Back Up Next

DETWEILER, Meade D., was born in Middletown , Dauphin county, Pa., October 15, 1863, and is descended from a Pennsylvania German family. His paternal ancestors are among the pioneers of Dauphin county, his grandfather having settled here sometime in 1700. His father, Samuel Detweiler, is a native of Dauphin county. He was a popular hotelkeeper at Middletown, and subsequently came to Harrisburg, where he was for many years in the same business, from which he retired in 1880, and since that date has had his residence in this city. He married Elizabeth Matter, a native of Lebanon county, by whom he had five children, Meade D. being the fourth in the order of their birth. Meade D. was scarcely ten years of age when he was brought by his parents to Harrisburg, where he has been living for the past twenty two years. He attended the public schools of the city and advanced to the junior year of high school, after which he entered Pennsylvania College at Gettysburg and was graduated with first honors of his class in 1884. Having received his diploma, conferring upon him the degree of B.A., he returned to Harrisburg and began the study of law with Hall and Jordan, and within two years was admitted to practice. Immediately upon his admission to the bar in 1886, he began his professional work with ardor and industry, and was soon busily occupied with the duties of and active and successful practice in both the criminal and civil courts. He is a member of the bar of the Supreme Court and of the United States Court.

The phenomenal success of Mr. Detweiler as an attorney is due to the high order of intellectual powers with which he is endowed, the thorough and generous culture he has given to his native gifts, by liberal education and deep research, the candor and impartiality of his disposition, his studious and business-like habits, his pleasing personality, and his force and fluency and grace of speech. While busily engaged in personal and professional work, he has found time to enter the broader fields of social and public activities, where his ability and devotions have been widely bestowed and warmly appreciated. In political views he found himself in sympathy with the republican Party, and has loyally given to this great organization his time and talents in unstinted measure. The value of his service in this connection has been recognized and rewarded. The Republican State Committee have enjoyed his services in every campaign for several years, and have requested him to speak as often as possible. He was for five years chairman of the city committee, and is the youngest man ever placed in that responsible position. The young Republicans honored him in 1888 by adopting his name for the strong and influential organization still in existence . In 1892 he was elected district attorney, defeating George Kunkel, and is one of the youngest men elected to this office. During his first term of office he prosecuted six murder cases and was successful in all of them. He also tried a very important case in York county, Pa. the Painton murder case in which he made one of the most effective addresses ever delivered in a courtroom. In recognition of his fidelity and ability he was re-elected to the office in 1895 by one of the largest majorities ever given in Dauphin county, having more majority than his opponent had votes. Mr. Detweiler is a large stockholder in the Chestnut Street Market Company and various other corporations. He has also large real estate interests in the city. In social circles his popularity is wide and his standing high. He is a member of the Harrisburg Club, " The Club ", Social Club, and is secretary and treasurer of the Harrisburg Fishing Club. He also belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, Knights of the Golden Eagle, Knights of Malta, Red Men, Junior Order United American Mechanics, and has held the highest office in the Order of Elks. He was elected in Cincinnati, July 10, 1896, Grand Exalted Ruler of the P.B.O. Elks. Mr. Detweiler was married in 1891 to Miss Bertha, daughter of John Hoffer, of Harrisburg. He and his wife are members of the Market Square Presbyterian church. Few men and attorneys of his age have won the success or enjoyed the honors attained by Mr. Detweiler. So bright a morning betokens a brilliant moontide.