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07/29/2021 01:50 PM
Pennsylvania State Senate

Amos H Mylin


Session Position District Party
1877 13 Republican
1879-1880 13 Republican
1881-1882 13 Republican
1883-1884 President Pro Tempore 13 Republican
 Counties   Lancaster


1837 - 1926

One of three notable Lancaster senators to serve as Speaker or President pro tempore of the Pennsylvania Senate, “Honest Amos” Mylin was born in West Lampeter Township, Lancaster County, September 29, 1837, the son of Martin and Ann Mylin. The descendant of early eighteenth-century Pequa Valley, Zurich Mennonite immigrants, the progenitor of Amos’s family, also Martin “Meylin,” manufactured the Pennsylvania long rifle and represented the earliest group of German-speakers to settle Pennsylvania’s back country. Mylin’s namesake, great-uncle “Brother Amos” (John Meylin), belonged to Conrad Biesel’s Ephrata Cloister. An accomplished farmer and the beneficiary of a fine education, Amos attended school at Charlotteville, NY, later advancing to the Phillip’s Academy in Andover, Massachusetts before leaving school due to poor health. He pursued a law career in 1861 with mentor A. Herr Smith of Lancaster. In 1862, Mylin enlisted as a private in the Fiftieth Regiment of Pennsylvania “Emergency Men” (later 10th Regiment) for a short duration, returning to University Law School, Philadelphia, where he graduated in 1864. He established a successful practice, however returned to farming in 1868, marrying Carrie Powell of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, a noted social reformer and leader of the Iris Club of Lancaster. Mylin embarked on a 21-year political career, four in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (1872-1876) and seventeen in the Senate. Elected president pro tempore during the 1883 extra session, he returned to that post for the 1885 regular session. He twice chaired Senate Appropriations and served frequently as head of Education. In the former capacity, he led classic battles against Democratic Governor Pattison’s budgets, promoted Republican Henry Oliver over Independent Republican Galusha Grow during the 1881 U.S. Senate election, voted for J. Donald Cameron in the following U.S. Senate contest, and advocated no-tolerance, prohibitory legislation relevant to the formation of corporate monopolies. He backed a woman’s right to practice law, an (1885) act “for inflicting corporal punishment upon any husband who beat his wife or any other female person,” and promoted the nominating convention anti-fraud bill. Mylin supported the 1877 Mine Safety Bill, the 1879 Workers Pay Law, the 1887 Billingsley Free Pipeline Bill (a measure banning the Standard Oil-Pennsylvania Railroad crude-oil transportation monopoly), the 1891 Baker Ballot Bill, the 1885 Bullitt (Philadelphia corruption) Bill, and opposed the 1885 Brooks High License Bill. The senator backed the 1887 Civil Rights Act, the Morrill (prohibitive) Tariff, early medical malpractice legislation, the 1887 six-month school bill, the 1891 constitutional convention referendum (failed), and the 1879 public safety provision, protecting the public against the pollution of coal and petroleum oil. Mylin guided the controversial pro-Matt Quay 1885 Bullitt Bill to 40-3 passage, the new law granting a mayor unconditional control of Philadelphia, through formation of the “ward combine.” Amos lost a first bid for the state auditor general post to David Gregg during the 1891 Republican State Convention.  In 1895, however, he succeeded, serving the administration in that capacity through 1898.  Senator Mylin embraced prison and asylum reform as a passionate cause during his years in the Hastings administration, publishing an 1895, two-volume set entitled the “Charitable and Penal Institutions of Pennsylvania.”  Mylin spent his later years as a gentleman farmer and an active member in Lancaster civic affairs. He was a Mason and member of the chapter of Knights Templar. The Honorable Amos H. Mylin passed away on July 31, 1926 at the home of his daughter.