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Free Genealogy Biography of Thaddeus Maclay Mahon,
Pennsylvania Volunteer of the Civil War

Thaddeus Maclay Mahon

Thaddeus Maclay Mahon (born at Greenvillage, May 21, 1840), son of Robert and Jane (Wallace) Mahon, was educated at the public schools at the village of Scotland. He afterward worked in the blacksmith shop of his father, and later became a student at the Chambersburg Academy. Early in his teens, while at home, the young man took a lively interest in politics and the organization of the Republican party, and helped to rally the yeomanry for the "Pathfinder" in 1856.

In 1860 he became a law student in the office of Kimmel & McLellan, but his studies were interrupted by his enlistment 1962, in Company A, 126th P.V.I, nine months.

He next enlisted in the 21st Pennsylvania Cavalry, 182nd Regiment, in which he served until the close of the war, being severely wounded at Hatchers Run, Va.

In 1866 Mr. Mahon received the Republican nomination for the office of the Clerk of the Courts, and was elected. During his three years incumbency of his office he resumed the study of law, and, after passing a creditable examination was admitted to the Bar, Jan 15, 1870. The same year he became the Republican nominee for the Assembly, but was defeated at the election by a small majority. The adoption fo the 15th admendment had lost to the Republican part its customary majority, and the election of a member in 1869. His engergetic campanging and the fighting qualities he displayed for the rights of the colored man, indicated him for the Legislative race in 1871, and he again was made the standard bearer, when he was elected by a flattering majority over the late Major North, of Mercersburg. Mr. Mahon again became the nominee in 1872, when the Democrats pitted against him W. S. Stenger, who had just completed his third term as District Attorney. The campaing which followed was one of unusual bigor. Mr. Stneger, who was editory of the Spirit, a writer of force, and an able disputant, was ably met on the issues of the day by his Republican opponet, who demonstated as well rare abilites as a stump speaker, and he was elected by a majority of 512.

Mr. Mahon became the Republican nominee for Congress in the old 18th district in 1876, but was defeated by Mr. Stenger, his famout antagonist for legislative honors, by a majority of 25 as against Mr. Stenger's majority against General Wister, in 1874, of 1,100. Mr. Mahon now gave his entire attention to his profession, but continued to share the work incident to important campaigns, whether as a member of State or county conventions, or on the stump. In 1888 he was a candidate for nomination td the' Judgeship, but after a spirited contest was defeated by Hon. John Stewart, in 1892 Mr. Mahon was again induced to become a candidate for Congress. Receiving the endorsement of his home county, lie became the District candidate after a spirited contest in Conference. He is now serving his seventh term, having been elected to the 53rd, 54th, 55th, 56th, 57th, 58th and 59th Congresses. The Republican county convention (1904) gave him a unanimous endorsement for the seventh term. The Congress district tinder the apportionment of 1901, is now known as the 17th. With the addition of Perry, the district is composed of eight counties. His nomination by the District Conference for the seventh term was made in May, by reason of approved faithful service and prompt and conscientious discharge of duty.

His standing and industry have given him a prominence and influence which comes only to those of experience, and to those who are continued in the halls of legislation and merit recognition. From the start, as in the Legislature, more than thirty years ago, Mr. Mahon has held a commanding position, being made chairman of General judiciary committee, the most important committee of the legislature. A man of generous impulses, accessible to all, lie is thoroughly devoted to the interests of his constituents. The recognized friend and advocate of the veteran, no one has labored more effectually in the interest of his comrades of the Civil war, or of the soldiers of the Spanish-American war. His famous speech on Pensions gave him prominence in Grand Army circles everywhere. It was one of twelve, and the only one on pensions that, was selected by the Republican Congressional Committee for general circulation by the National Committee in the Presidential campaign of 1896. In his own Congressional district he has had over 1,800 claims of pensioners called tip and advanced.

Upon all legislations Mr. Mahon's record of championship and support is courageous, patriotic, and in the interest of the people. When others wavered lie stood by McKinley and his war measures. He voted for all tariff legislation, and to repeal the war taxes; for legislation in the interest of labor, the farmer, the manufacturer and workingman, and in debate in their behalf forcible and eloquently contended for all measures promotive of their advancement. His service on important committees and continuously as chairman of War Claims, gave him a salutary influence in the shaping of wise legislation. Marked characteristics of his career, from the anvil to the halls of Congress, have been a will and purpose to go straight at things, thus promptly accomplishing that which baffled other men. As was said of him by a Washington correspondent, "Mr. Mahon is a fair fighter, as his record in many a skirmish in the House shows, but his blows are not little love taps by any means. Talbert, of South Carolina, the objector to pension legislation, has discovered how hard Mahon can hit." Under no previous Congressman has more been done for the extension of the mail facilities to the people of this district. Through his influence the Chambersburg rural free delivery system was established, and he has put into operation sixty-two routes in his district. It is pronounced the model service, and as such is among others conspicuously illustrated in the 1902 annual report of the first assistant postmaster general. At the present session lie introduced a bill for the erection of a Government building in Chambersburg. Mr. Mahon is prominent and influential as a member of the G. A. R. and Loyal Legion. He has held the position of Judge Advocate, Department of Pennsylvania, G: A, R., and was liberally supported two occasions for Department Command He had much to do with the formulation a passage of the bill -in the Legislature 1893, creating the Soldiers' Industrial School. As a member of the Stir Commission, or the part of the A. R., lie has had much to do wi the successful management of that institution in recent years. In politics stalwart, he nevertheless courteously accords to others the convictions he maintains 6 himself; standing upon the broad platform; of a recognition of the rights of all, pare unity and success.

In the promotion of local industries Mr. Mahon has always taken an active part. He has done much to advance the business an material interests of his town, county an district. He has remodeled and built man houses in Chambersburg, and has paid out large sums of money to mechanics and laboring men. It has been a rule of his life to Pa; men employed by him the wages they asked He was a prime mover in the extension o the Western Maryland railroad to Shippers burg. From its origin lie leas beer an officer and director of the Baltimore and Cumberland Valley Railroad company, and is now its president. He also helped to establish the St. Thomas bank, and is its president, As with other men in public life, Mr. Mahon has had a fair share of enemies and detractors, but there is the answering fact to all of duty well and faithfully performed. His nominations for Congress have come to him with unanimity, and his election in every instance by unequaled majorities. His public and private life are irreproachable, and lie has been faithful to every trust confided to him.

In 1867 Mr. Mahon married Martha M. Robinson, daughter of William and Mary Robinson ; she died Jan. 30, 1892. There was no issue of this marriage. In 1893 he married Lacy Shuman, daughter of John and Elnora Shuman. Of this marriage two children were born-: I. ROBERT MACLAY. 2. LEAH.

Source: Biographical Annals of Franklin County, Pennsylvania : containing genealogical records of representative families, including many of the early settlers, and biographical sketches of prominent citizens; Chicago. Genealogical Pub. Co.. 1905. Notes: Prepared in part by George O. Seilhamer.

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