Pennypacker, Samuel W. (1843-1916)

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Samuel W. Pennypacker (1843-1916), governor of Pennsylvania 1903-1907, was a great-great-great-grandson of the Mennonite immigrant Hendrick Pannebecker (b. 1674), who was in Germantown, Pennsylvania by 1699 and settled in the Skippack Mennonite settlement of Montgomery County, PA in 1702. Hendrick's grandson was the Mennonite bishop Matthias Pannebecker (1742-1808), and the latter's grandson was Dr. Isaac P. Pennypacker, a physician and teacher of medicine. The doctor's son, Samuel Whitaker, was born at Phoenixville, PA on 9 April 1843. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1866, became Judge in Common Pleas No. 2 in Philadelphia in 1889, Presiding Judge in this court in 1896, and served as Republican governor of Pennsylvania 1903-1907. He was also a historian and bibliophile (collected 10,000 items), and wrote voluminously on the history of eastern Pennsylvania and on his Mennonite forebears and their faith. Worthy of note are his essays on David Rittenhouse, Christopher Dock, and the Martyrs' Mirror, in Historical and Biographical Sketches (Philadelphia, 1883), also his book, The Settlement of Germantown (Philadelphia, 1899).

His brother Isaac R. Pennypacker edited his Autobiography of a Pennsylvanian (Philadelphia, 1918). He died 2 September 1916. Whatever merit Daniel K. Cassell's History of the Mennonites (1888) possessed was based largely on the materials he used from Pennypacker's research. Pennypacker's grandfather Matthias, son of the bishop, paid for the reprinting of the Dordrecht Confession of Faith at West Chester, PA in 1814. Most of the Mennonite section of the Pennypacker book collection was purchased at auction by the Schwenckfelder Library at Pennsburg, PA in 1924, where it still remains.

Author(s) John C Wenger
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Wenger, John C. "Pennypacker, Samuel W. (1843-1916)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 20 Jul 2024.,_Samuel_W._(1843-1916)&oldid=129587.

APA style

Wenger, John C. (1959). Pennypacker, Samuel W. (1843-1916). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 July 2024, from,_Samuel_W._(1843-1916)&oldid=129587.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 144. All rights reserved.

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