Born May 28, 1804, Philadelphia, the son of John Urban and Ann Elizabeth Lasky Fraley, Charles Fraley at an early age was interested in the commercial and investment world, pursuing the wholesale hardware business at age 16; was a volunteer fireman at 18; a founding member of the Union Club; a trustee and director of the University of Pennsylvania; president of the Philadelphia Board of Trade; member of the National Board of Trade (Boston); president of the Western Savings Fund Society and a member of the Farmer’s Club. The Senator was the founder and treasurer of the Franklin Institute; one of the first directors of Girard College, 1847; a promoter and organizer of the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition of 1876; and director of the Schuylkill Navigation Company.
Politically, he earned a seat on the Philadelphia City Council in 1834, chaired the Finance Committee in 1837; was elected a Whig to the state Senate during the Buckshot War era, 1837-1840; chaired the Committee of Investigation relevant to the incident; was elected a delegate to the National Whig Convention of 1839, Harrisburg; and figured prominently during the Philadelphia (city/county) Consolidation process.
The Hon. Charles Fraley was granted an LL.D. from Penn in 1880 and served as president of the American Philosophical Society from 1879 until his death. He married Jane Chapman Cresson in 1831. The senator died on September 23, 1901; interred in Woodlands Cemetery, Philadelphia.
The North American, Philadelphia, September 4, 1901