Born August 21, 1872, California, Pennsylvania, the son of John R. and Harriet (Weaver); public schools; California Normal School; Yale University, 1897-1900, graduating with a law degree; enlisted in the Tenth Regiment, deployed to the Philippines, action during the Aguinaldo rebellion; wounded twice; receiving promotions each time. He worked as a building foreman and contractor; principal of the Duquesne Borough public schools, Allegheny County, and later Latrobe public schools. Powell was named adjutant of the Tenth Regiment, Pa. National Guard and Historian of the Veteran Association; elected state Senator in 1910, serving 1911 to May 5, 1913, when he resigned after his election as Auditor General of Pennsylvania, 1913-1917; 10th Regmt. Pa. Militia Volunter, US Army, Capt.-Adjutant, Mexican Border War 1816; editor Yale Law Journal, 1900.