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History of that part of the Susquehanna and Juniata Valleys: embraced in the counties of Mifflin, Juniata, Perry, Union and Snyder, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Vol. II. II vols. Philadelphia: Everts, Peck & Richards, 1886


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History of that part of the Susquehanna and Juniata Valleys: embraced in the counties of Mifflin, Juniata, Perry, Union and Snyder, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Vol. II. II vols. Philadelphia: Everts, Peck & Richards, 1886

 

Ner Middleswarth

Born: December 12, 1783, New Jersey.  Died: June 2, 1865, Beavertown Borough, Snyder County, PA.  Member of the House: Union County, 1815-1817, 1818-1820, 1821-1822, 1824-1826, 1827-1831, 1834-1836; Juniata, Mifflin, and Union Counties, 1841.   Affiliation: Democrat, Anti-Mason, Whig.

Ner Middleswarth spent part of his childhood in New Jersey, and received little formal education. He moved with his family to Northumberland County (now Beaver Township in Snyder County) when he was young. Middleswarth married the former Christina Schwartzkop in 1805 and had 12 children: John, Mary (Howell), Moses, Abner, Aaron, Abraham, Merib (Feese), Elizabeth (Eliza) (Feese), Jacob, Martha (Smith), Sarah (Klose), and Matilda (Riegel).  During the War of 1812, Middleswarth served as part of the 9th Division, 1st Brigade in the detached volunteer corps in 1812.  In 1814 he was captain of the Union Rifle Volunteers of Union County, under the Pennsylvania Volunteer Army.

Middleswarth was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives as a Democrat for the 1815-1816 session.  He was re-elected numerous times throughout the next two decades; however, his party affiliation changed to the Anti-Mason Party in 1829.  He was elected as a Whig during his last term as a Representative in 1841.

On December 4, 1827, Middleswarth was elected the 57th Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.  He was re-elected Speaker on December 2, 1828, and was again to a third and final term as Speaker on December 1, 1835.  In addition to numerous acts pertaining to the incorporation, construction, and administration of roads, railways, and canals, as Speaker, Middleswarth signed Act 70 of 1836 calling for a convention to amend the state Constitution.  The Pennsylvania Convention was held in 1837.  

In 1844 Middleswarth was an unsuccessful candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania at the Democratic Anti-Masonic and Whig State Convention.  In 1847 he was president of the state Democratic Whig Convention. Middleswarth was elected as a Whig to the Pennsylvania State Senate, serving 1 year in 1848.  Also in 1848, he unsuccessfully campaigned for a position as State Canal Commissioner. Middleswarth was elected to the 33rd United States Congress, serving from March 4, 1853, to March 3, 1855.  His final public service positon was as associate judge of Snyder County for a single 5-year term beginning in 1858.

Throughout his lifelong career in politics, Middleswarth also was involved in many business and real estate endeavors.  He operated grist, saw, and paper mills, as well as a distillery.  He was also a principal stockholder and president of Snyder County’s Beaver Furnace Company.

Ner Middleswarth died on June 2, 1865, in Beavertown Borough, Snyder County, Pennsylvania.  He is interred at the Beavertown Cemetery in Beavertown Borough, Snyder County, Pennsylvania.