Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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QUAY, Matthew Stanley, senator, born in Dills-burg, York County, Pennsylvania, 30 September, 1833. He was graduated at Jefferson college, Pennsylvania, in 1850, began his legal studies at Pittsburg, and was admitted to the bar in 1854. He was appointed prothonotary of Beaver county in 1855, in 1856 elected to the same office, and re-elected in 1859. In 1861 he resigned his office to accept a lieutenancy in the 10th Pennsylvania reserves, and he was subsequently made assistant commissary-general of the state with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. Afterward he was appointed private secretary to Governor Andrew G. Cur-tin, and in August, 1862, he was commissioned colonel of the 134th Pennsylvania regiment. He was mustered out, owing to impaired health, 7 December, 1862, but participated in the assault on Marye's Heights, 13 December, as a volunteer. He was subsequently appointed state agent at Washington, but shortly afterward was recalled by the legislature to fill the office of military secretary, which was created by that body. He was elected to the legislature in October, 1864, in 1865, and 1866, and in 1869 he established and edited the Beaver "Radical." In 1873-'8 he was secretary of the commonwealth, resigning to accept the appointment of recorder of Philadelphia, which office he resigned in 1879. In January, 1879, he was again appointed secretary of the commonwealth, filling that post until October, 1882, when he resigned. In 1885 he was elected state treasurer by the largest vote ever given to a candidate for that office, and in 1887 was chosen to the United States senate for the term that will end 3 March, 1893.
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