Fredric Antes Godcharles
Historian, author, soldier, and director of the Pennsylvania State Library and State Museum, Frederic Godcharles was born on June 3, 1872, Northumberland, Pennsylvania, the son of Charles Aiken and Elizabeth (Burkenbine) Godcharles. He attended Milton High School and graduated from Lafayette College as an electrical engineer in 1893; assistant superintendant of Philadelphia City Hall, 1895; entered a nail manufacturing business with his brother; state House of Representatives, 1901-1902; state Senate, 1905-1908; and a delegate to the 1908 Republican National Convention. He was a member of the U.S. Army in the Spanish-American War, 1898; served in the Army again during the First World War, eventually promoted to captain. Godcharles became editor of a weekly newspaper in 1920; an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination for the office of Secretary of Internal Affairs in 1926; mentioned as a probable nominee for the same office in 1930; served as Pennsylvania State Librarian and Director of the State Museum of Pennsylvania from 1927 to 1931, and is regarded as its chief advocate during his period, leading the organization to its position as one of the state and nation’s treasures. His first book was Freemasonry in Northumberland & Snyder Counties, Pennsylvania (1911, two volumes). His next work grew out of series of newspaper columns he wrote on Pennsylvania history, the self-published Daily Stories of Pennsylvania: Prepared for Publication in the Leading Daily Newspapers of the State (1924). In 1933, he published his five-volume Pennsylvania: Political, Governmental, Military and Civil; in 1944, the four-volume Chronicles of Central Pennsylvania; and was an editor of an index to the thirty-two volume Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania Biography. The senator died on December 30, 1944. He married Mary Walls Barbour, Washington DC, in 1904.