William H. Herrington, the first African American mayor of Lawrenceville, Virginia, was born on August 15, 1950, in Hartsville, South Carolina, to Henry Herrington, a transportation worker from Darlington County, and Carrie Boyd Herrington, a housekeeper from Chester County. Herrington began his education in 1956 at Butler Primary School in Hartsville.
Herrington graduated from Butler High School in Hartsville in 1968, where he had participated in baseball, basketball, and football. He was a member of South Carolina’s Triple-A championship basketball team in 1968.
He then attended at Saint Paul’s College in Lawrenceville, where he pledged the Omega Psi Phi fraternity’s Epsilon Gamma Chapter in 1970. On February 6, 1971, while still in college, he married Brenda Reese, a project manager from Kenbridge, Virginia. Herrington was the captain of his collegiate tennis team as well. He earned a bachelor of arts in history in 1973.
Herrington then attended Howard University Law School, where he earned his Juris Doctorate in 1978. He graduated from the National Institute for Trial Advocacy in Louisville, Colorado four years later. In 1985, Herrington joined the District of Columbia Bar Association, and in 1995, he joined the Virginia Bar Association.
Herrington practiced law in both the public and private sectors during his professional career. He worked as a trial attorney for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Lee and Harvey in Washington, D.C., as well as for Brown, Brown, and Brown in Alexandria, Virginia. He was appointed vice president for institutional promotion and admissions at Saint Paul’s College in 2007, a position he held until 2013.
Herrington was elected mayor of Lawrenceville in 2014. He represented the town’s citizens until his tenure expired in 2018. During his term, he advocated for early childhood education and founded the “Mayor’s Pre-K Book Club,” which received a statewide “Stairway to Success” award from the Virginia Municipal League (VML). Herrington also promoted children’s rights and education by encouraging them to enter the VML “If I Were Mayor” Essay Contest.
In addition, he revitalized the local farmers market, formed a community wellness committee, and organized a number of health-related events for the community. He was also crucial in the establishment of the region’s first Remote Area Medical (RAM) clinic, which provides medical care to inhabitants of disadvantaged, isolated, and underserved areas.
In 2018, the Lawrenceville Town Council presented William H. Herrington with a resolution in recognition of his great leadership and creative ability in promoting the town as mayor.