Member Biography

Charles Wesley Thomas 

Sessions Office Position District Party
1891-1892       4 Republican
1893-1894     President Pro Tempore 4 Republican
1895-1896     President Pro Tempore 4 Republican
1897-1898       4 Republican

COUNTIES: Philadelphia  


06/06/1860 - 06/14/1907

Charles Wesley (C. Wesley) Thomas (R4) Philadelphia County, 1891-1898

Early Life: 

Charles Wesley Thomas, born, June 6, 1860, city of Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania;  son of  Benjamin and Martha A. Thomas; accounting clerk, Pennsylvania Railroad Company; engaged, real estate; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, 1885-1889; resigned 1889; assistant secretary, Republican State Committee, 1887, state secretary, Republican State Committee, 1888; married, Mattie R. Conard , 1886; private secretary, collector, United States Customs Service, Philadelphia, 1889-1890; elected, delegate, Republican State Conventions, 1888, 1892; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1891-1898; elected, Senate President pro tempore 1893-1896; presidential appointment, collector of customs, United States Customs Service, Philadelphia 1898-1907; died, June 14, 1907, (age, 47) suffering a sudden, massive heart attack while vacationing, summer home, Linwood, Atlantic County, New Jersey, interment private.

Early Career:

Actively participated, local Republican Party, member, 24th Ward Republican City Campaign Committee; member, Clover Club; Union League of Philadelphia, Hamilton Republican Club.

Private Secretary, Thomas V. Cooper, collector, United States Customs Service, Philadelphia, 1889-1890.

Pennsylvania Politics:

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania, State House of Representatives, 1885-1889.

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 4th district, Philadelphia County, 1891-1898; elected, Senate President pro tempore 1893-1896; Chair, Corporations Committee; member, Appropriations, Finance, Judiciary Special, Municipal Affairs and Railroad and Street Passenger Railways Committees. Member of the committee that abolished Philadelphia Public Building Commission. Resignation, March 19, 1898.

Appointed, (succeeding former Senator Thomas Valentine Cooper, death) President William McKinley, 1898, reappointed, President Theodore Roosevelt, 1902, 1906,Collector of Customs, Port of Philadelphia, 1898-1907. In 1906, he established a collection record, achieving an A-1 rating from the federal government for instituting reform programs and cost efficiency systems.

Pennsylvania House of Representatives Biography:


In 1904, he received acclaim as one of Philadelphia’s most prominent citizens.

Went by C. Wesley Thomas.  


Cochran, T.B., (Ed.) (1897) Smull’s Legislative Hand Book, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pages 1074 and 1081-1084, Biographical Sketches of Senators, page 1047.

The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) Sunday June 16, 1907, Page 21