Member Biography

George Handy Smith 


McAtee, William, comp. Souvenir: Portraits and Biographies of the Members of the Legislature of Pennsylvania and Heads of Departments, Session of 1895. Harrisburg, Pa.: The Roshon Portrait Company, 1895.

Sessions Office Position District Party
1875       1 Republican
1877       1 Republican
1879-1880       1 Republican
1881-1882       1 Republican
1883-1884       1 Republican
1885-1886     President Pro Tempore 1 Republican
1887-1888       1 Republican
1889-1890       1 Republican
1891-1892       1 Republican
1893-1894       1 Republican
1895-1896       1 Republican

COUNTIES: Philadelphia  


07/21/1832 - 04/14/1898

George Handy Smith (R1) Philadelphia County 1875-1895

Early Life: 

George Handy Smith, born July 21, 1832, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania; son of Levin Handy Smith and Margaret Phillips Smith, attended, Locust Street Elementary School; corporal, 9th Regiment, Pennsylvania Emergency Militia (1862, Civil War); jeweler and silversmith; night clerk, Central Police Station, city of Philadelphia; detective, city of Philadelphia; married, Sophia Cecilia McGowan; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, 1872, 1873 and 1874 terms; not a candidate for reelection, 1875 term; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate (1875-1896); elected, president pro tempore (1885-1886); elected, superintendent, Guardians of the Poor, Philadelphia (1884); died, April 14, 1898  city of Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania; interment, Mount Moriah Cemetery, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.

Early Life: 

Enlisted, Corporal, 9th Regiment, Pennsylvania Emergency Militia, mustered out, 1862.

Clerked, jeweler, Gould and Company, Wriggins and Warden, Bennet & Caldwell, silversmiths Bailey and Kitchen, Philadelphia.

Night clerk, detective, Philadelphia’s Central Police Station.

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

Member, Hector Tyndale Post Grand Army of the Republic, 9th Regiment Pennsylvania Guard; member, First Regiment, National Guard of Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Politics:

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, 1872, 1873 and 1874 terms, not a candidate for reelection, 1875 term.

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate 1st district, Philadelphia County, 1875-1896, elected, president pro tempore, 1885-1886; Chaired, Congressional Apportionment, Corporations, Insurance, and Public Buildings Committees, member Appropriations, Finance, Legislative Appropriations and Municipal Affairs Committees. Lost primary reelection, George Augustus Vare.

Elected, superintendent, Guardians of the Poor, Philadelphia (1884)


Chaired, inaugural committees, Republican Governors John F. Hartranft, Henry M Hoyt, and Daniel H. Hastings, member, Democrat Governor Robert E. Pattison committee. 

Thrown from a carriage at his Gwynadd country home in mid-1896, suffered paralysis, contracted pneumonia, never recovered.


Smull’s Legislative Hand Book, (1889) Cochran, T.B., Biographical Sketches of Senators, page 660, 687, 693-695.