Edwin Sydney Stuart

Edwin Sydney Stuart
Edwin S Stuart 1909.jpg
Edwin S. Stuart circa 1909
24th Governor of Pennsylvania
In office
January 15, 1907 – January 17, 1911
Lieutenant Robert Murphy
Preceded by Samuel Pennypacker
Succeeded by John Tener
74th Mayor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
In office
January 5, 1891 – January 7, 1895
Preceded by Edwin Fitler
Succeeded by Charles Warwick
Personal details
Born (1853-12-28)December 28, 1853
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died March 21, 1937(1937-03-21) (aged 83)
Political party Republican

Edwin Sydney Stuart (December 28, 1853 – March 21, 1937) was an American politician who served as the Mayor of Philadelphia from 1891 to 1895 and as the 24th Governor of Pennsylvania from 1907 to 1911.

Early life and Philadelphia politics

Stuart was born in Philadelphia in 1853. At age 13, he ended his formal schooling and took a job as a bookkeeper for the book wholesaler W.A. Leary. He rose to attain a controlling interest in the company. By 1882, Stuart had become president of the state Republican Party. In 1886, he won a seat on Philadelphia City Council.

In 1891, Stuart successfully ran for Mayor of Philadelphia. He quickly gained a reputation as a no-nonsense official who would take a hardline approach against corruption. He uncovered impropriety within the city treasurer's office, resulting in the arrest of Treasurer John Bardsley and a complete overhaul in budgetary control procedures. He also fired the public safety director for accepting bribes and won a hard fought battle with the private streetcar lines that forced these entities to help defray the cost of street paving. Upon completion of his mayoral term in 1896, he won an election to return to city council.

Governor of Pennsylvania

Stuart was known as The Governor Who Cares following his investigation of scandals involving the building of the Pennsylvania capitol.[1] The investigation resulted in the prosecution and conviction of four individuals. At that time, the Governor became known as a sharp-eyed overseer of the public good, and had a habit of involving himself in the operations of many state agencies. His reforms included concentrating power in the executive office and abolishing a number of redundant state boards and commissions, replacing them with a single official who was held responsible for results.[1] The Philadelphia Bulletin supported the Governor's reform efforts stating,

There has probably never been a governor of Pennsylvania who has employed the veto power so extensively in dealing with the bills of a single legislative session as Governor Stuart has in the past thirty days. He has prevented scores of crude, ill-considered ... bills from becoming laws and he has reduced the improvident appropriation to the extent of more than twenty million dollars.

In the midst of all the vetoing it has been difficult for any one to challenge the justice of the governor's judgement. Every veto has rested on a sound reason in the public interest.[1]

Among the bills he vetoed was one for the building of a statewide system of state roads, a cause he supported but chose to sacrifice for fiscal prudence and accountability. Stuart was, however, able to achieve several of his central legislative priorities. He secured labor laws that restricted children under age 14 from working in heavy industry. He also improved oversight of the healthcare field and authorized the construction of the Mont Alto Sanitorium to treat tuberculous patients.

Stuart Hall on the campus of Penn State University is named in honor of Governor Stuart.

He is buried at West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.[2]


In 1893 Philadelphia launched a fireboat named after Stuart.[3]


  1. ^ a b c Woodruff, Clinton Rogers (October 1909). "World today". The World Today: 1103–1105. Retrieved June 9, 2009.
  2. ^ Edwin Sydney Stuart, The Political Graveyard. Accessed August 29, 2007.
  3. ^ "Patrolling the Delaware: Philadelphia's Fireboats". Firemans Hall. March 3, 2015. Archived from the original on August 22, 2016. Retrieved September 5, 2018. The Independence is the PFD’s newest fireboat and was put into service in 2007 but this new boat’s design does not waver much from the original fireboat, the Edwin S. Stuart, which was put into service in 1893.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Edwin Fitler
Mayor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Succeeded by
Charles Warwick
Preceded by
Samuel Pennypacker
Governor of Pennsylvania
Succeeded by
John Tener
Party political offices
Preceded by
Samuel Pennypacker
Republican nominee for Governor of Pennsylvania
Succeeded by
John Tener