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07/29/2021 09:03 AM
Pennsylvania State Senate

William Audenreid



Session Position District Party
1825-1826 6 Democratic-Republican
1827-1828 6 Democratic-Republican
 Counties   Berks, Schuylkill


1793 - 1850

William  Audenried,  eldest son of Lewis  Audenried,  emigrant from  Switzerland  in 1789, was born at Kutztown,  Berks  county, March  14th,  1793, and when a mere boy  removed  with  his father's  family to what is now known as East Schuylkill  county.  The spot where Pottsville now stands was then known as the  "Pine Swamp," so that the subject of this notice may, with much propriety, be termed one of the pioneers in the great work which has in comparatively so short a period elevated Schuylkill county from a condition  at once rude, uncultivated and humble to  its  present proud  and high position.  Endowed by nature with a  strong  mind and extraordinary energy of character he was, in 1816 (about  the time  of  the death of his father) appointed  by  Governor  Simon Snyder  a  justice  of the peace in the  district  numbered  one, composed  of the township of Brunswick, including the borough  of Orwigsburg,  Schuylkill  county, which commission he  held  until 1821,   when   he  was  commissioned  by  Governor   Heisler   as lieutenant-colonel of the 30th regiment infantry of the  Pennsylvania militia, 2nd brigade, 6th division.  In 1822 he was elected to the State Legislature from Schuylkill county, and  re-elected in  1823.  In 1824 he was elected to the Senate of the State of Pennsylvania  for  a term of four years.  While a member of the lower  house  he introduced "a resolution for the  calling  of  a convention to amend the constitution of  the  State," in order that the people might elect their own justices and other officers, which resolution passed the House by a  very large majority, and many years afterward resulted  in an amendment to the constitution, changing the custom of  appointing to that of electing justices and certain other officers.  While a member  of the State Senate, in 1827, he offered a bill  entitled "An  Act  to  provide a fund in support of a  general  system of education in Pennsylvania."  For this he received the encomium of the  press  throughout  the State, and also the thanks of many private individuals; though his bill, subjected to a severe trail before  the Legislature while he persistently pressed it  against an opposing majority of the members, was not enacted until  1834.  This earnest and able advocacy, while a member of  the  Legislature, of a system of general education by common schools, which should be accessible alike to the poor and the rich, won for  him an  enduring reputation as a liberal minded philanthropist and  a sound  Republican statesman.  He was also the projector or advocate  of  many among the most important  public  improvements in Schuylkill  county, while his warning voice was uniformly  raised against  the incorporation of coal and other companies  for  purposes within the range of individual enterprise.  In 1832 he  was a  candidate  for Congress, but was defeated by the  strength  of party discipline.  He was extensively engaged from 1817 to  1842, in the business of buying and selling real estate, and in farming and  lumbering,  having mills on both the Schuylkill  and  Little Schuylkill rivers, furnishing employment to many people, but,  as a result of the panic of 1837, he succumbed to the times in 1842.  In  that  year  he removed to Hampden Township, Cumberland county,  Pa.,  where  he continued to reside on a farm till the time of his death,  December 2, 1850.