Member Biography

William R Gorgas 


Historical Review of Dauphin County, Transcribed by Mary Jo Erdwein ( for The Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Transcription Project – Http://  Date of Transcription: 11 November 2000

Sessions Office Position District Party
1841       14 Democrat
1843       14 Democrat


1806 - 1892

GORGAS, Hon. William R., was born at the Gorgas homestead in Lower Allen township, Cumberland county, Pa., May 8, 1806. He was a son of Solomon Gorgas, who came to Cumberland county from Ephrata, Lancaster county, Pa., in 1804; succeeded to his father’s business, the management of a farm and general country store; attended Mt. St. Mary’s College, Emmitsburg, MD.  A Democrat, in 1836 he was elected to the state house of Representatives; re-elected twice; served through the "Buck-shot War;" and served a three-year term in the state Senate, 1842-1844.    After public service, he continued his business pursuits. He was a founder and first director of the banking firm of Merkle, Mumma & Co., of Mechanicsburg (later the First National Bank of Mechanicsburg). He was a director of the Harrisburg National Bank from 1845 until his death; a director of the Harrisburg Bridge Company; the Harrisburg City Passenger Railway Company; president of the Harrisburg Burial Case Company; and of the Allen and East Pennsboro’ Fire Insurance Company. He was a member of the Reservoir Park Commission, and of the advisory board of the Children’s Industrial Home. In 1877, he moved from the Gorgas homestead to Harrisburg, where in 1882, he was the Democratic nominee for the Legislature. The city was then Republican by a majority of five hundred, but he came within eighty-eight votes of being elected. On March 5, 1840, he married Miss Elizabeth Hummel of Harrisburg.  He died on December 7, 1892; interred in the family lot in the cemetery of Camp Hill, Cumberland County.