Legislation Quick Search
11/28/2022 07:01 AM
Pennsylvania State Senate
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/bioshistory/MemBio.cfm?ID=5510&body=S

William Preston Snyder


 

Sessions

Session Office Position District Party
1893-1894 19 Republican
1895-1896 19 Republican
1897-1898 19 Republican
1899-1900 President Pro Tempore 19 Republican
1901-1902 President Pro Tempore 19 Republican
1903-1904 19 Republican
 Counties   Chester

Biography

10/07/1851 - 06/18/1920

Doctor William Preston Snyder (R19) Chester County 1893-1904

Early Life: 

Doctor William Preston Snyder, born, October 7, 1851, East Vincent Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania; son of George and Maria Shenkel Snyder; Millersville State Normal School (Millersville University of Pennsylvania); Ursinus College; University of Pennsylvania, M.D.,1873; married Elisabeth Friday; teacher, 1868-1869; physician, 1873-1886; elected, delegate, Pennsylvania Republican Convention, 1878 and 1882; postmaster, United States Postal Service, Spring City, Pennsylvania 1883-1885; Pennsylvania Railroad Company, medical examiner 1886-1887; elected, prothonotary, Chester County 1887-1891; elected, chair, Republican Chester County Committee 1890; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania House of Representatives,1891-1892; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate 1893-1904; elected, Senate President pro tempore 1899-1900; elected, Republican, Auditor General of Pennsylvania 1904-1907; died, June 18, 1920, Kimberton, Chester County, Pennsylvania; interment, East Village Reformed Cemetery, Spring City, Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Early Career:

Physician, 1873-1886.

Postmaster, United States Postal Service, Spring City, Pennsylvania 1883-1885.

Pennsylvania Railroad Company, medical examiner 1886-1887.

Professional titles; business ownership; board memberships; local government; club memberships:

Member, Spring City Lodge Free and Ancient Masons, Royal Arch Masons, Jerusalem Commandery, and Knights Templar of Phoenixville.

Pennsylvania Politics:  

Elected, delegate, Pennsylvania Republican Convention, 1878 and 1882.

Elected, prothonotary, Chester County 1887-1891.

Elected, chair, Republican Chester County Committee 1890.

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, 1891-1892, not a candidate for reelection 1892.

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate 19th district, Chester County, 1893-1904; elected, Senate President pro tempore 1899-1900; committee assignments, Appropriations (chairman), Congressional Apportionment, Corporations, Education, Finance, Insurance, Judiciary Special, New Counties and New Seats, Mines and Mining, Public Health and Sanitation (chairman), Public Roads and Highways, Railroads and Street Passenger Railways.

Names of any service after Senate –year(s):

Elected, Republican, Auditor General of Pennsylvania 1904-1907.

Legacy:

A conspiracy conviction in the state capitol “furniture affair” marred the senator’s notable legislative career.  The Superior Court convicted him, December 18, 1909, sentencing the former pro tem and three others to two years at Eastern Penitentiary for conspiracy to defraud the state, demanding payment of a $500 fine.(i) Adamantly denied his guilt until the day he died. 

Cited: 

Cochran, T.B., (Ed.) Miller, H.P. (A. Ed.) (1898) Smull’s Legislative Hand Book, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pages 1019, 1025-1028, Biographical Sketches of Senators, page 996.

       (i) Philadelphia Inquirer, May 1, 1910. The three others were contractor John Sanderson, Superintendent of Building and Grounds James Shoemaker, and former state treasurer William Matthues.  Matthues and Sanderson died before serving their sentence.  Other convictions followed, including that of architect Joseph Huston.