Penn People

William Woodrow Montgomery

1845 - 1921

Penn Connection

  • A.B. 1865, A.M. 1868, LL.B. 1868
  • Captain in University Light Infantry
  • Member of Philomathean Society and Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity

William Woodrow Montgomery was born in Philadelphia in 1845, the son of Richard R. and Elizabeth Binney Montgomery. After attending Episcopal Academy, he entered the University of Pennsylvania as a freshman in the Class of 1865.

During his college years Montgomery was a member of Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity, the Philomathean Society, the University Chess Club, and the Glee Club. He played cricket as a member of his Sophomore Cricket Eleven and then of the 1865 University cricket team. As a member of the Executive Committee of the Class of 1865, he presented the first Spoon Award to John T. Lewis on the occasion of Penn’s first Class Day. He was also a member of the University Light Infantry, serving as its captain after Thomas Mitchell joined the Union army during their senior year.

After graduation young Montgomery studied law at the University of Pennsylvania and in the office of E. Spencer Miller. He then practiced law for over fifty years. He was a cofounder (with Maskell Ewing) of the Merion Cricket Club. He was also active in the affairs of the Episcopal Church and in the movement for civil service reform in response to the scandals of the spoils system.

Montgomery married first, Mary Leaming, and second, Elizabeth Lewis. He raised eight sons and three daughters at his homes in Center City Philadelphia, Radnor, and Chester County.