Jonathan T. Updegraff

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Jonathan Taylor Updegraff
Jonathan T. Updegraff.png
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 18th district
In office
March 4, 1879 – March 3, 1881
Preceded byJames Monroe
Succeeded byAddison S. McClure
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 16th district
In office
March 4, 1881 – November 30, 1882
Preceded byWilliam McKinley
Succeeded byJoseph D. Taylor
Member of the Ohio Senate
from the 22nd district
In office
January 1, 1872 – January 4, 1874
Preceded byJared Dunbar
Succeeded byJ. K. Rukenbrod
Personal details
Born(1822-05-13)May 13, 1822
Mount Pleasant, Ohio
DiedNovember 30, 1882(1882-11-30) (aged 60)
Mount Pleasant, Ohio
Political partyRepublican
Alma materFranklin College, University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia

Jonathan Taylor Updegraff (May 13, 1822 – November 30, 1882) was a U.S. Representative from Ohio.


Born near Mount Pleasant, Ohio, he descendant of the German Op den Graeff family. Jonathan was the son of David Updegraff, a Quaker minister, and grandson of Nathan Updegraff, a delegate to Ohio's first constitutional convention.[1] Updegraff attended private schools and Franklin College. He studied medicine. He was graduated from the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia in 1845 and later from medical schools in Edinburgh and Paris. Although he practiced his profession, he devoted a large share of his time to agricultural pursuits. He served as a surgeon in the Union Army during the Civil War. He served in the State senate in 1872 and 1873. Presidential elector for Grant/Wilson in 1872.[2] He served as delegate to the Republican State convention in 1873 and to the 1876 Republican National Convention.

Updegraff was elected as a Republican to the Forty-sixth and Forty-seventh Congresses and served from March 4, 1879, until his death in Mount Pleasant, Ohio, November 30, 1882. More than 2000 people viewed his corpse at the Friends Meetinghouse.[3] He served as chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor (Forty-seventh Congress). Updegraff had been reelected to the Forty-eighth Congress prior to his death, and his position was filled by Joseph D. Taylor.

He was initially interred in Updegraff Cemetery, near Mount Pleasant, Ohio but was later reinterred in Short Creek Cemetery, west of Mount Pleasant, in 1926.

The house built by Updegraff in 1856 remains in Mount Pleasant.[4]

In public station, whether in State or national affairs, he was respected and honored; in private life, beloved by a large and influential circle of friends. He was simple in habits and tastes, strong in his friendships, tender and devoted in his family relations, generous and confiding in his nature, firm and unyielding in his convictions of duty. He hated shams and despised pretensions, and his simple nature esteemed candor and sincerity above everything else. He regarded any labor or sacrifice for principle a religious duty, and he would go out of his way to help a friend.

— William McKinley, February 6, 1883[5]

See also[edit]


  • United States Congress. "Jonathan T. Updegraff (id: U000018)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved on 2009-05-13
  • Smith, Joseph P, ed. (1898). History of the Republican Party in Ohio. I. Chicago: the Lewis Publishing Company.
  • forty-seventh Congress. Memorial Addresses on the Life and Character of Jonathan T. Updegraff (A Representative from Ohio). Washington: Government Printing Office.
  • Jonathan T. Updegraff at Find a Grave

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
James Monroe
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 18th congressional district

Succeeded by
Addison S. McClure
Preceded by
William McKinley
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 16th congressional district

Succeeded by
Joseph D. Taylor