Member Biography

Charles McCandless 

Sessions Office Position District Party
1863       25 Republican
1865       27 Republican


11/27/1834 - 03/14/1893

Major Charles McCandless (R25) Beaver and Butler Counties 1863-1864 (R27) Armstrong, Butler and Lawrence Counties 1865

Early Life: 

Major Charles McCandless, born November 27, 1834, Centre Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania, son of John and Jemima Reaves Sullivan; pioneer log school education; taught school in the same building, winter of 1854-1855; Witherspoon Institute; admitted, Butler County bar, 1858; lawyer; married, Catherine Zimmerman, 1860, children, Caroline, Mary B., Catherine, Louisa, and Charles; elected, major, Fourteenth, Pennsylvania Militia, 1862; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1862-1865; delegate, Republican National Convention, 1872; appointed, judge, Seventeenth judicial district, 1874-1877; appointed, chief justice, New Mexico, February-October, 1878; resumed law practice, 1878-1893; died, March 14, 1893, Butler, Butler County, Pennsylvania; interment, North Side Cemetery, Butler, Butler County, Pennsylvania.

Early Career:

Read law with his uncle, Charles C. Sullivan, admitted, Butler County bar, 1858, formed law partnership. Inherited law practice when Charles Sullivan died, 1860.

Elected, major, Fourteenth, Pennsylvania Militia, which, with other commands went to the support of General George Brinton McClellan, battle of Antietam, 1862.

Professional titles; business ownership; board memberships; local government; club memberships:

Member, Presbyterian Church, Butler County. 

Pennsylvania Politics:

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 25th district, Beaver and Butler Counties 1863-1864.

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 27th district, Armstrong, Butler and Lawrence Counties, 1865.

Delegate, Republican National Convention, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1872, nominated, Ulysses S. Grant, President nominee and Henry Wilson, Vice presidential nominee. 

Appointed, Governor Hartranft, judge, Seventeenth judicial district; received, Republican nomination for judge of the same district, comprising Butler and Lawrence counties, his associate on the ticket being L.L. McGuffin, of Lawrence; vote took place in the convention, and E. McJunkin, his competitor for the office, was nominated by the dissatisfied element of the party. The party thus being divided, a combination was affected between the friends of Judge McJunkin and James Bredin, the latter one of the Democratic nominees. This combination was successful, and Mr. McCandless and Mr. McGuffin were defeated.

Appointed, President Rutherford Hayes, chief justice, New Mexico, February-October, 1878.


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

The Progressive Men of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ... Comp. and Ed. by Col. Charles Blanchard; Volume 1 by Anonymous

History of Butler County, Pennsylvania, 1895

Maj Charles McCandless (1834-1893) - Find a Grave Memorial