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Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives

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Title: Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives  
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Subject: K. Leroy Irvis, Bill DeWeese, Thomas Mifflin, Benjamin Franklin, Bob O'Donnell
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Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives

The speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives holds the oldest state-wide elected office in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.[1] Since its first session under the Frame of Government in 1682, presided over by William Penn, over 130 House members have been elevated to the speaker's chair. The house cannot hold an official session in the absence of the speaker or his designated speaker pro tempore.

Speaker K. Leroy Irvis was the first African-American elected speaker of any state legislature in the United States since the Reconstruction era. Pennsylvania has never had a female speaker.

List of speakers of the Provincial Assembly

Speakers of the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly (1682–1775) and the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (following the 1776 Constitution).

Name Date elected
unknown (probably Wynne or More, below) 1682
Thomas Wynne 1682/1683
Nicholas More 1684
John White 1685
Arthur Cook 1689
Joseph Growdon 1690
unknown 1691
William Clark 1692
Joseph Growdon 1693
David Lloyd 1694
Edward Shippen 1695
John Simcock 1696
John Blunston 1697
Phineas Pemberton 1698
John Blunston 1699
Joseph Growdon 1700
David Lloyd 1703
Joseph Growden 1705
David Lloyd 1706
Richard Hill 1710
Isaac Norris 1712
Joseph Growdon 1713
David Lloyd 1714
Joseph Growdon 1715
Richard Hill 1716
William Trent 1717
Jonathan Dickinson 1718
William Trent 1719
Isaac Norris 1720
Jeremiah Langhorne 1721
Joseph Growdon 1722
David Lloyd 1723
William Biles, Jr. 1724
David Lloyd 1725
Andrew Hamilton 1729
Jeremiah Langhorne 1733
Andrew Hamilton 1734
John Kinsey 1739
John Wright 1745
John Kinsey 1745/1746
Isaac Norris (II) 1750
Thomas Leech 1758
Isaac Norris (II) 1758
Thomas Leech 1759
Isaac Norris (II) 1759
Benjamin Franklin 1764
Isaac Norris (II) 1764
Joseph Fox 1764
Joseph Galloway 1766
Joseph Fox 1769
Joseph Galloway 1769
Edward Biddle 1774
John Morton 1775
John Jacobs (under the 1776 Constitution) 1776
John Bayard 1777
Frederick Muhlenberg 1780
George Gray 1783
John Bayard 1784
Thomas Mifflin 1785
Gerardus Wynkoop II[2] 1786 (four days)[3]
Richard Peters 1788
William Bingham (under the 1790 constitution) 1790

List of speakers of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Name County Tenure Notes
William Bingham Philadelphia 1791
Gerardus Wynkoop II Philadelphia 1793
George Latimer Philadelphia 1794
Cadwalader Evans Montgomery 1799
Isaac Weaver, Jr. Greene 1800
Simon Snyder Northumberland 1804
  Charles Porter Fayette 1806
Simon Snyder Northumberland 1807
Nathaniel Boileau Montgomery 1808
James Engle Philadelphia 1809
John Weber Montgomery 1810
John Tod Bedford 1812
Robert Smith Franklin 1813 resigned February 14, 1813
John St. Clair Fayette 1814
Jacob Holgate Philadelphia 1815
Rees Hill Greene 1816
  William Davidson Fayette 1818
Rees Hill Greene 1819
  Joseph Lawrence Washington 1820
John Gilmore Allegheny, Butler 1821
  Joseph Lawrence Washington 1822
  Joel B. Sutherland Philadelphia 1825
  Joseph Ritner Washington 1826
  Ner Middleswarth Union 1828
Frederick Smith Franklin 1830
  John Laporte Bradford, Tioga 1832
James Findley Westmoreland 1833
Samuel Anderson Delaware 1833
William Patterson Washington 1834
James Thompson Venango, Warren 1835
  Ner Middleswarth Union 1836
Lewis Dewart Northumberland 1837
William Hopkins Washington 1839
William A. Crabb Philadelphia 1841
James Ross Snowden Venango, Clarion 1842
Hendrick Bradley Wright Luzerne, Wyoming 1843
James Ross Snowden Venango, Clarion 1844
Findley Patterson Washington 1845
Findley Patterson Washington 1846
James Cooper Adams 1847
William F. Packer Lycoming, Clinton 1848
William F. Packer Potter, Sullivan 1849
  John S. McCalmont Venango 1850
  John Cessna Bedford 1851
John S. Rhey Armstrong, Cambria 1852
William P. Schell Bedford 1853
E.B. Chase Susquehanna, Wyoming 1854
Henry K. Strong Philadelphia 1855
  Richard L. Wright Philadelphia 1856
J. Lawrence Getz Berks 1857
A.B. Longaker Montgomery 1858
William Lawrence Dauphin 1859
William Lawrence Dauphin 1860
Elisha W. Davis Mercer, Venango 1861
John Rowe Franklin 1862
John Cessna Bedford 1863
Henry C. Johnson Crawford 1864
Arthur G. Olmsted Potter 1865
James R. Kelley Fulton 1866
John P. Glass Allegheny 1867
Elisha W. Davis Philadelphia 1868
John Clark Washington 1869
Butler B. Strang Tioga 1870
James H. Webb Bradford 1871
William Elliott Philadelphia 1872
H.H. McCormick Allegheny 1874
Samuel F. Patterson Allegheny 1875
E. Reed Myer Bradford 1877
Henry M. Long Allegheny 1879
Benjamin L. Hewit Blair 1881
John E. Faunce Philadelphia 1883
James L. Graham Allegheny 1885
Henry K. Boyer Philadelphia 1887
Henry K. Boyer Philadelphia 1889
Caleb C. Thompson Warren 1891
Caleb C. Thompson Warren 1893
Henry F. Walton Philadelphia 1895
Henry K. Boyer Philadelphia 1897 resigned January 17, 1898
John R. Farr Lackawanna 1899
William T. Marshall Allegheny 1901
Henry F. Walton Philadelphia 1903
Henry F. Walton Philadelphia 1905
Frank B. McClain Lancaster 1907
John F. Cox Allegheny 1909
John F. Cox Allegheny 1911 died in office November 6, 1911
Milton W. Shreve Erie 1911
George E. Alter Allegheny 1913
Charles A. Ambler Montgomery 1915 died August 29, 1940
Richard J. Baldwin Delaware 1917
Robert S. Spangler York 1919
Robert S. Spangler York 1921 unseated April 26, 1921
Samuel A. Whitaker Chester 1921 elected to fill unexpired term April 26, 1921
C.J. Goodnough Cameron 1923
Thomas Bluett Philadelphia 1925
Thomas Bluett Philadelphia 1927 resigned to become a judge
James H. McClure Allegheny 1927 elected to fill an unexpired term
Aaron B. Hess Lancaster 1929
C.J. Goodnough Cameron 1931
Grover C. Talbot Delaware 1933
Wilson G. Sarig Berks 1935 died in office March 14, 1936
Roy E. Furman Greene 1936
Roy E. Furman Greene 1937
Ellwood J. Turner Delaware 1939
Elmer Kilroy Philadelphia 1941
Ira T. Fiss Snyder 1943
Ira T. Fiss Snyder 1945
Franklin H. Lichtenwalter Lehigh 1947
Herbert P. Sorg Elk 1949
Herbert P. Sorg Elk 1951
Charles C. Smith Philadelphia 1953
Hiram G. Andrews Cambria 1955
W. Stuart Helm Armstrong 1957
Hiram G. Andrews Cambria 1959
Hiram G. Andrews Cambria 1961
W. Stuart Helm Armstrong 1963
Robert K. Hamilton Beaver 1965
Kenneth B. Lee Sullivan 1967
Herbert Fineman Philadelphia 1969
Herbert Fineman Philadelphia 1971
Kenneth B. Lee Sullivan 1973
Herbert Fineman Philadelphia 1975, 1977
K. Leroy Irvis Allegheny 1977 elected May 23, 1977
H. Jack Seltzer Lebanon 1979
Matthew J. Ryan Delaware 1981
K. Leroy Irvis Allegheny 1983
K. Leroy Irvis Allegheny 1985
K. Leroy Irvis Allegheny 1987
James J. Manderino Westmoreland 1989 died in office December 26, 1989
Robert W. O'Donnell Philadelphia 1990, 1991
H. William DeWeese Greene 1993–1994
Matthew J. Ryan Delaware 1995–2003 died in office March 29, 2003
John M. Perzel Philadelphia 2003–2006 elected to fill unexpired term April 15, 2003
Dennis M. O'Brien Philadelphia 2007–2008 Minority-party Speaker
Keith R. McCall Carbon 2009–2010
Samuel H. Smith Jefferson 2011–


  1. ^ Pennsylvania House of Representatives web site
  2. ^ "Philadelphia, December 27". Freeman's Journal. 1786-12-27. p. 2. 
  3. ^ Hiltzheimer, Jacob; Parsons, Jacob Cox (1893). Extracts from the diary of Jacob Hiltzheimer: of Philadelphia. 1765-1798. Press of W. F. Fell & co. 
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