Portrait from the West Virginia Blue Book, 1934.
West Virginia attorney and state delegate Woodville Carthon Haythe is another Mountain State political figure who lacked length of years, dying at age 50 in 1956 following a business trip to Ohio. During his short life, Haythe rose to become a leading attorney in Charleston and in addition to his political doings was a veteran of WWII, serving two tours with the U.S. Marine Corps. Born on June 4, 1905, in Hinton, West Virginia, Woodville C. Haythe was the son of Woodville Vincent and Cora Lee (Mitchell) Haythe.
A student in the public schools of Summers County, Haythe would go on to study at the Concord State Teachers College as well as Washington and Lee University. Following his graduation from Washington and Lee in 1927 Haythe earned two law degrees from the University of Alabama (1930) and the West Virginia University in 1931. In the last named year, Haythe married to Alabama native Elizabeth Rousseau Bright (birthdate unknown), to whom he was wed until his death in 1956. The couple had no children.
In 1932 Haythe began the practice of law in Hinton and in 1934 launched his candidacy for the West Virginia House of Delegates as a Democrat. He would defeat Republican nominee F.A. Martin that November by a vote of 3,932 to 2,834 and during the 1935-36 session sat on the house committees on Elections and Privileges, the Executive Offices and the Library, Judiciary, Railroads, and State Boundaries. Following his one term in the legislature Haythe unsuccessfully sought a seat in the state senate (running in the 1936 Democratic primary) and in December 1936 was selected as "West Virginia counsel" for the Legal Aid Service of the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen of America. W. Carthon Haythe reentered the political field in 1938 when he announced he'd be seeking the Democratic nomination for state senator from the 10th senatorial district. Unfortunately, his candidacy wouldn't advance past the primary season, losing out to Republican nominee William M. LaFon by nearly two-thousand votes.
After the dawn of American involvement in World War II Haythe signed on for service, and despite being well over thirty years of age at the time of his enlistment would distinguish himself in the Marine Corps, serving two tours of duty in "the South Pacific and Far East theaters". Following his return from service, W. Carthon Haythe recommenced with his law practice and is also acknowledged as having been "instrumental in the organization of the first Marine Corps League" in the city of Charleston.
Haythe as he appeared in the 1927 Washington and Lee Calyx yearbook.
Political office would again beckon to Haythe in 1952 and in that year's Democratic primary entered into the race for state attorney general. He would lose out on primary election day in May, polling 95, 367 votes to winning candidate Chauncey H. Browning's total of 176, 748. Browning (who had served as acting attorney general since the resignation of William C. Marland in January 1952) would later be succeeded by John G. Fox (1923-1992), who won election as attorney general in November of that year.
Haythe continued to reside and practice law in Charleston until his death following a business trip to Warren, Ohio. While returning home, Haythe suffered a heart attack while driving, but managed to drive himself to a hospital in Gallipolis, Ohio, where he later died. Just fifty years old at the time of his passing, Haythe was survived by his wife and was later interred at the Sunset Memorial Park in South Charleston, West Virginia.