William Melton attended the University of Virginia, receiving an A.B., and the University of South Carolina, receiving an LL.B. and an LL.D.
In 1898, he married Miss Caro Belser of Summerton and after her death, married Miss Meta Loeb of Charleston.
He practiced law in Chester and then in Columbia with the firm of Melton and Belser, and later with Belser and Belser.
He was an able lawyer, whose activities include City Councilman, Elder of the First Presbyterian Church, prominent war work and organizing the efforts of the Bar. He served as Chairman of the South Carolina Board of Law Examiners. His greatest contribution was in the field of education. He served with great success as President of the University of South Carolina from 1921 until his death in 1926. The progress which the University of South Carolina made during his administration was outstanding.