Born in Dilkburg, Pa., Quay was a Civil War hero, the first of six Betas to receive the Medal of Honor,
the highest U.S. honor for bravery, Dec. 14, 1862, following the Battle of Fredericksburg, Va. He studied law and practiced in Beaver,
Pa., was prothonotary of Beaver County, 1856- 61, and joined the Union Army as a lieutenant, 10th Pennsylvania Reserves.
Although out of the service for a time, he voluntarily resumed duty, as colonel, 134th Pennsylvania Infantry,
on the eve of the battle of Fredericksburg, Va. (Dec. 13,1862) and took a conspicuous part in “the charge on the heights,” which earned him the Medal of Honor.
He also was lieutenant colonel and assistant commissary general for Pennsylvania and a major and chief of transportation and telegraphs.
For a time, he was state military agent at Washington, DC, and military secretary to the governor of Pennsylvania.
Quay owned and edited the Beaver Radi caii 1867-72, was a member of the State house of representatives, 1865-67,
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secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 1872-82, recorder for the city of Philadelphia, 1885-87, State treasurer, 1885-87, and leading member of the U.S. Senate, 1887-1904.
He chaired the Committee to Examine Branches of the Civil Service, A strong a ntithe Committee on Transportation Routes to the Seaboard, the Commit- slave ry tee on the Library,
the Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds and advocate both as the Committee on the Organization and the Conduct and Expenditures of a soldier and a Executive Departments. He died in Beaver, Pa.
His statue of white marble le g is la to r is in the rotunda of the State capitol in Harrisburg.
President Theodore Roosevelt recalled Quay’s concern for the Delaware Indians whom the senator believed were not being well treated by the Department of the Interior.
At Quay’s request, Roosevelt visited the ailing hero days before his death. “He urged my assurance that I would personally see that no injustice was done to the Delaware people,” the President recalled.
“I told him I would do so, perfunctorily urging his recovery and to be back in Congress when it reopened.
A gleam came into the old fighter’s eyes and he answered, ‘No, I am dying, and you know it.
I don’t mind dying, but I do wish it possible for me to get off into the great north woods and crawl out on a rock in the sun and die like a wolf.’
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