Member Biography

Jonas Preston 

Sessions Office Position District Party
1808-1809       2 Federalist
1809-1810       2 Federalist
1810-1811       2 Federalist
1811-1812       2 Federalist

COUNTIES: Chester, Delaware  


01/25/1764 - 04/04/1836

Doctor Jonas Preston, Jr. (Federalist2) Chester and Delaware Counties 1808-1812

Early Life:

Doctor Jonas Preston, Jr., born January 25, 1764, Province of Pennsylvania, British Colonial America; son of Jonas, Sr. and Mary Pennell Preston; married, Orpha Preston, Jane Thomas Preston; student of medicine, studied with Dr. Band, Philadelphia, attended lectures, Pennsylvania Hospital, subsequently went to Europe, graduated, University of Edinburgh; elected, Federalist, Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, 1794-1802, unsuccessful campaigns, Speaker of House, 1799, 1800; unsuccessful campaigns, United States House of Representatives, Pennsylvania, 1802, Special Election, 1806; unsuccessful campaign, Pennsylvania Governor, 1811; second president, Bank of Delaware County, 1814-1815; elected, Auditor, Delaware County, 1815; died, April 04, 1836 (72 years, 2 months and 9 days) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; interment, Downingtown Friends Meeting Cemetery, Downingtown, Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Politics:

Elected, Federalist, Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, Delaware County, 1794-1802, unsuccessful campaigns, Speaker of House, 1799, 1800.

Unsuccessful campaigns, United States House of Representatives, 1st district Pennsylvania, 1802, Special Election, 1806. 

Election, Federalist, Pennsylvania State Senate, 2nd district, Chester and Delaware Counties, 1808-1812.

Unsuccessful campaign, Pennsylvania Governor, 1811

Elected, Auditor, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, 1815.

Pennsylvania State House of Representatives Biography:

Not currently available. 


The Preston Retreat, a maternity hospital which began construction in 1837, functioned as a foster home, 1840-1865, finally opened for maternity services in 1866. This lying-in hospital was funded by the estate of Jonas Preston, a Philadelphia physician, politician, and philanthropist. Apparently, philanthropy was in vogue in the early 1830s, Stephen Girard, 1831 leaving the City of Philadelphia $6 million (inflation adjusted $140 million today) to fund a private K-12 boarding school for poor white male orphans. Not to be outdone in spirit if not in dollar amount, in 1836 Preston left $250,000 (today $6 million) to the State for the construction and maintenance of a lying-in hospital for indigent married women of good character. Per his will: "The persons to be admitted shall be married women of good character, and in indigent circumstances, who are near the time of their confinement and at the time of application shall be resident in the city or county of Philadelphia or county of Delaware, shall produce satisfactory testimonials of character." 


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

A New Nation Votes (

The Preston Retreat | matthiasbaldwinpark ( 

Dr Jonas Preston (unknown-1867) - Find a Grave Memorial