South Carolina Supreme Court Justices

James Woodrow Lewis
           
Date Born: March 8, 1912


James Woodrow Lewis & Alice Lee Lewis

 Date Died: 1999

       
       
       
       
       
Place Born: Darlington County, SC

Place Buried: Swift Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Darlington County, SC

           
   

Chief Justice 1975 - 1984
Associate Justice 1961 - 1975
   

James Woodrow Lewis was born on March 8, 1912 in Darlington County, SC, the son of William Joseph Lewis and Mary Althea (Bryant) Lewis. Although he began law school in 1931, economic conditions during the Depression forced him to return home to Swift Creek to run a country store owned by his father. He continued studying the law under the tutelage of a local lawyer. He graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1932, and was admitted to the SC bar on December 6, 1935.

In 1934, James Woodrow Lewis was first elected as one of three men to represent Darlington County in the SC House of Representatives of the:
- 81st General Assembly that met from 1935 to 1936

James Woodrow Lewis helped found the Darlington County Bank and served on its Board of Directors for many years. He was a founding member of the Darlington County Rotary Club.

On May 30, 1936, James Woodrow Lewis resigned from the House of Representatives to serve as a member of the SC Highway Commission, a position he held until 1940.

On December 26, 1936 James Woodrow Lewis married Alice Lee.

In 1942, James Woodrow Lewis was again elected as one of three men to represent Darlington County in the SC House of Representatives of the:
- 85th General Assembly that met from 1943 to 1944
- 86th General Assembly that met from 1945 to 1946

On May 5, 1945, James Woodrow Lewis resigned from the House of Representatives after being elected on April 26, 1945 as a Judge in the 4th Judicial Circuit. He served until being elected to the SC Supreme Court.

On February 21, 1961, James Woodrow Lewis was elected as an Associate Justice of the SC Supreme Court.

On January 21, 1975, James Woodrow Lewis was elected Chief Justice of the SC Supreme Court, replacing Chief Justice Joseph Rodney Moss, who retired on July 15, 1975. He was sworn in on August 14, 1974, and served as Chief Justice until his own retirement on March 7, 1984.

James Woodrow Lewis died in 1999 and he was buried in the Swift Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Darlington County, SC.


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