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House Speaker Biographies

Photo credit:

The Biographical Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania of the Ninteenth Century.  Philadelphia: Galaxy Publishing Company, 1874.

Photo credit:

The Biographical Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania of the Ninteenth Century.  Philadelphia: Galaxy Publishing Company, 1874.


Henry H. McCormick

Born: November 24, 1840, Stewartsville, Westmoreland County, PA.  Died: April 19, 1885, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA.  Member of the House: Allegheny County, Pittsburgh, 1st District, 1873-1874.  Affiliation: Republican.

Henry H. McCormick received his early education at the public schools of Westmoreland County.  He attended the Irwin Academy before completing his studies at the New Derry Normal School.  In 1862, at the age of 22, he enlisted as a 1st sergeant in Company F of the 22nd Pennsylvania Emergency Militia.  In 1863 McCormick was enlisted as a corporal in Company C of the 54th Pennsylvania Volunteer Militia.  In 1864 he exited the military as a 2nd lieutenant from Company L of the 6th Regiment, Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery, 212th Pennsylvania Volunteers.  After his service in the Civil War, McCormick went on to study law and was admitted to the Allegheny County Bar on March 3, 1866.  He practiced law before being elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in November of 1872.  He represented the 1st District of Pittsburgh in Allegheny County from 1873-1874. 

In 1873 McCormick was appointed to the Congressional Apportionment Committee.  Once he arrived in Harrisburg, McCormick immediately began efforts to improve his home district and the city of Pittsburgh.  This is apparent in Act 229 of 1873, when McCormick amended the act to incorporate and enlarge the city of Pittsburgh, as well as in Act 775 of 1873, which authorized the city of Pittsburgh to borrow money and issue bonds.   

On January 6, 1874, he became the 92nd Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.  McCormick was the last Speaker to preside over the House of Representatives before the changes in the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1874 doubled the size of the House from 100 to 200 Representatives and extended members’ terms from 1 to 2 years. 

Upon the completion of his tenure as Speaker, McCormick returned to Allegheny County to continue practicing law.  He married the former Martha Sharon of Cadiz, Ohio, in 1875.  On June 29th, 1876, McCormick was appointed as the United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania and served until July 5, 1882, when his successor was appointed.  McCormick passed away in Pittsburgh on April 19, 1885, at the age of 44, and is interred at the Cadiz Union Cemetery in Harrison County, Ohio. 

Historical Member Biography

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