Member Biography

Arthur George Olmsted 

Sessions Office Position District Party
1869       13 Republican
1870       13 Republican


09/30/1827 - 09/18/1914

Arthur George Olmsted (R13) Potter, Tioga, McKean and Clinton Counties 1869-1870

Early Life: 

Arthur George Olmsted born, September 30, 1827, Masonville, Delaware County, New York; son of Daniel and Lucy Ann Schofield Olmsted; attended, Coudersport Academy; farmer;  attorney; elected, District Attorney, Potter County, 1851-1854; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, 1863-1865; elected, Speaker, 1865, not a candidate for reelection, 1865; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1869-1870; appointed, judge, 1871-1872; unsuccessful campaign, Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor, 1874; appointed, judge, 4th judicial district, 1882; appointed, president judge, 48th judicial district, 1883-1901; appointed, president judge, 55th judicial district, 1901-1902; engaged, real estate; director, Coudersport and Port Allegheny Railroad Company; married, Ellen Ross Olmsted, 1860, children, Ellen Nellie Olmsted Dubois, Robert Arch Olmsted; died, September 18, 1914, (aged 86) Coudersport, Potter County, Pennsylvania; interment, Eulalia Cemetery, Coudersport, Potter County, Pennsylvania.  

Pennsylvania Politics:

Elected, District Attorney, Potter County 1851-1854.

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, 1863- 1865; elected, elected Speaker of the House, beating Democratic challenger George A. Quigley by a vote of 60 to 36. During his time as Speaker, Act 37 was passed which created a pension plan providing a monthly payment to disabled veterans of the Civil War. The 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which abolished slavery, was approved by the Pennsylvania Legislature during this session, resulting in the amendment’s ratification on December 6, 1865; not a candidate for reelection, 1865. 

Additionally, during tenure as Speaker, President Abraham Lincoln’s coffin was laid in state at the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in the Hills Capitol from the evening of April 21 to the morning of April 22, 1865. The coffin was placed in the center of the Hall of the House of Representatives, with the head raised on an incline towards the Speaker’s desk, allowing mourners to follow processions on either side of the coffin.  The Hills Capitol was later destroyed after an 1897 fire.

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 13th district, Potter, Tioga, McKean and Clinton Counties, 1869-1870, committee assignments, Estates and Escheats, Judiciary General, Library. 

Appointed, judge, Bucks and Montgomery Counties, 1871-1872. 

Unsuccessful campaign, Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor 1874. 

Appointed, judge, 4th judicial district, Potter, Tioga, McKean, and Cameron Counties 1882. 

Appointed, president judge, 48th judicial district, McKean and Potter Counties 1883-1901. 

Appointed, president judge, 55th judicial district, Potter County 1901-1902. 

Pennsylvania House of Representatives Biography:

Official Website - PA House Archives Official Website (

Pennsylvania Speaker of House of Representatives Biography:

Arthur G. Olmsted - PA House of Representatives - PA House of Representatives (


Uncle, United States Congressman Marlin Edgar Olmsted, Pennsylvania's 14th congressional district, 1897–1903, Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district, 1903–1913.


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

Smull’s Legislative Handbook, (1870). Smull, J.A., (Editor) Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pages 432, 438-440.

Judge Arthur George Olmsted (1827-1914) - Find a Grave Memorial