WILLIAM E. GLASSCOCK was born near Arnettsville, Virginia (now West Virginia). After teaching school for four years, he was elected Superintendent of Public Schools in Monongalia County, West Virginia, holding the position from 1887 to 1890. He then won two elections as Monongalia County Clerk. After receiving his degree from West Virginia University Law School, he began practicing law in Morgantown. He also served as Collector of Internal Revenue for the District of West Virginia, a position from which he resigned to run for governor. During his term as governor, legislation was enacted establishing a Department of Public Roads, a Public Service Commission, and a Department of Agriculture. Also passed was a measure empowering the federal government to acquire state land by purchase or condemnation for forest reserves. After leaving office, Glasscock returned to the practice of law in Morgantown.