Member Biography

John Morgan Greer 


Portrait, Governor’s Photograph Album,1878, RG 22, PSA

Sessions Office Position District Party
1877       41 Republican
1878       41 Republican
1879-1880       41 Republican
1881-1882       41 Republican
1883-1884       41 Republican

COUNTIES: Armstrong, Butler  


08/03/1844 - 03/16/1912

Captain John Morgan Greer (R41) Armstrong and Butler Counties, 1877-1884

Early Life: 

Born August 3, 1844, Jefferson Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania, son of Thomas and Margaret Jane Morgan Greer; educated, home and common schools, attending Connoquenessing Academy, Zelienople, Pennsylvania; teacher, 1861-1862; Sargent, Civil War, 1862-1863, 1864-1865; Captain Pennsylvania, National Guard, 1866, married Julia S. Butler, 1864, children, Hattie, Thomas, John and Robert; attorney; Butler County, bar; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1877-1884; unsuccessful republican candidate, Secretary of Interior, 1882; Inspector, Soldiers Orphans Schools, Governor James A. Beaver, 1887-1891, resigned; founder supporter, trustee, Slippery Rock State Normal School, 1889; President Judge, 17th Judicial District, 1893, President Judge 15th Judicial District, redistricting, 1895;  died, March 16, 1912 (aged 67) interment North Side Cemetery, Butler, Butler County, Pennsylvania. (i)

 Early Life:    

Enlisted, 1862, Company D, 137th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, nine-month service; battles of South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville, 1863; re-enlisted, March 1864, Battery E, 2d Pennsylvania Artillery, reorganized, 2d Provisional Artillery; Sargent, Battery B, Ninth United States Army Corps;   returned to action, Wilderness; Spotsylvania; wounded, shot through the left thigh at the Battle of the Crater, part of the siege of Petersburg; military hospital, March 1865; returned, Appomattox, mustered out with his regiment, February 1866, commissioned Captain, Pennsylvania National Guard.

Teacher; read law, Judge Charles McCandless; Butler County bar, September 23, 1867; entered private practice; Butler County district attorney, 1868; partnership, Judge Charles McCandless, 1873.

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

Founder supporter, trustee, Slippery Rock State Normal School, 1889; now known as Slippery Rock University; member, Grand Army of the Republic Post 105

Pennsylvania Politics:

Elected, Republican Pennsylvania State Senate, 41th district Armstrong and Butler Counties, 1877-1884; chair, Judiciary Apportionment Committees; member, Federal Relations, Insurance, Judiciary General, New Counties New Seats Committees.

Unsuccessful Republican candidate, Secretary of Interior, 1882.

Continued Government Service/National Politics:

Inspector of the Soldiers Orphans Schools Governor James A. Beaver, 1887-1891, resigned.

President Judge, 17th Judicial District, 1893, President Judge 15th Judicial District, redistricting, 1895.


Smull’s Legislative Hand Book, (1883) Smull, W.P., Biographical Sketches of Senators, page 731, 765 and 770-772.