Member Biography

John Peter Shindel Gobin 


Portrait: Senate of Pennsylvania

Sessions Office Position District Party
1885-1886       17 Republican
1887-1888       17 Republican
1889-1890       17 Republican
1891-1892     President Pro Tempore 17 Republican
1893-1894       17 Republican
1895-1896       17 Republican
1897-1898       17 Republican

COUNTIES: Lebanon  


01/26/1837 - 05/01/1910

John Peter Shindel Gobin (R17) Lebanon County 1885 – 1899

Early Life: 

John Peter Shindel Gobin, born January 26, 1837, Sunbury, Northumberland County, son of Samuel and Susannah (Shindel) Gobin; education, common schools; worked printer’s apprentice, attorney, Northumberland County Bar 1858; Brigadier General, Civil War (1861-1866), Provost Judge of Charleston, South Carolina (1865-1866); served, Pennsylvania National Guard 1870–1907; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 17th district, 1885 – 1899; Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, (1897), elected, President pro tempore 1891 -1893; elected, Republican,  7th Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania, 1899 – 1903; (i) Married Anna Maria “Annie” Howe, (1866) no children (ii) Died, Lebanon, Lebanon, County, Pennsylvania, May 1, 1910; Interment, Mount Lebanon Cemetery, Lebanon, County, Lebanon, Pennsylvania.

Early Career:

Years of service 1861–1866 (Union Army)

Civil War, Union Brevet Brigadier General. Enlisted, Civil War, 1st Lieutenant in Company F, 11th Pennsylvania (Three-Months) Volunteer Infantry. Promoted, Captain, Company C, 47th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, participated, capture, Confederate War Steamer "Governor Milton" (the only steamer captured by infantry during the war) promoted, Major and commander of his regiment, 47th Pennsylvania, promoted, Lieutenant Colonel, November 24, 1864, Colonel; January 3, 1865, brevetted Brigadier General, United States Volunteers, March 13, 1865 for "faithful and meritorious services during the war". Commanded, 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 19th Army Corps, Lynchburg, Virginia, appointed Provost Judge of Charleston, South Carolina (1865-1866). Post-war career, leading the Pennsylvania National Guard. Served, Brigadier General of Volunteers, Spanish-American War, Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, 1897. (iii)

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

Grand Master of the Knights Templar of North America. Grand Patriarch with the International Order of Odd Fellows; Vice President and Commissioner, Soldiers’ Orphans Schools (established Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Gregg Curtin); trustee, Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home, Erie County; solicitor and member of the boards of directors, First National Bank of Lebanon and the Cornwall and Lebanon Railway Company; member, Loyal Legion and Sons of the Revolution.

Pennsylvania Politics:

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 17th district, Lebanon County, served 1885 – 1899, seven consecutive two year terms. Elected, Grand Army of the Republic Department Commander, 1887. Gettysburg National Battlefield legislation, 1889. Served, member, Gettysburg Battlefield Monument Association (GBMA); member Constitutional Reform, Judiciary (General), Judiciary (Local), Pension and Gratuities and Military Affairs Committees. Wrongful Injury Bill, 1895 and repeal of the federal force Bill enacted 1871. Summer, 1897, final term, state senator, elected, Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic.  

Elected, President pro tempore 1891 -1893. Co-sponsored, Baker Ballot Bill, clarified, election voting, 1891. Workhouse Law, 1893. 

Names of any service after Senate –year(s):

Elected, Republican, 7th Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania,  Governor William Alexis Stone, 1899 – 1903. The first President Pro Tempore in the history of the Pennsylvania Senate to serve as Lieutenant Governor.

Pennsylvania National Guard 1870–1907  

Appointed, United States Army Volunteers, President William McKinley, June 19, 1898, commissioned, Brigadier-General, served, 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, Spanish -American War. Later stationed, 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, XIX Corps, Camp Mackenzie, Georgia and Camp Meade, Middletown, Pennsylvania. (ii)


Nephew of Army Chaplain, State Senator Jeremiah Shindel.

Wife, Anna Maria “Annie” Howe, the daughter, United States Army Captain Charles Howe from Massachusetts.


Smull’s Legislative Hand Book, (1888) Cochran, T.B., Biographical Sketches of Senators, pages 642-643 and 676-678.

(i) William Henry Powell, editor, Officers of the Army and Navy (Volunteer) who Served in the Civil War, 1893, page 127