Member Biography

Hiester Clymer 


Collection of the United States House of Representatives

Sessions Office Position District Party
1860       6 Democrat
1861       6 Democrat
1862       6 Democrat
1863       6 Democrat
1864       6 Democrat
1865       8 Democrat
1866       8 Democrat



11/03/1827 - 06/12/1884

Private Hiester Clymer (D6) Berks County 1861-1864 (D8) Berks County 1865-1866 

Early Life: 

Hiester Clymer, born November 3, 1827, Caernarvon Township, Morgantown, Berks County, Pennsylvania; son of Edward T Clymer and Maria Catharine “Mariah” Clymer Heister; attended, Reading primary schools; Princeton College, 1847; studied law; admitted, Berks County bar, 1849; attorney, law practiced; married, Elizabeth M. Brooke  Clymer, 1856 (d.1870), married, Elizabeth Amelia W. “Eliza” Von Schrader Clymer, 1880, son, Edward Brooke Clymer; represented Berks County on the board of revenue commissioners of the State, 1860; delegate, Democratic National Conventions, Charleston, Baltimore, 1860; elected, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1861-1866; private, Pennsylvania Emergency Militia, 1862; unsuccessful Democratic candidate, Governor, 1866; delegate, Democratic National Convention, 1868; member, State Board of Charities, 1870; elected, Democrat, United States House of Representatives, 1873-1881; vice president, Union Trust Company, Philadelphia, president, Clymer Iron Company, 1880-1884; died, suicide, morphine, June 12, 1884 (aged 56), Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania; interment, Charles Evans Cemetery, Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania.

Early Career:

Practiced law, Reading and Berks County 1849-1851, moved, Pottsville, Schuylkill County; returned, Reading, 1856; represented, Berks County, board of revenue commissioners of the State, 1860.  

Private, 11th Regiment, Pennsylvania Emergency Militia, Civil War, 1862

Vice president, Union Trust Company, Philadelphia, president, Clymer Iron Company, 1880-1884.  

Pennsylvania Politics: 

Delegate, Democratic National Conventions, Charleston and Baltimore, 1860.

Elected, Democrat, Pennsylvania State Senate, 6th district, Berks County, 1861-1864, vacancy, death Benjamin Nummemacher. 

Elected, Democrat, Pennsylvania State Senate, 8th district, Berks County, 1865- resigned 1866. 

Unsuccessful Democratic candidate, Governor, 1866. Union Major-General John W. Geary.

Delegate, Democratic National Convention, 1868.

Member, State Board of Charities, 1870.  

Continued Government Service/National Politics:

Elected, Democrat, United States House of Representatives, Forty-third, Forty-fourth, Forty-fifth Forty-sixth Congresses, 1873-1881; chairman, Committee on Expenditures in the Department of War (Forty-fourth Congress), Committee on Appropriations (Forty-fourth Congress), Committee on Expenditures in the Department of State (Forty-sixth Congress); not a candidate for renomination, 1880. 

Known for his investigation of President Ulysses S. Grant, Secretary of War William W. Belknap, 1876. Belknap escaped conviction in a Senate trial, since he resigned his cabinet position before being impeached by the House of Representatives.


Brother, Edward M. Clymer, married actress and poet, Ella Maria Dietz.

Nephew, William Muhlenberg Hiester, Speaker, Pennsylvania State Senate, 5th district, 1853-1857.  United States House of Representatives, fourth congressional district, 1831-1837.

William Muhlenberg Hiester  - Pennsylvania Senate Library (

Uncle, William Hiester, Jr., 6th district, Lancaster and York Counties, 1841-1843, elected Speaker Pennsylvania State Senate, 1842. United States House of Representatives, Twenty-second, Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth Congresses, 1831-1837.

William Hiester  - Pennsylvania Senate Library (

Cousin, Isaac Ellmaker Hiester, appointed, Deputy Attorney General (District Attorney) Lancaster County, 1848-1851. United States House of Representatives, 1852-1854. 

Political families: Lee-Randolph family of Maryland and Virginia; Muhlenberg-Hiester family of Pennsylvania.

Died, dose of morphine, suicidal intent, of what one newspaper account called financial embarrassment.


Cox, Harold "Senate Members "C"Wilkes University Election Statistics ProjectWilkes University.

Ellis Review Headlight (Ellis, Kansas) Tuesday June 24, 1884, Page 2.

Hiester Clymer (1827-1884) - Find a Grave Memorial

Congressional Biography

After 7 session(s) serving in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Hiester Clymer  went on to serve in congress