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Clarence Watson Meadows

Compiled by the West Virginia State Archives
February 11, 1904 - September 12, 1961
(D) Raleigh County
Elected governor in 1944

Clarence Watson Meadows was born in Beckley, Raleigh County. He attended Beckley High School, Georgia Military Academy, Washington and Lee University, and the University of Alabama. He established a law practice at Beckley in 1928. Meadows served in the House of Delegates from 1931 to 1932 and as the Raleigh County prosecuting attorney from 1933 to 1936. He was the state's Attorney General under governors Homer Adams Holt and Matthew Mansfield Neely from 1937 to 1942, when he was appointed judge of the Tenth Judicial Circuit.

More than any of his predecessors, Meadows used radio to convey his message to the people. He helped mediate a number of labor disputes. Meadows reorganized the state's Board of Education, Conservation Commission, Industrial Publicity Commission, and West Virginia University's Board of Governors. Following World War II, he used a state treasury surplus from the war effort to fund education, construction, and relief programs.

After leaving office, Meadows opened a law practice in Charleston, engaged in oil and gas ventures, and held interests in three radio stations. In later years, he moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and managed the unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign of Claude Pepper in 1958. Meadows died in Clifton Forge, Virginia, in 1961.

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