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02/02/2023 10:17 AM
Pennsylvania State Senate

Zehnder Harry Confair

Photo credit:

Portrait from the Pennsylvania State Manual, 1959-1960



Session Office Position District Party
1959 24 Republican
1960 24 Republican
1961 24 Republican
1962 24 Republican
1963 24 Republican
1964 24 Republican
1965 24 Republican
1966 24 Republican
1967 24 Republican
1968 24 Republican
1969 23 Republican
1970 23 Republican
1971 23 Republican
1972 23 Republican
 Counties   Bradford, Columbia, Lycoming, Montgomery, Montour, Potter, Sullivan, Tioga


01/11/1906 - 01/26/1982

Zehnder Harry "Dick" Confair (R24) Columbia, Lycoming, Montour, Sullivan Counties 1959-1964 (R24) Columbia, Lycoming, Montour Counties 1965-1966 (R24) Montgomery (Part) County, 1967-1968 (R23) Bradford, Lycoming, Potter, Sullivan, Tioga Counties, 1969-1972

Early Life:

Zehnder Harry "Dick" Confair born January 11, 1906, Berwick, Columbia County, Pennsylvania; son of Charles H. and Rena Baum Confair; Berwick High School; Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, B.S., 1929; founder, Confair Bottling Company; president, Williamsport First Federal Savings and Loan Association; unsuccessful campaign, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1954; elected, Republican Pennsylvania State Senate, 1959-1972; married, Arlyne S. Hoyt, son, Richard "Dick" Confair; remarried, Cleo McLeod Wagner; died, January 26, 1982, Divine Providence Hospital, Williamsport, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania; interment, Twin Hills Memorial Park, Muncy, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania.

Professional titles; business ownership; board memberships; local government; club memberships:

Member, board of directors, Williamsport Chamber of Commerce, Northern Central Bank and Trust; member, chairman, Executive Committee-Industrial Development Bureau of Lycoming County; president, Keystone Bottlers Association.

Member, Moose, Elks, Mason, Williamsport Rotary Club; lifetime member, Consolidated Sportsmen of Lycoming County.

Pennsylvania Politics:

Unsuccessful primary campaign, Pennsylvania State Senate, incumbent John G. Snowden, 1954.

Elected, Republican Pennsylvania State Senate, 24th district, Columbia, Lycoming, Montour, Sullivan Counties, 1959-1964; defeated incumbent Miles Derk; committee assignments, Elections; Highways; Law and Order; and Public Health and Welfare.

Elected, Republican Pennsylvania State Senate, 24th district, Columbia, Lycoming, Montour Counties, 1965-1966; Elected, Republican Pennsylvania State Senate, 24th district, Montgomery (Part) County, 1967-1968; committee assignments, Appropriations, Banking, Constitutional Changes and Federal Relations, Elections and Reapportionment, Fish and Game (Chairman), Finance; Forests and Waters.

Elected, Republican Pennsylvania State Senate, 23rd district, Bradford, Lycoming, Potter, Sullivan, Tioga Counties, 1969-1972.    


Dubbed the "Father of the Keystone Shortway" due to his advocacy for the construction and completion of Interstate 80 (the Keystone Shortway), a three hundred-plus mile highway that runs across Pennsylvania's northern portion.

Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburgh signed HB 1711 Section 3 act which read, “the entire 311.12 mile portion of Keystone Highway Interstate Route 80 situated in Pennsylvania shall hereafter be known as the Z.H. Confair Memorial Highway.” October 4, 1984.

Also named in his honor, I-80 bridge over the West Branch of the Susquehanna River near Milton, Pennsylvania.


Cox, Harold. "Senate Members C"Wilkes University Election Statistics Project. Wilkes University. https://staffweb.wilkes.edu/harold.cox/legis/SC.html


Osterdahl, Andy. "The Strangest Names in American Political History