Member Biography

John Brackbill Warfel 

Sessions Office Position District Party
1870       17 Republican
1871       17 Republican
1872       9 Republican
1873       9 Republican
1874       9 Republican
1875       13 Republican
1876       13 Republican

COUNTIES: Lancaster  


09/19/1830 - 04/18/1908

John Brackbill Warfel (R17) Lancaster County 1870-1871 (R9) Lancaster County 1872-1874 (R13) Lancaster (Part) County 1875-1876  

Early Life: 

John Brackbill Warfel, born September 19, 1830, Paradise Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania; son of John and Maria Eshelman Warfel; public schools education, Lancaster; Strasburg Academy; Lewisburg University (now Bucknell University); engaged, blacksmith trade; teacher, public school; married, Mary Ann Warfel, 1853, children Ila Beyer; Jessie F. Warfel; John Girvin Warfel and Robert Girvin Warfel; engaged, farming, 1854-1863; engaged, practice of surveying and conveyancing; elected, justice of the peace, Paradise Township, 1855, re-elected, 1860; elected, school director, Paradise township, 1856, re-elected, 1859, 1862; appointment, pension office, Washington, D. C., 1863;  Columbia College, law, 1867; admitted, practice, courts of Lancaster County, Supreme Court, Washington D.C.; appointment, Assessor of Internal Revenue, 9th Pennsylvania district, Lancaster County, 1867-1869; elected, member, Lancaster City School Board, re-elected, school director, 1869-1902; president, board, 1877- 1880; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1870-1876; Pennsylvania Presidential Elector, 1876; engaged, publication, The New Era Daily and Weekly newspapers (now Lancaster New Era), 1877-1897; died April 18, 1908 (age 77 years, 212 days); interment Lancaster Cemetery, Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Early Career:

Taught, public school, village of Paradise, 1849-50, public school, Strasburg borough, 1853-54. Commenced farming, village of Paradise, 1854-1863.

In connection with J. M. W. Geist, commenced, publication, The New Era Daily and Weekly newspapers (now Lancaster New Era), 1877- May 15, 1897, when he withdrew from the partnership, and retired from active business.

Professional titles; business ownership; board memberships; local government; club memberships:

President, Howard Benevolent Association, Lancaster; president, Lancaster County Society, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for more than a quarter of a century; director, Farmers National Bank; director, Lancaster County National Bank; organizer, manager, Inquirer (now Wicker-sham) Printing Company;  director, president, Union Building and Loan Association; director, West End Building and Loan Association. 

Trustee, Lodge No. 43, Free and Accepted Masons, First Masonic District of Pennsylvania; trustee, Knights Templar of the United States of America, Lancaster Commandery No 13; trustee, Lancaster Cemetery Association; trustee, Home of Friendless Children, Lancaster; trustee, Stevens Orphans' Home, Lancaster; trustee, Henry G. Long Asylum, Lancaster, 1874-1897. 

Pennsylvania Politics: 

Elected, school director, Paradise Township, 1856 re-elected, 1859, 1862. 

Elected, member, Lancaster city school board, re-elected, school director, 1869-1902; president, board, 1877-1880

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 17th district Lancaster County, 1870-1871, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 9th district, Lancaster County, 1872-1874, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 13th district, Lancaster (Part) County, 1875-1876; committee assignment, chairman of Education, Federal Relations, Pensions and Gratuities, Private Claims and Damages and Railroads during Senate tenure; member, Finance Committee. 

Presidential Elector for Pennsylvania, Rutherford B. Hayes, 1876. 

Government Service

Appointment, President Abraham Lincoln, Pension Office, Washington, D. C., 1863.

Appointment, President, Andrew Johnson, Assessor of Internal Revenue, 9th Pennsylvania district, Lancaster County, 1867-1869.


Cox, Harold. "Senate Members W"Wilkes University Election Statistics Project. Wilkes University.

Smull’s Legislative Handbook, (1875). Smull, J.A., (Editor) Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pages 601, 606-608.

John Brackbill Warfel (1830-1908) - Find a Grave Memorial