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05/16/2021 11:40 PM
Pennsylvania State Senate

Horatio Balch Hackett

Photo credit:

Memorial Portrait, Senate of Pennsylvania, 1905.



Session Position District Party
1903-1904 8 Republican
1905-1906 8 Republican
 Counties   Philadelphia


1844 - 1905

Born on Jan. 8, 1844 at Lower Penn’s Neck, Salem County, New Jersey, Senator Hackett was the son of Richard and Mary Hackett originally of Salisbury, Massachusetts; his father a distinguished scholar and business-man who located in Salem County, educated in Newton Theological Seminary, and moved to Philadelphia in 1847.  Horatio’s uncle and namesake was also Horatio Balch Hackett, the prominent eighteenth-century biblical scholar and professor at Andover, MA, Amherst College, and Brown University.  The Senator’s grandparents were Richard Sr. and Martha (Balch) Hackett.  Horatio attended public schools in Philadelphia, entered two apprenticeships, and enlisted after his father died as a drummer at 17, in Co. B, 81st Regt., PVI (“The Fighting Chippewahs”), July 25, 1861. He was promoted to 1st Lt. by muster-out, June 29, 1865, having served heroically, and received the nick-name “Rash Hackett, the Little Drummer Boy.” After the war, he returned to Philadelphia and served positions as a brakeman and fireman for the Philadelphia and Reading RR; letter carrier for the Post Office; a night inspector at the customs house; clerk and register of wills; state appraiser; and magistrate, 1887, 1892, and 1898.  His wife was Jane P. Lukens.  Senator Hackett died in office, July 12, 1905; an impressive memorial delivered in the Senate, chiefly from his neighbor and replacement, Vivian Frank Gable.