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House Speaker Biographies

Photo credit:

Campbell, John H. History of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick and the Hibernian Society for the Relief of Emigrants From Ireland: March 17, 1771-March 17, 1892. Philadelphia: Hibernian Society, 1892.


Photo credit:

Campbell, John H. History of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick and the Hibernian Society for the Relief of Emigrants From Ireland: March 17, 1771-March 17, 1892. Philadelphia: Hibernian Society, 1892.

 

George Latimer

Born: July 8, 1750, Newport, New Castle County, DE.  Died: June 12, 1825, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, PA. Member of the House: Philadelphia County, 1792-1798.  Affiliation: Federalist.

George Latimer was born in Delaware on July 8, 1750, where his father operated flour mills.  The Latimer family supported the Revolution and George Latimer served as a lieutenant colonel in the war in Col. Samuel Patterson’s Delaware Battalion. Following the Revolutionary War, Latimer lived in Philadelphia and maintained a successful flour mercantile business in the city and acted also as president of the Union Fire Insurance Company. On April 5, 1786, Latimer was appointed one of five Commissioners on Navigation of the Susquehanna to investigate possible improvements for use and traversal of the Susquehanna River.  The following year, he was selected to serve as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention.  He also served as collector for the Port of Philadelphia from 1799-1802.   On February 20, 1771, he married the former Margaret Cathcart, and the couple had 5 children: Elizabeth, Margaret, Robert Cathcart, Sarah, and James.

Latimer was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives as a Federalist for the 1792-1793 session.  He was re-elected for 5 more consecutive sessions.  On December 4, 1793, he was elected the 39th Speaker of the Pennsylvania House. He was re-elected on December 4, 1794; December 2, 1795; December 7, 1796; and December 6, 1797. During his Speakership, Lycoming and Greene Counties were established. As a legislator, he also supported fire safety measures for the city of Philadelphia, and during his tenure, legislation was passed requiring householders to maintain buckets for rapid fire extinguishment.

During the War of 1812, Latimer served on the Philadelphia Committee of Defense.

George Latimer died on June 12, 1825.  He is interred at Third Presbyterian Burial Ground in the city of Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.