Charles McClure (1804-1846)

Charles McClure was born on his father's farm at Willow Grove near Carlisle, Pennsylvania. His father, Colonel Charles McClure, was currently serving as a member of the board of trustees at the local Dickinson College and his son entered the nearby institution with the class of 1824. He was a solid student, being named a sophomore sophister and was elected to the Union Philosophical Society. He also was one of the seven founder members of the Turkey Club, an eating club instituted on the campus in 1823. A fellow member was Andrew Parker, another local student and also destined to serve in the U.S. Congress. Short and stocky in stature, McClure was a practicing Methodist. Following his graduation with his class, he studied law and was admitted to the Carlisle bar in 1826.

A Democrat, he was elected as a state representative in 1835 and then served in the United States Congress when elected in his own right 1837-1839; he was elected for part of 1840 and 1841 to replace the deceased incumbent, William Sterritt Ramsay - a fellow Dickinsonian who had shot himself in October, 1840. He served as secretary of state for Pennsylvania between 1843 and 1845.

McClure married Margaretta Gibson, daughter of Pennsylvania Chief Justice John Bannister Gibson. He also served as a very active trustee of his alma mater between 1833 and 1846, missing only one meeting during that time and chairing several vital committees in a very important period of the College's history. Following his retirement from state government, he moved to Pittsburgh. Charles McClure died there on January 10, 1846 at the age of forty-one years.

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Dickinson College Archives
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