Member Biography

David McConaughy 


Portrait, Courtesy Brian Kennell, from Notable People, Evergreen Cemetery;, July 24, 2007.

Sessions Office Position District Party
1867       19 Republican
1868       19 Republican

COUNTIES: Adams, Franklin  


07/13/1823 - 01/14/1902

Captain David McConaughy (R19) Adams and Franklin Counties, 1867-1868

Early Life: 

Captain David McConaughy born July 13, 1823, Gettysburg, Adams County, Pennsylvania; son of John and Margaret Patterson McConaughy; attended Gettysburg College, transferred, Washington College (now Washington and Jefferson College) graduated, 1840; studied law under Thaddeus Stevens; admitted bar, 1844; married Catharine Arnold, 1847, (d.1853), married, Leann Matthews, children, James, David, Samuel, and Mary; president, Gettysburg's Evergreen Cemetery. Captain, Civil War,  1861-1863; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1867-1868; died, at his boarding house, apparent "intestinal trouble”, January 14, 1902, Gettysburg, Adams County, Pennsylvania; interment Evergreen Cemetery, Gettysburg, Adams County, Pennsylvania. (i)     

Early Career:

Established president, director of the board, Evergreen Cemetery, 1853-1863  

Organized and captained a company of scouts, composed of his law clients called the Adams Rifles that operated in intelligence gathering. Started establishing a National Cemetery (ii) for victims of the Battle of Gettysburg to be located on the battlefield, a month after the battle. Organized the famous August 1869 reunion of soldiers who fought at Gettysburg to recount their experiences and locate specific historic sites on the battlefield.     

Pennsylvania Politics:

Delegate, Republican, 1860 National Convention May 16-18, Chicago, Illinois.

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 19th district, Adams and Franklin Counties, 1867-1868; member Estates and Escheats, Federal Relations, Judiciary General and Public Printing Committees.

Postbellum career:

Formed, Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association, 1864, initiated a project to create what became the Gettysburg National Military Cemetery.

After the war, founded Gettysburg's YMCA, purchased additional land, setting in motion what later became the Gettysburg National Military Park. 

Commissioned, painting The Battle of Gettysburg by P. F. Rothermel. Originally housed, Memorial Hall, Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, relocated, Capitol Building complex, Executive Library and Museum Building , 2nd floor, (now Matthew Ryan Building), Harrisburg, presently housed since mid- 1960’s, State Museum, (hanging, Civil War gallery) Harrisburg. Caption under painting reads picture painted for the State of Pennsylvania under award of Commission appointed by the legislature. (iii) 


Smull, J.A., (1868) A Manual for the Government of the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, pages 275 and 280-282.