Born in Huntingdon County in central Pennsylvania, MARTIN GROVE BRUMBAUGH attended Juniata College and then studied mathematics at the State Normal School (i.e., teacher training school) in Millersville, where he was a professor in 1882 and 1883. From 1884 until 1890 he was Superintendent of Huntingdon County schools. He did postgraduate work at both Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania, receiving an A.D. in 1893 and a Ph.D in 1894. In 1894 he also became Chair of Pedagogy at the University of Pennsylvania and did post-doctoral work at the University of Jena in Germany. And from 1895 until 1906 he served as President of Juniata College. In addition, Brumbaugh lectured around the nation and served as President of the Pennsylvania State Teachers’ Association. He was appointed the first Commissioner of Education for Puerto Rico following the Spanish-American War, serving from 1900 until 1902. From 1906 until 1915—when he became governor—he served as Superintendent of Philadelphia’s public school system. During Brumbaugh’s gubernatorial administration, which was considered conservative, the governor vetoed more than four hundred bills. However, legislation was enacted dealing with child labor, conservation, and workers compensation. World War I broke out while Brumbaugh was in office, and the governor helped coordinate Pennsylvania’s war effort by organizing the Council of Defense. After leaving office, he served once more as President of Juniata College, from 1924 until his death in 1930.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
The Political Graveyard
State Archives Holdings: MG-348 Martin G. Brumbaugh Papers