William Worthington Haly

Date of Birth


Date of Death

Dec. 26, 1851

Letters Authored


Letters Received


William Worthington Haly was born 215 years ago.
171 years ago, William Worthington Haly passed away at the age of 43.

Letters Authored in Collection

Date Recipient Title
March 5, 1823 Randle Hulse Moale Business letter to Randle Hulse Moale


With virtually no way to positively identify the author of this letter, we were very fortunate to receive a communication from Jason E. Shuff who is a descendant of William W. Haly’s wife, Sara Jacob Haldeman. Mr. Shuff kindly provided us with the following biographical information, for which we are deeply appreciative:

“Mr. Haly was a well known lawyer who was married to Sara Jacobs Haldeman, a resident of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. They were wed in 1850 and resided in Philadelphia. Tragically, their life together was cut short when in less than a year of their wedding William died in an office fire at Sixth & Chestnut Streets. The two were attending a luncheon where he was a guest of honor when the news of his office being afire reached him. While trying to remove important documents he was caught within his building without an escape. Afterward Sara moved back to Harrisburg and became a well known philanthropist, helping those in need. She donated $80,000 along with her sitting garden on Front Street to create the first Harrisburg Public Library.”

The following was written by Horace L. Haldeman, a member of the Pennsylvania State Senate:

“In 1850, Sara J. Haldeman married William W. Haly, a native of Cork, Ireland, who immigrated to this country, with his father, when quite young. He studied law in Philadelphia, with Simon Levy, and very soon after admission to the bar of that city attained a distinguished position in his profession. An obituary notice of a Philadelphia newspaper, at the time of his death, says of him, among other complimentary remarks "Avoiding display of every kind, he was nevertheless deeply versed in all the learning of his profession. As a counselor and advisor he was always honest, prudent and wise and there are many now amongst us whom he has saved from entanglements of the law, who will ever cherish and revere his memory. Mr. Haly was a member of our Council (Philadelphia) and for two years represented this city in the State Legislature. As a public man, though his tastes never seemed to run in that direction, he would have occupied a commanding position, but preferred the calmer and less exciting labors of his profession, to which he was most passionately attached."

William Worthington Haly was born in about 1808 in Ireland and immigrated with his father to the U. S. when he was young, possibly in 1818. In 1850, he married Sara Jacobs Haldeman, the daughter of Jacob Miller Haldeman, a wealthy iron manufacturer, and Eliza Ewing Jacobs. William died 26 December 1851. Sara never remarried and died 20 April 1895.

1850 Census
William Haly is enumerated in the 1850 Census as living in the household of Kennard Manning, a merchant, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His occupation is noted as lawyer and his place of birth Ireland.

Sara Haldeman is enumerated in the 1850 Census as living in West Ward Harrisburg Borough, Pennsylvania with her parents, Jacob M. Haldeman and Eliza Haldeman. Mr. Haldeman’s occupation is listed as farmer and his real estate value is noted as $500,000. Also enumerated are two of Sara’s siblings, Susan F., 20, and Richard, 18.

1860 Census
Sara Haehley (Haly) is enumerated in the 1860 Census as living in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with E. E. Haldeman (Eliza Haldeman), Susan Haldeman, 30, R. J. Haldeman (Richard Haldeman), 36, Sallie Spence, 30, a servant, and Horace Murray, 26, a coachman. The real estate value for E. E. is noted to be $250,000 and for Sara, Susan, and R. J., the value is noted as $200,000 each.

1870 Census
Sara Haly is enumerated in the 1870 Census as living with her mother, Eliza Haldeman, 81, in Harrisburg Borough, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.

1880 Census
Sara Haly is enumerated as living with her mother Eliza Haldeman in the 1880 Census on North Front Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Also enumerated is Matilda Houston, 45, companion, and Elizabeth Bollinger, 55, servant.