ELDER, Thomas
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ELDER, THOMAS, grandson of the Rev. John Elder, born January 30, 1767; d. April 29, 1853, in Harrisburg, Pa. He received a good English and classical education, especially under Joseph Hutchinson, a celebrated teacher in his day. He subsequently attended the academy at Philadelphia, where he graduated. Studied law with General John A Hanna, and was admitted to the Dauphin county bar at the August term, 1791. He at once began the practice of a profession in which he became distinguished, and which he followed with great success for upwards of forty years, and "was eminent as a safe and sagacious counselor, a laborious and indefatigable lawyer." During the Whiskey Insurrection, he volunteered as a private in Captain Dentzelís company, which marched westward, preferring the ranks to that of a commissioned office, which his company offered him. He subsequently held the office of lieutenant colonel of the militia, and was frequently designated by the title of colonel. As a citizen in the early years of the borough of Harrisburg, Mr. Elder possessed public spirit and enterprise in advance of his contemporaries generally. He was the prominent and leading spirit in organizing a company to erect the Harrisburg bridge, the first constructed over the Susquehanna, and for many years the longest in the union. Upon the permanent organization, he was unanimously elected the president, which office he held by annual re-election of the directors until his resignation in June, 1846. He was chosen president of the Harrisburg Bank in June, 1816, which office he held until his death. Governor Hiester appointed him attorney general of the Commonwealth, a position he filled with marked ability from December 20, 1920 to December 19, 1823, but he ever after positively refused to accept office, although he took deep and active interest for many years in the political affairs of the State and Nation. He was blessed with a physical constitution which enabled him to accomplish and extraordinary amount of labor without diminishing the elasticity of his spirits or the vigor of his mind. He lived to the advanced age of over 86 years. Mr. Elder was twice married; married, first, March 23, 1799Catharine Cox., d. Jun12, 1810; daughter of Col. Cornelius Cox, of Estherton, Pa. Thomas Elder married, secondly, May 30, 1813, Elizabeth Shippen Jones, born December 13, 1787, in Burlington, J.J.; died October 31, 1871, in Harrisburg, Pa.; daughter of Robert Strettell Jones and Ann Shippen.