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04/19/2021 07:13 PM
Pennsylvania State Senate

William L Torbert



Session Position District Party
1877 30 Independent Democrat
 Counties   Schuylkill


1828 - 1907

Born in Philadelphia, October 24, 1828; educated in Philadelphia public schools; pursued merchandising, lumber business, and farming. Auditor, treasurer and member of the school board in East Union Township, Schuylkill County, PA. Senator Torbert has charge of the Railway station, Telegraph and  Express offices. The Post-Office was established in 1865, with Mrs. Hester Torbert in charge. James Torbert, Esq., his father, was born at Spring Mill, Montgomery county, Pa., February 19, 1798, and passed his youth in Chester County, Pa. where his parents,  brothers and sisters remained during life, and where their descendants most of  them engaged in farming. On Christmas day, 1827, he married Margaret A. Loag, of Chester County,  Pa., at the old Brandywine Manor meeting house. During the following year they removed to Philadelphia, where they lived until 1868, when they took up their residence in the Girard manor mansion, near the residence of Hon. William L. Torbert, their son. Mr. Torbert died there October 16th, 1880, at the age of eighty-two, and was buried in Laurel hill cemetery, Philadelphia. His widow, Margaret A. Torbert, eighty-one years old,  survived him, living  at the homestead with her daughter, Miss  M. Louisa. Their children were: Hon. William L. Torbert, M. Louisa Torbert, Mary J. Torbert, Emma J. Torbert, Anna Eliza Torbert, Ellie F. Torbert, A. Caroline Torbert,  James Torbert, Jr. Emma J. is the wife of Charles Tete, Esq., of  Spring Hill, Delaware county, Pa., an extensive land  owner in Schuylkill county. Ellie F. is the wife of Frank A. Smith, Esq., of West  Philadelphia, Pa. Hon. William L. Torbert was married, in 1850, to Miss Hester Blatchford, also a resident of Philadelphia. They had eight children. From 1860 to 1865 Hon. William L. Torbert was located in Baltimore county, Md. Reference has been made to the purchase of the Girard manor property in 1864. Mr. Torbert subsequently bought Valencia and other additions to the original, being extensively interested in lumbering in Schuylkill, Columbia, Luzerne and Center counties, and having about two thousand acres of  land under cultivation in the Catawissa valley surrounding his residence. Senator Torbert was the most liberal employer of agricultural labor in Schuylkill county. Elected to the State Senate by a large majority in 1876, and as an independent member for 1877 and 1878, he died August 10, 1907  (Philadelphia North American, Aug. 11, 1907).