“H” is for Hemphill, Robert Witherspoon, Sr. (1915-1983)
“H” is for Hemphill, Robert Witherspoon, Sr. (1915-1983). Congressman, jurist. A native of Chester, Hemphill graduated from the University of South Carolina and its law school. After service in World War II, he practiced law in his hometown. From 1951 to 1956 he was solicitor of the Sixth Judicial Circuit. In 1956 he was elected to congress. In Congress he formed a friendship with Senator John F. Kennedy. In 1960 Hemphill endorsed Kennedy for the presidency and campaigned for him. In late 1963 Kennedy decided to appoint Hemphill to the U.S. Fourth Judicial Court, but the appointment papers were on his desk when he was assassinated. President Johnson forwarded the nomination to Congress and Hemphill was approved in 1964. In 1981, Judge Robert Witherspoon Hemphill, Sr., took senior status as a federal judge.