Private John Patrick “Big Jack” Colihan (D30) Schuylkill County 1875-1876
Private John P. “Big Jack” Colihan born 1840, Galway, Ireland, 1842, son of John and Ellen Colihan, moved to Middleport, Schuylkill County; coal mine engineer, 1860; private Civil War, 1861-1863; dry goods and grocery business, Ashland, Pennsylvania; 1870-1885; elected, Democrat, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1875-1876; married, Mary Campbell, children, Edward James Colihan, Mary Agnes, John Colihan, Hannah, William Colihan, Thomas Colihan; died, June 15, 1885 (44-45) Ashland, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.
Enlisted, with brother, Patrick, Ashland Rifles, April 21-July 25, 1861; saw limited action; later mustered in, Aug. 17, 1862, private, Company K, 137th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry - nine months; saw action at Antietam and Chancellorsville; mustered out, June 1863.
Elected, Democrat, Pennsylvania State Senate, 30th district, Schuylkill County, 1875-1876, member, Accounts (Appropriations) and Mines and Mining Committees.
Supported the Bituminous Coal Health and Safety Act, establishing misdemeanor penalties for mine owners who neglected its provisions; voted in favor of allowing defendants to testify in their own defense, important legislation during the Molly Maguire trials in Pottsville.
Smull’s Legislative Handbook, (1875) Smull, J.A., Members of the Senate of Pennsylvania, page 601 and 606-608.