Member Biography

Horatio Balch Hackett 


Memorial Portrait, Senate of Pennsylvania, 1905.

Sessions Office Position District Party
1903-1904       8 Republican
1905-1906       8 Republican

COUNTIES: Philadelphia  


01/08/1844 - 07/12/1905

Captain Horatio Balch “Rash” Hackett (R8) Philadelphia, 1903-1905

Early Life: 

Captain Horatio Balch (“Rash”) Hackett, born January 8, 1844, Lower Penn’s Neck, Salem County, New Jersey, son of Richard and Mary Hackett originally of Salisbury, Massachusetts; attended public schools, Philadelphia; brakeman and fireman, Philadelphia and Reading Railroad; letter carrier, Post Office; night inspector, customs house; Clerk, Register of Wills; State Appraiser; elected, Philadelphia, Police Magistrate, 1887, 1892, and 1898; elected, Treasurer, Republican City Campaign Committee; alternate delegate, 1888 and 1892 Republican Conventions; delegate, 1896 and 1904 Republican Conventions; elected, Register of Wills of Philadelphia County, 1898; elected, Republican Philadelphia Ward Leader; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 8th district, (1903-1906); married Jane P. Lukens, 3 sons, 1 daughter; died in office, July 12, 1905; Interment North Cedar Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (i)

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

Charter member, Post 51, Grand Army of the Republic, member, Military of Loyal Legion, Knights Templar.

Early Career:

Enlisted, drummer boy, age 16, 4 feet 11 inches, 89 pounds, nicknamed “Rash Hackett, the Little Drummer Boy”, (ii) Company B, 81st Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry (known as “The Fighting Chippewa’s”), July 25, 1861; reenlisted, veteran, age 19, promoted, 1st Lieutenant by muster-out, Captain of Commissaries, June 29, 1865.  

Pennsylvania Politics:

Elected, Philadelphia, Police Magistrate, 1887, 1892 and 1898.  

Elected, Treasurer, Republican City Campaign Committee, four years.

Alternate delegate, 1888 Republican National Convention, 5th district Auditorium Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, June 19-25, nomination of: Benjamin Harrison, Indiana, President and Levi P. Morton, New York, Vice-President.

Alternate delegate, 1892 Republican National Convention, Industrial Exposition Building, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 7-10, nominated President Benjamin Harrison, Indiana, re-election and Whitelaw Reid, New York, vice president.

Delegate, 1896 Republican National Convention, held temporary structure south, Saint Louis City Hall, Saint Louis, Missouri, June 16-18; William McKinley, Ohio, nominated, president New Jersey banker Garret A. Hobart, New Jersey, nominated, vice president.

Delegate, 1904 Republican National Convention, 5th district, Chicago Coliseum, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, June 21 to 23, 1904, nomination of: Theodore Roosevelt of New York, for President and Charles W. Fairbanks of Indiana, for Vice-President.

Elected, Register of Wills of Philadelphia County, 1898.

Elected, Republican Philadelphia Ward Leader, 30 years.

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 8th district, Philadelphia County 1903-1904 and 1905-1906, Chair, Congressional Apportionment, member, City Passenger Railways, Law and order, Legislative Apportionment, Military Affairs and Pension and Gratuities.     


Father, distinguished scholar and businessman, located, Salem County, New Jersey, educated Newton Theological Seminary, moved, Philadelphia, 1847. Horatio’s uncle and namesake was also Horatio Balch Hackett, prominent eighteenth-century biblical scholar and professor at Amherst College, Andover, MA, and Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. The Senator’s grandparents were Richard Sr. and Martha (Balch) Hackett.

Often confused with his well-known son, Horatio Balch Hackett, Jr. (1880-1941) leading American architect and construction executive, a college football player and official, a decorated combat veteran of World War I, and Assistant Administrator of the Public Works Administration during the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Impressive memorial delivered in the Senate, chiefly from his neighbor and replacement, Vivian Frank Gable.

Named for him: Horatio B. Hackett School 2161 E York St, Philadelphia, PA 19125 (iii)


Smull’s Legislative Hand Book, (1905) Miller, H.P., Biographical Sketches of Senators, pages 960, 992-995.