William Gaston (September 19, 1778 - January 23, 1844) was a United States Representative from North Carolina. Gaston entered Georgetown College, Washington, D.C., at the age of thirteen, becoming its first student. Due to illness shortly thereafter, he also became its first dropout.
Gaston later returned to North Carolina and became a student in the Academy of New Bern. He graduated from Princeton College in 1796, where he studied law. Gaston was admitted to the bar in 1798 and commenced practice in New Bern. He was a member of the State senate in 1800, served in the State house of representatives 1807-1809, and as speaker in 1808. He was again a member of the State senate in 1812, 1818, and 1819, and was elected as a Federalist to the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Congresses (March 4, 1813-March 3, 1817). While in Congress, he obtained a federal charter for Georgetown
Gaston was not a candidate for renomination in 1816. He again served in the State house of representatives in 1824, 1827, 1828, 1829, and 1831. Gaston was then appointed judge of the North Carolina Supreme Court in 1833, holding the position until his death. He was also a member of the State constitutional convention in 1835 and declined a nomination for election to the United States Senate in 1840. Gaston died in Raleigh, North Carolina on January 23, 1844 and was interred in Cedar Grove Cemetery, New Bern, N.C.
Gaston County, North Carolina is named after him, as are the city of Gastonia, North Carolina and Gaston Hall at Georgetown University.
Preceded by: William Blackledge Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from North Carolina's Fourthth congressional district 1813 - 1819 Succeeded by: Jesse Slocumb