Thomas Benton Schnatterly
Governor’s Album, PSA
One of the “most striking figures” in gilded age, Fayette County politics, the Hon. Thomas B. Schnatterly was born in New Geneva, Fayette County, July 13, 1841, the son of John and Malinda Kendall Schnatterly. Attemded George’s Creek Academy, Madison College, and Waynesburg College. Taught school, studied law under Senator Thomas Searight, and joined the county bar in 1864. A successful railroad construction contracter. Elected district attorney, 1865; state House of Representatives, 1869-1871, 1876, 1884; and the state Senate, 1878-1882; 1886-1889, retiring early from ill-health. He edited the Uniontown Jefffersonian Democrat from a wheel chair, 1889-1891, leaving for permanent hospitalization in 1894.
Wife was Mary Morrison, who died during Schnatterly’s prolonged illness. Religion: Episcopalian. Family from England. In the General assembly, Schnatterly pioneered many of the state’s pro-labor reforms, positing the Senator as an archrival of industrialists. He was a champion for the public school system. An invalid for the final 10 years of his life, the Senator suffered from “locomotor ataxia,” a condition eventually exacerbated by “three months of grip and dropsy.” Died March 31, 1899 at Homeopathic Hospital. Pittsburgh.