DANIEL HARTMAN HASTINGS was born in Salona, Pennsylvania. He taught school in the winter months and worked on his father’s farm during the summer. While serving as Principal of Bellefonte High School, he studied law and was admitted to the Bar in 1875. He also held interests in coal mines and banking. He rose quickly in legal and political circles and in 1888 was chosen to nominate Senator John Sherman for the presidency at the Republican National Convention. He was appointed Governor James A. Beaver’ Adjutant-General, becoming a hero for taking charge of relief efforts following the devastating Johnstown Flood of 1889. In the gubernatorial race of 1890, loyalty in the Republican Party was divided between Hastings and a wealthy banker and friend of oil interests, and when Hastings lost the party’s nomination to his opponent, many of his supporters either failed to vote in the general election or supported the Democratic nominee—former Governor Robert E. Pattison—resulting in a win for Pattison. However, four years later Hastings garnered the support he needed to win the Republican gubernatorial nomination and then the general election. As governor, he led the state’s involvement in the Spanish-American War, directing the state Assembly to provide manpower, supplies, and funding. After leaving office, Hastings returned to the practice of law.
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.
The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 5. New York: James T. White & Company.