James Lawrence Getz

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James Lawrence Getz

James Lawrence Getz (* September 14, 1821 in Reading, Pennsylvania; † December 25, 1891 ibid) was an American politician. Between 1867 and 1873 he represented the state of Pennsylvania in the U.S. House of Representatives.


James Getz completed a classical school education and then worked in the newspaper business. In 1840, he co-founded the Reading Gazette newspaper. Later he bought the Jefferson Democrat. He united these two newspapers under the name Reading Gazette and Democrat. In 1868 he sold his shares in this company. James Getz also studied law until 1846 and was admitted to the bar. However, he did not practice in that or any other legal profession. Politically, he was a member of the Democratic Party. In 1856 and 1857 he sat as a delegate in the House of Representatives of Pennsylvania, of which he was president in 1857.

In the congressional election of 1866, Getz was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., in Pennsylvania’s Eighth Electoral District, where he succeeded Sydenham Elnathan Ancona on March 4, 1867. After two re-elections, he was able to serve three terms in Congress by March 3, 1873. Still until 1869, the work of Congress was burdened by the tensions between the Republicans and President Andrew Johnson, which culminated in an impeachment trial that only narrowly failed.

In 1872 James Getz renounced another congressional candidacy. In the following years he worked again in the newspaper business. Since 1888 he was employed as Comptroller for the city of Reading. There he also died on December 25, 1891.

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Predecessor Office Successor
Sydenham Elnathan Ancona Representative in the United States House of Representatives for Pennsylvania (8th Congressional District)
March 4, 1867 – March 3, 1873
Hiester Clymer