Member Biography

William Ferris Aull 


Virtue, Liberty, Independence

Pennsylvania’s State Senators in the Civil War 1861 – 1865 

Sessions Office Position District Party
1881-1882       44 Republican
1883-1884       44 Republican

COUNTIES: Allegheny  


04/09/1848 - 05/23/1923

Lieutenant Colonel William Ferris Aull (R44) Allegheny (Part) County, 1883-1886

Early Life: 

William Ferris Aull born April 9, 1848 Charlestown, Portage County, Ohio, son of James and Phoebe Ferris Aull; public schools education, Philadelphia; private, Civil War, 1863-1864; Iron City Commercial College, Pittsburgh; civil engineer; appointed Assistant City Engineer of Pittsburgh, 1867; general agent representing the extensive Denny Estate, 1868; Pittsburgh City Council, 1873-1879; Lieutenant Colonel, Pennsylvania National Guard, 1870; elected, Republican Pennsylvania State Senate, 1883-1886; married Anna Martin, 1868, children, Charles Elmer Aull, John Albert Aull, Clara Florence Aull Lacock, Grayce Watson Aull Sorg Brixey; died, May 23, 1923 (aged 74), interment, Homewood Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. 

Early Career:

Runaway, age 15, enlisted, regiment of emergency men, patrolled, Cumberland Valley, 1863 after 20 days, attempted to enlist, Pennsylvania Reserve unit but was denied, minor age, no parental consent.  Persuaded a stranger to pose as his legal guardian, enlisted, December 1863, 89th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, 8th Pennsylvania Cavalry, three years.   

Father convinced Philadelphia Congressman William Kelley to arrange his son’s honorable discharge by Special Order, March 30, 1864.  Sent to Ohio live with relatives, ran away again, enlisted, 171st Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company K, mustered, May 2, 1864, Sandusky, Ohio, private, 100-day service; mustered out on August 20, 1864.

Pursued studies in civil engineering; was appointed Assistant City Engineer of Pittsburgh, 1867; “attorney in fact” and general agent representing the extensive Denny Estate, 1868.

Lieutenant Colonel, Pennsylvania National Guard, 1870, staff of Major General; commanded, 18th Regiment Pennsylvania National Guard during the 1877 anthracite riots.

Pennsylvania Politics:

Pittsburgh City Council, 1873-1879. 

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 44th district, Allegheny (Part) County, 1883-1886; committee assignments, Congressional Apportionment, Constitutional Reform, Municipal Affairs, Insurance, New Counties and County Seats. 


Descendant, Philadelphia Revolutionary War veteran John Aull, William Aull, chief construction contractor, National Road.


Cox, Harold. Senate Members "A" ( Wilkes University Election Statistics ProjectWilkes University.

Smull’s Legislative Handbook, (1885). Smull, W.P., (Editor) Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pages 844, 849-851, Biographical Sketches of Senators, page 807.

Portrait, Percy Smith, Notable Men of Pittsburgh and Vicinity (Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh Printing Co., 1901) page 332; Biographical Review: containing life sketches of leading citizens of Pittsburgh and the vicinity (Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1897) pages 210-212.

William Ferris Aull (1849-1923) - Find a Grave Memorial