Xenophon P. Wilfley

Xenophon Pierce Wilfley
United States Senator
from Missouri
In office
April 30, 1918  November 5, 1918
Appointed by Frederick D. Gardner
Preceded by William J. Stone
Succeeded by Selden P. Spencer
Personal details
Born (1871-03-18)March 18, 1871
Mexico, Missouri
Died May 4, 1931(1931-05-04) (aged 60)
St. Louis, Missouri
Political party Democratic
Education Washington University in St. Louis, Central Methodist University

Xenophon Pierce Wilfley (/ˈzɛnəfɒn ˈwɪlfl/; March 18, 1871  May 4, 1931) was a Democratic Party politician who represented the state of Missouri in the U.S. Senate for five months in 1918.

Early life

Wilfley was born near Mexico, Missouri, the son of James Franklin Wilfley.[1] He attended local country schools in his youth. An 1891 graduate of Clarksburg College, he graduated from Central Methodist College in Fayette, Missouri in 1894, teaching there for one year and at Sedalia High School in Sedalia, Missouri, for three.


In 1899 he graduated from Washington University law school and began the practice of law in St. Louis with his brother Lebbeus R. Wilfley[2]. From 1917 to 1918 he was the chairman of the city's board of election commissioners; in 1918 he was appointed to the Senate by Governor Frederick D. Gardner as a Democrat to fill out the term of William J. Stone, who had died on April 14, 1918. Wilfley served from April 30 to November 5, and was the chairman of the Committee on Industrial Expositions. He unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat, being defeated by Joseph Folk, who in turn lost to Republican Selden P. Spencer in November. After leaving the Senate, Wilfley resumed the practice of law, becoming president of the Missouri Bar Association in 1925.


He died in St. Louis and is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery.

Family members

Wilfley's brother, Lebbeus R. Wilfley, was Attorney General of the Philippines from 1901 to 1906 and Judge of the United States Court for China from 1906 to 1908.

Further reading

United States Congress. "WILFLEY, Xenophon Pierce (id: W000471)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.  - Congressional biography, with picture


  1. 1920 passport application made by his brother Lebbeus
  2. John W. Leonard, The Book of St. Louisans (1906), p. 611.
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
William J. Stone
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Missouri
Served alongside: James A. Reed
Succeeded by
Selden P. Spencer

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