Member Biography

Thomas Benton Schnatterly 


Governor’s Album, PSA


Sessions Office Position District Party
1879-1880       40 Republican
1881-1882       40 Republican
1887-1888       40 Republican
1889-1890       40 Republican

COUNTIES: Fayette, Greene  


1841 - 1899

One of the “most striking figures” in gilded age, Fayette County politics, the Hon. Thomas B. Schnatterly was born in New Geneva, Fayette County, July 13, 1841, the son of John and Malinda Kendall Schnatterly.  Attemded George’s Creek Academy, Madison College, and Waynesburg College.  Taught school, studied law under Senator Thomas Searight, and joined the county bar in 1864.  A successful railroad construction contracter.  Elected district attorney, 1865; state House of Representatives, 1869-1871, 1876, 1884; and the state Senate, 1878-1882; 1886-1889, retiring early from ill-health.  He edited the Uniontown Jefffersonian Democrat from a wheel chair, 1889-1891, leaving for permanent hospitalization in 1894.
Wife was Mary Morrison, who died during Schnatterly’s prolonged illness.  Religion: Episcopalian.  Family from England.  In the General assembly, Schnatterly pioneered many of the state’s pro-labor reforms, positing the Senator as an archrival of industrialists.  He was a champion for the public school system.  An invalid for the final 10 years of his life, the Senator suffered from “locomotor ataxia,” a condition eventually exacerbated by “three months of grip and dropsy.”  Died March 31, 1899 at Homeopathic Hospital. Pittsburgh.