Born near Wadesboro, North Carolina, Terry moved with his parents to Tippah County, Mississippi, in 1857 and to Pulaski County, Arkansas, in 1861. He attended Bingham's Military Academy, North Carolina, and was graduated from Trinity College, North Carolina, in June 1872, where he was a member of the Chi Phi Fraternity. He studied law. He was admitted to the bar in November 1873 and practiced. He served as member of the city council 1877-1879. He served as member of the Arkansas State Senate in 1878 and 1879, serving as president of the senate in the session of 1879. City attorney of Little Rock, Arkansas from 1879 to 1885. He was an unsuccessful candidate for election in 1886 to the Fiftieth Congress.
Terry was elected as a Democrat to the Fifty-second and to the four succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1891 – March 3, 1901). He was an unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1900. He resumed the practice of law in Little Rock, Arkansas, and died there November 4, 1917. He was interred in Calvary Cemetery.
- United States Congress. "William L. Terry (id: T000137)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- Works by or about William L. Terry in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.
|U.S. House of Representatives|
John H. Rogers
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's 4th congressional district
March 4, 1891 – March 3, 1901
Charles C. Reid