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05/16/2021 10:59 PM
Pennsylvania State Senate

John Wurtz

Photo credit:

Philadelphia North American, September 29, 1912



Session Position District Party
1821-1822 1 Federalist
1823-1824 1 Federalist
 Counties   Philadelphia


1792 - 1861

The son of John Sr. and Sarah (Grandin) Wurtz of Flanders, Morris County, New Jersey, John Wurtz was born on August 13, 1792, residing in Montville, N.J. after the death of his father in 1793.  He graduated from Princeton College in 1816, moved to Philadelphia with his two brothers, studied law, and was admitted to the bar.  Federalist Wurtz was a member of the “Society for the Promotion of Public Schools” with John Sergeant and Matthew Carey; a member of the state House of Representatives, 1817-1820; defeated George Mifflin Dallas for a seat in the state Senate, 1820; defeated state Democratic boss Joel Barlow Sutherland for a seat in Congress, 1825-1827; and was appointed United States District Attorney, 1827-1831.  The Senator deserted his legal career, rescuing his two brothers’ financially troubled Delaware and Hudson Canal/Railway Company, John moving to the firm’s headquarters in New York City, serving as president, 1831-1858.  Plagued by poor health, Wurtz travelled to Rome, Italy in 1859 to recuperate but died there on April 23, 1861.  He is interred in the family cemetery at Pleasant Mills, near Batsto, Atlantic County, N.J.   He married Martha Haskins of Philadelphia on December 10, 1829; his wife moving permanently to Nice, France, after John’s death.  She died there about a decade later.