Governor Samuel Whitaker
Governor of Pennsylvania 1903-1907
Portrait from THE SETTLEMENT OF GERMANTOWN and the
Beginning of German Emigration to North America, Hon. Samuel Whitaker
Pennypacker, LL.D. President Judge of the Philadelphia Court of
Common Pleas, No. 2, and Senior Vice-President of the Historical
Society of Pennsylvania. William J. Campbell, Philadelphia, 1899.
Used with permission.
An early bio from "History of Chester County,
PA" by J Smith Futhey and Gilbert Cope, 1881
"Samuel W. (Pennypacker), lawyer in Philadelphia, was
born in Phoenixville April 9, 1843. He has a bachelor of laws
of University of Pennsylvania, and in 1867 was elected president
of a Law academy of Philadelphia. For several years he had been
won the editors and proprietors of the weekly notes of cases,
the leading wall journal of Pennsylvania, and he is one of the
compilers of a digest of the "English common law reports"
which was commenced by Chief Justice Sharswood. He has also giving
considerable attention to local historical investigation. In 1872
he published the "Annals of Phoenixville and it's Vicinity."
And an 1880 a paper on the "Settlement of Germantown."
He was one of the Congress of authors, who, on invitation, wrote
sketches, which were deposited in Independence Hall, July 2,1876.
Some of these articles have been edited with approval by scholars
in England, Germany, and Holland.
"PENNYPACKER, Samuel Whitaker, jurist, was born in Phoenixville,
Pa., April 9, 1843; son of Dr. Isaac and Anna Maria (Whitaker)
Pennypacker; grandson of Bishop Matthias and Sarah (Anderson)
Pennypacker, and of Joseph and Grace Whitaker, and a descendant
of Hendrick and Eve (Umstat) Pannebecker. Hendrick Pannebecker
emigrated from Homborn, on the upper Rhine, to Pennsylvania, about
1699, and settled on Skippack Creek, where he became a large landholder
and surveyor of public lands for the Penns. Samuel Whitaker Pennypacker
was educated in the West Philadelphia institute; served as a private
in the 26th emergency regiment in 1863, and was graduated at the
University of Pennsylvania, LL.B., in 1866. He was married, Oct.
20, 1870, to Virginia Earl, daughter of Nathan B. Broomall, of
Phoenixville, Pa. He was made president of the Law Academy of
Philadelphia in 1868; served on the board of public education
of Philadelphia and was controller of public schools for the 29th
ward, 1886-89, and was admitted to practice in the U.S. supreme
court in 1887. He was judge of the court of common pleas of Philadelphia,
by appointment under Governor Beaver to fill a vacancy, 1889-90,
and by election, 1890-1900, and served as president judge of the
court. In 1902 he was elected governor of Pennsylvania by the
Republican party. He was elected a member of numerous scientific,
historical and patriotic societies; was a trustee of the University
of Pennsylvania from 1886; state commissioner of the Valley Forge
reservation; founder and manager of the Pennsylvania society,
Sons of the Revolution; a vice-provost of the Philadelphia Law
academy, and a member of the supervisory committee on the restoration
of Independence Hall. He received the honorary degree of LL.B.
from Franklin and Marshall college. In his library he collected
about 7000 printed books on early Pennsylvania, of which 260 were
from the press of Benjamin Franklin, and his collection relating
to the German colonization of Pennsylvania was the largest ever
made. He compiled, together with E.G. Platt and Samuel S. Hollingsworth,
a Digest of the English Common Law Reports (1879); Pennypacker's
Supreme Court Cases (4 vols.); Pennsylvania Colonial Cases, and
aided in the preparation of Weekly Notes of Cases (40 vols.).
He is the author of the Annals of Phoenixville and Its Vicinity
(1878); The Pennypacker Reunion (1878); Historical and Biographical
Sketches, many of which have been translated in Dutch and German
(1883), and The Settlement of Germantown."
From SMULL'S LEGISLATIVE HANDBOOK and MANUAL OF THE STATE
OF PENNSYLVANIA 1903, State of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg. "Biographical
Sketches of State Officers," page 128.
"GOVERNOR Samuel Whitaker Pennypacker was born in Phoenixville,
Chester County, Pa, April 9, 1843. His father having been appointed
to a professorship in the Philadelphia Medical College, the family
moved to that city, and young Pennypacker was sent to the Northwest
Grammar School, from which he was given a scholarship to Saunders
Institute, West Philadelphia. On the death of his father, after
several years residence in Philadelphia, he returned to Phoenixville,
where he attended the Grovemont Seminary. He prepared for Yale
University, but through circumstances beyond his control was prevented
from attending that institution of learning. In 1862 he took an
examination for teachers' certificate in Montgomery County and
that winter taught school in Mont Clare. In 1863 he enlisted and
was sworn in as a United States volunteer, joining Company F,
of Pottstown, Twenty-sixth Pennsylvania Emergency Regiment, which
was the first force to meet the rebels at Gettysburg. On his return
from military service he began the study of law, entering the
Law Department of the University of Pennsylvania and at the same
time registering as a law student in the office of Hon. Peter
McCall. In 1866 he was graduated with degree of Bachelor of Laws
and immediately engaged in the practice of the legal profession.
In the same year he was elected President of the Law Academy.
In 1886 he was appointed a member of the Philadelphia Board of
Education. He was admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of
the United States in 1887 and in 1889 was appointed Judge of the
Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia by Governor Beaver. In the
same year he was elected to the same position for a term of ten
years and in 1899 was re-elected for a similar term. At the time
of his nomination for Governor of Pennsylvania by the Republican
State Convention he was President Judge of the Court of Common
Pleas No. 2, of Philadelphia. He is President of the Historical
Society of Pennsylvania and of the Philadelphia Club; Vice President
of the Sons of the Revolution and of the Colonial Society; Past
Commander of Frederick Taylor Post No. 19, Grand Army of the Republic;
member of the Society of Colonial Wars and of the Society of the
War of 1812. He is also a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania.
For a number of years he was a member of the Valley Forge Commission.
He is the author of "Pennsylvania Colonial Causes,"
"Pennsylvania's Supreme Court Reports," "A Digest
of the Common Law Reports," the "Settlement of Germantown,"
"Historical and Biographical Sketches," and over fifty
books and papers. His library of early Pennsylvania publications
contains over 8,000 books and manuscripts. He was married October
20, 1870, to Virginia Earl, daughter of Nathan B. Broomall, of
Chester County, and their family consists of three daughters and
He died September 2, 1916 and is buried in Phoenixville, Chester
Co, PA, Morris Cem.
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Biography from Futhey & Cope submitted
by Ron Mitchell.
The Pennypacker side of the UM genealogy (descendants of Heinrich
Pannebecker and Eve UM) is handled by Ron. Please contact him
for further information and connection.
Biography from Smull's submitted by Ella Aderman
of Pennypacker Mills.