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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesPennsylvania

William Henry SOWDEN

(1840-1907)

SOWDEN, William Henry, a Representative from Pennsylvania; born in Liskeard, England, June 6, 1840; immigrated to the United States in 1846 with his father, who settled in Philadelphia; later went to live with friends in Allentown, Pa.; attended the public schools and Allentown Academy; served in the Civil War as a corporal in Company D, One Hundred and Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, and served from August 13, 1862, to May 19, 1863; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1864, and after graduation from Harvard Law School in 1865 commenced practice in Allentown, Pa.; served as solicitor of Lehigh County in 1868; district attorney in 1872-1874; unsuccessful candidate for Lieutenant Governor in 1874; unsuccessful candidate for election in 1876 to the Forty-fifth Congress; delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1884; city solicitor of Allentown in 1886; elected as a Democrat to the Forty-ninth and Fiftieth Congresses (March 4, 1885-March 3, 1889); was not a candidate for reelection in 1888; resumed the practice of law; city solicitor of Allentown 1900-1902; delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1900; unsuccessful Republican candidate to the Fifty-ninth Congress in 1904; elected solicitor of Lehigh County in 1906; died in Allentown, Pa., March 3, 1907; interment in Union Cemetery.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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