the 54th, 55th, 56th, 57th, 58th, and 59th U.S. Congresses, serving from March 4, 1895, until his resignation ten days into his sixth term,[1] on March 16, 1905, to accept a judicial position.

On March 7, 1905, Dayton was nominated by President Theodore Roosevelt to a seat on the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia vacated by the long-serving John Jay Jackson, Jr. Dayton was confirmed by the United States Senate on March 14, 1905, and received his commission the same day. He served thereafter until his death, in Battle Creek, Michigan. He was buried in Fraternity Cemetery in Philippi.

See also


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website


  1. 1 2 3 "The History of West Virginia, Old and New". The American Historical Society, Inc., Chicago and New York. 1923. pp. v 3, pg. 403–404. Retrieved 2008-11-18.
  2. Lawrence Kestenbaum. "The Political Graveyard". Retrieved 2008-08-18.
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
William Lyne Wilson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from West Virginia's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
Thomas B. Davis
Legal offices
Preceded by
John Jay Jackson, Jr.
Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia
Succeeded by
William Eli Baker
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