Confederate States Congressman. William Parish Chilton received his place in American history being a Confederate States Congressman from the State of Alabama during the American Civil War. He studied law with Return Jonathan Meigs III, was admitted to the bar in 1828, and practiced in Athens, Tennessee. In 1831 he moved to Talladega, Alabama. In 1839 he was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives. In 1847 he was appointed an Associate Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court., becoming Chief Justice in 1852. In 1856 he resigned the Supreme Court to resume practicing law. In 1859 he served in the Alabama State Senate. Chilton opposed secession, but became a supporter when Alabama voted to join the Confederacy. He was elected to the Provisional Confederate Congress from Montgomery. The body met in Montgomery, and as the local representative Chilton officially convened the first meeting. When Jefferson Davis was elected Confederate President, Chilton was one of two Representatives who escorted him into the House chamber to deliver his acceptance speech. Chilton also made the motion to reconvene on the outside steps, enabling photographs of Davis taking his oath of office. Chilton was elected to the Confederate Congress, and served from 1862 until the end of the Civil War. Afterwards he resumed practicing law, and died from complications of a fall down the stairs. On December 17, 1874, the citizens of Baker County, Alabama, at their petition, changed the county's name to Chilton County in honor of William Parish Chilton. In 1942, the United States Navy commissioned the USS Chilton, a Bayfield-class attack transport, which was decommissioned in 1972.
Bio by: Bill McKern