Member Biography

William Miller Francis 

Sessions Office Position District Party
1858       26 Republican
1859       26 Republican
1860     Speaker 26 Republican


04/04/1810 - 12/13/1894

William Miller Francis (R26) Lawrence, Mercer and Venango Counties 1858-1860

Early Life:

William Miller Francis, born April 4, 1811, Ballymena, County Antrim, Northern Ireland; son of Andrew and Elizabeth Francis; arrived, Baltimore Maryland, 1828; Ohio County, Virginia, eventually moving, Lackawanna Township, Mercer County, 1837; ministry, Lafayette College, leaving in his junior year due to poor health, attained Master of Arts degree; married Ellen Junkin, 1838 children, John Junkin Francis, William Miller Francis, Martha Dunn, Julia Miller Anderson, Elizabeth Williams; moved, New Wilmington; engaged, mercantile business, farming, built a permanent home, present site, Westminster College campus; position, Westminster College faculty; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1858-1860; Speaker, 1860; member, New Wilmington’s Roundhead Regiment, New Castle, 1861; Appointed, Governor Curtin, Special Relief Commissioner for the State’s Sick and Wounded Soldiers; elder Neshannock Presbyterian Church; completely blind by 1874; forward, 1883, spent, with children, New Athens, Ohio; died, December 13, 1894, (aged 83) New Athens, Harrison County, Ohio; interment, Neshannock Presbyterian Cemetery, New Wilmington, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Politics:

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 26th district, Lawrence, Mercer and Venango Counties 1858-18601858-1860; Speaker, 1860.


Hubert Rex Johnson, A History of the Neshannock Presbyterian Church (Washington, DC: National Capitol Press, 1925), pages 375-376.

Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Baltimore, 1820-1834: From Customs Passenger Lists, editor, Michael H. Tepper, transcriber Elizabeth P. Bentley (Baltimore: Baltimore Genealogical Publishing Co., 1982), page 183.

Pennsylvania Cenus, 1840, 1850, 1860; Virginia Census, Ohio County, 1830.

Aaron C. Hazen, 20th Century History of New Castle and Lawrence County, Pennsylvania and representative citizens (Chicago: Richmond Arnold, 1908) pages 42, 83, 371.

Cemeteries of Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, Book I, Mahoning Township, complied Dwight Edward Copper (Apollo, Pennsylvania: Closson Press, 1994), page 12.

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

Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, Soldiers: Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, complied Paul W. Myers (Apollo, Pennsylvania: Closson Press). Johnson, page 376.