Title: Lawyer, U.S. Congressman, Freemason
Birthdate: March 21, 1789
Death Date: June 16, 1839
Plot Location: Section 41, Lot 44
Thomas Kittera was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania to John Wilkes Kittera and Ann Moore, and had a sister and brother. His father graduated from Princeton, practiced law, and was a U.S. Congressman from 1791-1801. Thomas graduated with a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1805, was admitted to the bar in 1808, and began his practice in Philadelphia.
He was a prominent attorney, politician, and Freemason rising to high levels in each of those endeavors. In 1817 he became a Deputy Attorney for Pennsylvania and a prosecuting attorney in the Philadelphia Mayor’s Court. Thomas also served on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and the Court of Oyer & Terminer (Courts of Criminal Jurisdiction) from 1821-1824. He was elected to the Philadelphia Common Council (1821) and Select Council (1822-1826), serving as its president from 1824-26.
In 1826 he was part of the John Quincy Adams faction of the National Republican Party (not related to the modern GOP party) and ran in a special election for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2nd District and won. He failed, however, to keep his seat in the next election.
As a Mason he was a member of Harmony Lodge 52 of Philadelphia, a Warrant Master of Phoenix Lodge 130 of Philadelphia, and rose to the highest level in the state, serving as the Right Worshipful Grand Master from 1826-1828. His portrait, shown here, was painted by the famous artist Thomas Sully and hangs in the Masonic Temple at Broad & Filbert Streets in Philadelphia.
He never married and died at age 50, bringing an end to the Kittera surname. He was initially buried at St. Paul’s Protestant Episcopal Cemetery in Philadelphia, but was relocated here in 1870.
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