Asa PACKER, Congress, PA (1805-1879)


PACKER, Asa, a Representative from Pennsylvania; born in Mystic, New London County, Conn., December 29, 1805; attended the district schools; moved to Springfield, Pa., in 1820; learned the trade of carpenter; moved to Mauch Chunk, Pa., in 1833; engaged in mercantile pursuits, and established a boat yard for the construction of canal boats; became interested in the production of coal and also in railroads; member of the State house of representatives in 1842 and 1843; associate judge of Carbon County in 1843 and 1844; built the Lehigh Valley Railroad in 1852 and was president of the company at the time of his death; elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-third and Thirty-fourth Congresses (March 4, 1853-March 3, 1857); declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1856; resumed his former business interests; founded Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa.; unsuccessful candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania, 1869; died in Philadelphia, Pa., on May 17, 1879; interment in the Mauch Chunk Cemetery, Mauch Creek, Pa.

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