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09/24/2021 12:14 AM
Pennsylvania State Senate

Bernard Reilly



Session Position District Party
1861 7 Democrat
1863 7 Democrat
 Counties   Schuylkill


1814 -

B. Reilly, a prominent contractor and at one time an associate judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Schuylkill county, was born in Cavan, Westmeath, Ireland, February 14th, 1814. His father, with his family, emigrated to Quebec, Canada in 1822, and in 1823 removed to Lebanon county, Pa. In 1841 Mr. Reilly came to Schuylkill county, as a contractor in building the main line of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad, and since that time has been a resident of the county. Taking an interest in the old militia he was an officer of a military company in Pottsville, in 1844, and, in 1846, was appointed an aide to Governor Shunk, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. In 1851 he was elected a representative in the State Legislature, and in 1856 associate judge of the Court of Common Pleas, a position which he filled until 1861, when he was elected to represent his district in the State Senate, serving during that eventful period, 1861-64. The governor appointed him a mustering officer in 1863, and in 1864 he was commissioned to receive the soldiers' votes. In 1872 he was the Democratic candidate for Congress in the district composed of Schuylkill and Lebanon counties, but was defeated by the coalition of Republican and " U. B. A." tickets. Judge Reilly is one of the oldest railroad contractors in the country and the only living one of those who built the main line of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad. He contracted for portions of the old Lehigh railroad to Wilkes-Barre, the Catawissa railroad, the Pennsylvania railroad, the Sunbury and Erie Railway, the Schuylkill Valley railroad, the Northern Central railroad, and the Lebanon Valley railroad, and has been identified with most prominent public improvements during the past forty years.