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07/28/2021 10:02 PM
Pennsylvania State Senate

Harvey Huffman


Session Position District Party
1923-1924 14 Democrat
1925-1926 14 Democrat
1927-1928 14 Democrat
1929-1930 14 Democrat
1931-1932 14 Democrat
1933-1934 14 Democrat
1935-1936 14 Democrat
1937-1938 President Pro Tempore 14 Democrat
 Counties   Carbon, Monroe, Pike, Wayne


1869 - 1938

Elected during a tumultuous national period, on December 1, 1936, Harvey Huffman emerged as the first Democratic president pro tempore since 1871’s Albert Gallatin Brodhead. The Honorable Harvey Huffman was the son of Elias D. and Elizabeth Smith Huffman, born May 19, 1869 at Marshall’s Creek, Monroe County. His father owned a general store and built the Marshall’s Falls House, in which Harvey grew up. He attended and later taught public school in Craig’s Meadows, graduating at Kutztown Normal School in 1891. He read law under the Honorable John B. Storm of Stroudsburg and matriculated from the University of Pennsylvania with a law degree. He became a member of the Monroe County bar in 1896. Huffman served the party as a delegate to numerous political conventions and chaired the county committee. He also served Monroe as county solicitor, later forming the Stroudsburg office of Eilenberger and Huffman. Harvey represented Monroe, Carbon, Pike, and Wayne in the state Senate, in four elections: 1910, 1922, 1926, and 1934. He served as minority leader during the Pinchot and Earle administrations, eventually elected president pro tempore on December 1, 1936. Senator Huffman participated as a legislative member of the General State Authority, February 24, 1937.  During George Howard Earle’s first year, Harvey sponsored the Fair Employment Act, the Milk Price-Control Act, but opposed passage of the Unemployment Compensation Act. As pro tem he backed Earle’s graduated income tax initiative, the Little Wagner Act (“Yellow Dog” bill), establishment of the state Civil Rights Commission, the Pennsylvania Labor Mediation Act, the Teacher’s Tenure Act, the Pennsylvania Safety Commission Act, and the Clean Steam Act of 1937. Huffman additionally supported passage of the Poor Bill, establishing the Department of Public Assistance and County Boards of Assistance, formation of the State General Authority, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission Act, the McGinness Labor Relations Act (minimum wage, occupational safety, collective bargaining), and Governor Earle’s undoing – the 1938 Grand Jury Laws, nullifying court intervention relevant to legislative matters (i.e. impeachment).   Unfortunately, Huffman’s last legislative push, Earle’s Grand Jury Laws, created a public perception of wrongdoing as an Earle “scandal” apologist. Despite the administration’s short-lived problems, Senator Huffman’s courtesy, leadership, and negotiating skill presented the Senate of Pennsylvania one of its beloved members. The Honorable Harvey Huffman passed away on the last day of his term, November 30, 1938, 70 years old. Ironically, Huffman’s death occurred on the final day of the Democratic Caucus’s control of the upper house. The Monroe Record noted “it seems appropriate in a way that these two stars should set at the same time.”  Members of the Senate of Pennsylvania served as pallbearers. Senator Huffman never married.