Edward Ensinger Beidleman
The second Senate President pro tempore to become lieutenant governor, Beidleman was born in Harrisburg on July 8, 1873, the son of Thomas and Susan (Ensinger) Beidleman. The senator attended public schools, Harrisburg High School in 1892, and received an advanced degree from Keystone Business College. After graduation, he entered a partnership at his father’s Lochiel General Store, developed an interest in the law, and studied under the Honorable Samuel McCarrell. Former Senate Pro Tem McCarrell sponsored Beidleman before the Dauphin County bar on January 28, 1898, Ed embarking on a private practice through 1916, later forming the partnership of Beidleman and Hull. He married Katherine Nissley, daughter of Dr. Samuel Nissley.
Beidleman represented Dauphin County in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1904 to 1907; was elected to the state Senate, 1913-1919, served as President Pro Tempore during the World War I, 1917-1918 Session; and became Gov. William Cameron Sproul’s lieutenant governor, 1919-1923, resigning from the Senate, January 20, 1919.
Apart from Beidleman’s effective management of the upper house during wartime, the pro tem handled a limited domestic calendar, primarily a consequence of normal appropriations diverted to wartime preparedness. The senator, nevertheless, pushed adoption of a constitutional amendment requesting voters to authorize a $50 million “Sproul Highway Construction Bond.” Beidleman also backed the public teachers and employees retirement plan (the Tompkins bill) but opposed women’s suffrage, while supporting femme sole trader reform, granting women financial award from husbands who deserted or otherwise refused to support their wives. He backed the Workers Compensation Act referendum, adoption of the 17th Amendment, the 1913 Election Bill, and enactment of the Department of Labor and Industry bill.
Considered a candidate for governor at the 1922 state convention, Beidleman decided to pull his nomination; representing Pennsylvania as a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1924, in 1926, again surfacing as a caucus consideration for governor - losing a close May primary race to John Fisher. The Honorable E. E. Beidleman was a member of the Pennsylvania State and Dauphin County Bar Associations, president of the Pennsylvania State Fireman’s Association, director of the Union Trust Company of Harrisburg, and held a seat on the Harrisburg Board of Trade. He actively engaged in Dauphin County’s fraternal organizations, particularly: the Robert Burns Lodge No. 464 Free and Accepted Masons; the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Thirty-second Degree Freemasonry; the Zembo Temple; the B.P.O.E.; the Knights of Macabees; the Knights of Pythias; the Junior Order of United American Mechanics; the Royal Arcanum; and the Loyal Order of Moose. Other community associations included the Harrisburg Club, the Harrisburg Republican Club, West End Republican Club, and the Presbyterian Church.
While delivering an address to the Harrisburg Parents and Teachers Association on the evening of April 9, 1929, the Honorable Edward Ensinger Beidleman died of a sudden heart attack.