Member Biography

Louis Arthur Watres 

Sessions Office Position District Party
1883-1884       20 Republican
1885-1886       20 Republican
1887-1888       20 Republican
1889-1890       20 Republican

COUNTIES: Luzerne, Lackawanna  


04/21/1851 - 07/28/1937

Colonel Louis Arthur Watres (R20) Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties 1882-1890

Early Life: 

Colonel Louis Arthur Watres born, April 21, 1851, Winton, (now Jessup) Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, son of Lewis S. and Harriet G. Hollister Watres; educated Scranton High School, married Effie J. Hawley, 1874, two sons Harold A Watres and Laurence Hawley Watres; studied law with Honorable John Handley, president Judge Lackawanna County, admitted, Lackawanna County bar, 1878; attorney; deputy marshal, Mayors Court, city of Scranton, 1872; cashier, Scranton Savings Bank and Trust Company; colonel, Pennsylvania National Guard, 1877-1891, 1898-1904; general inspector rifle practice 1887-1891; Deputy city controller, city of Scranton, solicitor, Lackawanna County, 1881-1890; elected Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1892-1890; elected, Republican, 5th Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania, 1891-1895; editor Scranton Tribune, 1908-1934; died July 28, 1937 (aged 86) Pennsylvania, interment Dunmore Cemetery, Dunmore, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania. (i)

Early Career:

Pennsylvania National Guard, private, 1877; captain, Company A, 13th Regiment, Colonel, 11th Regiment, judge advocate of the Division Staff, general inspector of rifle practice on the staff of Governor James A. Beaver, 1887-1891; commander, 13th Regiment after the unit returned from duty in the Spanish-American War, 1898-1904; first president of the Pennsylvania National Guard, two years.

President, Scranton Passenger Railway Company, County Savings Bank, Title Guarantee and Trust Company, Economy Light, Heat and Power Company, Pittston Slate Company and the Boulevard Company; partner, Springbrook Water Company; owner, Mansfield Water Company.

Purchased Scranton Truth newspaper, 1908; The Scranton-Tribune Republican, 1915; merged the two newspapers and continued working as editor until 1934 when he sold it. Now the Scranton-Tribune.

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

Grand Master, Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, Free and Accepted Masons, 1916-1917; Executive Officer of the Order of DeMolay in Pennsylvania, 1934-1937, Grand Master of the International Supreme Council of the Order of DeMolay in 1936–1937.

Pennsylvania Politics:

Deputy city controller, city of Scranton; solicitor, Lackawanna County, 1881-1890.  

Elected Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 20th district, Lackawanna and Luzerne (Part) Counties, 1883-1890, not a candidate reelection 1890; committee assignments, Appropriations, Congressional Apportionment, Judicial Apportionment, Judiciary Local, Judiciary General, Military Affairs, Mines and Mining, Municipal Affairs, New County and County Seats. 

Elected, Republican, Fifth Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania, 1891-1895; Governor Robert Emory Pattison, democrat. First Lieutenant Governor in state history to serve with a governor from the opposite party.


Son, Laurence Hawley Watres, United States Representative, Pennsylvania's 11th congressional district, 1923 – 1931.

Promoted, the construction of the Wilsonville Dam on Wallenpaupack Creek, which created Lake Wallenpaupack.

In 1913, Watres purchased 15,000 acres along the Wallenpaupack Creek for $15,000. The land purchase included Lacawac, the estate previously owned by Congressman William Connell, which Watres used as a summer home. In 1966, the property was deeded to a non-profit organization and subsequently used as a nature preserve, ecological field research station and public environmental education facility.

Key member of the committee established to construct the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, Alexandria, Virginia.

The 109th Regiment Armory in Scranton, Pennsylvania, known as the "Watres Armory".


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

Smull’s Legislative Handbook, (1883). Smull, W.P., (Editor) Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pages 764, 770-772, Biographical Sketches of Senators, page 737.

Smull’s Legislative Handbook, (1888). Cochran, T.B., (Editor) Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pages 676-678.

Smull’s Legislative Handbook, (1893) Smull, J.A., Biographical Sketches of Principal State Officers Lieutenant Governor, page lxxxiv.

COL Louis A. Watres (1851-1937) - Find a Grave Memorial