Member Biography

Boies Penrose 

Sessions Office Position District Party
1887-1888       6 Republican
1889-1890     President Pro Tempore 6 Republican
1891-1892       6 Republican
1893-1894       6 Republican
1895-1896       6 Republican
1897-1898       6 Republican

COUNTIES: Philadelphia  


11/01/1860 - 12/31/1921

Boise Penrose (R6) Philadelphia County 1887-1897 

Early Life: 

Boies Penrose, born November 1, 1860; Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania; son of Doctor Richard Alexander Fullerton Penrose and Sarah Hannah Boies Penrose; Episcopal Academy, Philadelphia, prepared for college, private tutors; Harvard University, graduated, honors, 1881; studied law; admitted, Pennsylvania bar, 1883; attorney, law firm, Philadelphia, 1883-1921; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, 1884-1886; unsuccessful candidate, mayor, Philadelphia 1895; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate 1887-1897, elected, president pro tempore, 1889-1890; elected, Republican, United States Senate, 1897-1921; died, December 31, 1921, (aged 61) pulmonary thrombosis, penthouse suite, Wardman Park, Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia; interment, family grave section, Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. 

Early Career:

Attorney, Paige, Allison and Penrose, Philadelphia, 1883-1921. 


Allinson, Edward Pease and Boies Penrose.  The City Government of Philadelphia. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University, 1886.

Allinson, Edward Pease and Boies Penrose. Philadelphia 1681-1887: A History of Municipal Development, 1887.

Allinson, Edward Pease and Boies Penrose.  Ground Rents in Philadelphia, 1888. 


U.S. Congress. Senators from Pennsylvania. Memorial Addresses Delivered in the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States in Memory of Philaner C. Knox, Boies Penrose, William E. Crow, Late Senators from Pennsylvania. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1924.

Davenport, Walter. Power and Glory: The Life of Boies Penrose. New York, NY: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1931.

Bowden, Robert Douglas. Boies Penrose: Symbol of an Era.  The University of California, 1937.

Pennsylvania Politics: 

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, 1884-1886 not a candidate for reelection, 1886. 

Unsuccessful candidate, mayor, Philadelphia 1895. 

Chairman, Pennsylvania Republican Party (PAGOP), 1903-1905.  

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate 6th district, Philadelphia, 1887-1897, elected, president pro tempore, 1889-1890; committee assignments, Appropriations, Corporations, Finance, Judicial General; resigned, January 27, 1897. Israel Durham, elected February 16, 1897, to fill vacancy; elected, United States Senator.

Pennsylvania House of Representatives Biography:

Official Website - PA House Archives Official Website ( 

Continued Government Service/National Politics:

Elected, Republican, United States Senate, defeated John Wanamaker, March 4, 1897 – December 31, 1921; chairman, Committee on Immigration, Fifty-sixth, Fifty-seventh Congresses, Committee on Post Office and Post Roads, Fifty-eighth, Fifty-nineth, Sixtyth, Sixty-first Congresses, Committee on Education and Labor, Fifty-ninth Congress, Committee on Finance, Sixty-second, Committee on Additional Accommodations for the Library, Sixty-third, Sixtyth-fourth, Sixty-fifth Congresses, Committee on Finance, Sixty-sixth, Sixty-seventh, Congresses. 

Member, Republican National Committee from Pennsylvania, 1904-1912.

Member, Republican National Committee from Pennsylvania, 1916-1921.


Grandfather, Speaker, Charles Bingham Penrose Pennsylvania State Senate, 16th district, Cumberland and Perry Counties 1833-1837, 14th district, Adams, Cumberland and Franklin Counties 1837-1841, 1st district, Philadelphia County 1857

Charles Bingham Penrose  - Pennsylvania Senate Library (

Brother of gynecologist Charles Bingham Penrose and mining entrepreneurs Richard and Spencer. Descendant, prominent Biddle family, Philadelphia; grandnephew of Edward MacFunn Biddle; second great-grandnephew of Edward Biddle and Charles Biddle; first cousin thrice removed of James Biddle, John Biddle (1792-1859) and Richard Biddle; first cousin four times removed of John Scull; second cousin of Edward MacFunn Biddle, Jr.; second cousin twice removed of Charles John Biddle and Thomas Biddle; third cousin once removed of John Biddle (1859-1936); third cousin twice removed of Edward Scull; fourth cousin of Francis Beverley Biddle; fourth cousin once removed of George Ross Scull (1856-?), Robert Spencer Scull and Anthony Joseph Drexel Biddle, Jr. 

Authored, three books with his law partner, Edward Pease Allison. 

In 1903, along with his brothers and father, invested in the formation of the Utah Copper Company. Now known as Kennecott Utah Copper LLC (KUC), operates the Bingham Canyon Mine, one of the largest open-pit copper mines in the world, Bingham Canyon, Salt Lake County, Utah.

In November, 1915, accompanied the Liberty Bell on its nationwide tour returning to Pennsylvania from the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco; Penrose accompanied the bell to New Orleans and then to Philadelphia. The Liberty Bell has not been moved from Pennsylvania since. 

Was the longest-serving Pennsylvania United States Senator until Arlen Specter, 1981- 2011, surpassed his record in 2005. 


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

Cox, Harold. Senate1790-1869 ( University Election Statistics Project. Wilkes University.

Smull’s Legislative Handbook, (1896). Cochran, T.B., (Editor) Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pages 1053, 1061-1064, Biographical Sketches of Senators, page 1019.

Boies Penrose (1860-1921) - Find a Grave Memorial

Congressional Biography

After 6 session(s) serving in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Boies Penrose  went on to serve in congress