Clarence J Buckman
Clarence J. Buckman of Middleton Township, Bucks County, was the son of John R. and Sarah Hibbs Buckman, born October 31, 1879. He attended public schools, graduated from Hulmeville High School in 1894, the State Model School of Trenton, New Jersey, 1897, and University of Pennsylvania law school in 1900. He formed a law firm with his brother, J. Hibbs Buckman; was a member of the Bucks County and Philadelphia Bar Associations; director and vice president of the Farmers National Bank of Bucks County in Bristol; and a Newtown Lodge Mason. He married the former Ada Luedinghaus.
A powerful county political boss, Buckman served on the Bucks County Republican Committee for five years, 1907-1912; a state convention delegate, a delegate to the 1916 Republican National Convention; elected to the state House of Representatives, 1909, and the Senate in 1910. For years he rotated caucus and floor leader positions with Lancaster Republican John Homsher. He chaired Legislative Apportionment, 1911-1914; Appropriations, 1915-1918; Corporations, 1921-1926, 1931-1934; and Public Roads and Highways, 1925-1930. As Corporations Committee chair, Buckman maintained constant vigilance over the state’s growing public utility sector. A key leader in the GOP legislative caucus, he became president pro tempore in the 1919 session.
Throughout the Earle Little New Deal (1934-1938), floor leader Buckman combined with Senators Fred Gelder, Harry Scott, Charley Ealy, and John Homsher, battling the governor’s attempt to block corruption investigations, stemming from accusations against the administration for misappropriation of funds and bribery, relevant to the operation of the General State Authority. Buckman retired from the Senate in 1939.
Senator Buckman’s extra-legislative passions included memberships on the Washington Crossing Park Commission and the Joint Commission for the Elimination of (New Jersey and Pennsylvania) Toll Bridges over the Delaware River.
The “genial, witty” Clarence, though often involved in some of the most heated floor debates of his time, received admiration and respect from both sides of the aisle. Democratic President pro tempore Tony DiSilvestro referred to Senator Buckman as “the finest legislator whom I have ever met.” The Honorable Clarence Buckman passed away on February 18, 1943 at his Bucks County home, having served 28 years in the Senate and two in the House.
Bristol Courier (Bucks County), February 18, 1943