Member Biography

Israel Wilson Durham 

Sessions Office Position District Party
1897-1898       6 Republican
1909-1910       2 Republican

COUNTIES: Philadelphia  


10/24/1855 - 06/28/1909

Israel Wilson Durham (R6) Philadelphia County 1897-1898 (R2) Philadelphia County 1908-1909

Early Life:

Israel Wilson Durham, born October 24, 1855, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania; son of Thomas Durham and Jane Elizabeth Norris Durham; public school education; engaged, cloth business; apprenticed, bricklayer; engaged, flour buyer, salesman. elected, Philadelphia Police Magistrate, 1883-1895; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1897-1898, appointed, Insurance Commissioner, 1899-1905; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1908-1909; delegate, Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1900, 1904, 1908; president, Philadelphia Phillies National League Baseball Club, 1909; died, June 28, 1909, in office of the Senate, suddenly, summer residence, Atlantic City, Atlantic County, New Jersey; interment, Mount Moriah Cemetery, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.

Early Career:

Engaged, cloth business, J. B. Ellison and Company; bricklayer, apprenticed, Silas Emory; engaged, father's business, flour buyer, salesman. 

Pennsylvania Politics: 

Elected, Philadelphia Police Magistrate, 1883-1895. 

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 6th district, Philadelphia County, 1897-1898, vacancy, Boies Penrose, elected, United States Senate; committee assignments, Corporations, Education, Finance, Insurance, Judiciary Special, Legislative Apportionment, Municipal Affairs and Public Supply of Light, Heat and Water. 

Appointed, Insurance Commissioner, Governor William Alexis Stone, 1899-1902; re-appointed, Insurance Commissioner, Governor Samuel Whitaker Pennypacker; January 1903 - June 1, 1905.

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 2nd district, Philadelphia County, 1908-1909; vacancy, resignation, John M. Scott; committee assignments, Appropriations, Corporations, Finance, Judiciary Special, Law and Order, New Counties and County Seats, Public Health and Sanitation and Railroads; died, June 28, 1909, in office of the Senate. 

Established by an act of the Pennsylvania Legislature, Mount Moriah Cemetery Association of Philadelphia, incorporated, March 27, 1855, (1857 (1855) P.L. 729, No.732).

Act of February 17, 1865 (1865 P.L.172, No.163), ceded at least some portion of the Mount Moriah Cemetery to the Federal Government.

Mount Moriah Cemetery closed its gates in April 2011 and had no owner when the last member of the board of directors died. The Orphans Court of Philadelphia granted the Mount Moriah Cemetery Preservation Corporation, a receivership in 2014.


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

Smull’s Legislative Handbook, (1898). Cochran, T.B., (Editor) Miller, H.P. (Assistant Editor) Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pages 1163, 1169-1171, Biographical Sketches of Senators, page 1136.

Smull’s Legislative Handbook, (1909). Miller, H.P., (Compiler). Baker, W.H., (Assistant Compiler). Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pages 942, 949-952, Biographical Sketches of Senators, page 919.

The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) Tuesday June 29, 1909, Page 16.

The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) Tuesday June 29, 1909, Page 1.

Scharf, John Thomas (1884). History of Philadelphia, 1609–1884. Philadelphia: L.H. Everts & Co. p. 2360. Retrieved 23 August 2019. moriah.

History of Philadelphia, 1609-1884 : Scharf, J. Thomas (John Thomas), 1843-1898 : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive 

History and notable burials Mount Moriah Cemetery (Philadelphia) - Wikipedia

Israel Wilson Durham (1855-1909) - Find a Grave Memorial