PENNYPACKER, Elijah Funk, reformer, b. in Chester county, Pa., 20 Nov., 1804; d. in Phœnixville, Pa., 4 Jan., 1888. He was educated in the private schools in Burlington, N. J., taught there, and subsequently engaged in land surveying in Phœnixville, Pa. He then became interested in real estate, was in the legislature in 1831-'5, chairman of its committee on banks, and a principal mover in the establishment of public schools. In 1836-'8 he was a canal commissioner. He joined the Society of Friends about 1841, and thenceforth for many years devoted himself to the abolition movement, becoming president of the local anti-slavery society, and of the Chester county, and Pennsylvania state societies. He was an active manager of the "Underground railroad," and his house was one of its stations. With John Edgar Thompson he made the preliminary surveys of the Pennsylvania railroad. He aided the suffering poor in Ireland in the famine of 1848, and subsequently identified himself with the Prohibition party, becoming their candidate for state treasurer in 1875. He was an organizer of the Pennsylvania mutual fire insurance company in 1869, and was its vice-president till 1879, when he became president, holding office till January, 1887, when he resigned. John G. Whittier says of him: "In mind, body, and brave championship of the cause of freedom he was one of the most remarkable men I ever knew."
Jaems Grant Wilson and John Fiske, eds., "Pennypacker, Elijah Funk," Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1900), 4: 719.