Member Biography

William Franklin Small 


Portrait: Col. William F. Small, RG98S-CWP26.57, USAMHI

Sessions Office Position District Party
1847       2 Democrat
1848       2 Democrat
1849       2 Democrat

COUNTIES: Philadelphia  


09/16/1820 - 06/13/1877

Colonel William Franklin Small (D2) Philadelphia County 1847-1849 

Early Life: 

Senator William F. Small, born September 16, 1819, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania; moved Philadelphia; common schools education; studied law, joined the bar; reporter, Philadelphia Public Ledger; married Mary Anne Felten Small, children, Fredonia Small Biggar, Mary Fitton Small, Captain William Swain Small, Pauline Small Jump, Samuel Lloyd Small; elected, Democrat, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1847-1848; Civil War Union Army Officer; died, June 13, 1877 (aged 57), at home, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, Interment Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.  

Early Career:

Command, Monroe Guards, 1844, Philadelphia riots. December 1846, Captain Small recruited members Mexican War, 1st Pennsylvania Volunteers, rising to Brigadier General, Pennsylvania Militia, 1849

Civil War Union Army Officer; Colonel and commander of the 90-day enlistment regiment 26th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry; shot, right calf, Williamsburg, May 5, 1862; discharged, June 30, 1862; returned Philadelphia; reenlisted, Colonel, organized, command, 60th Pennsylvania Emergency Troops, a militia unit called up during the Confederate Invasion of Pennsylvania during the Gettysburg Campaign.  

Pennsylvania Politics:

Elected, Democrat, Pennsylvania State Senate, 2nd district, Philadelphia County, 1847-1848; requested,  received a leave of absence, 1847 session, embarked for Mexico via New Orleans, returned, 1848 session. 

Names of any service after Senate:

Clerk of the Philadelphia Common Council


National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC states that Colonel William F. Small used balloons during the Civil War to sketch maps of Confederate forces.  


Cox, Harold. "Senate Members S"Wilkes University Election Statistics ProjectWilkes University.

Colonel William F. Small Portrait (

William Francis Small (1819-1877) - Find a Grave Memorial