York Town Square

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Off-year, off-season election musings: Leader and Wolf families have impact on York County, Pa.

Front of The Gazette and Daily, November 3, 1954.Submitted
Front of The Gazette and Daily, November 3, 1954.Submitted

This is a story of two front pages and two venerable York, Pa., families.

Next to the York Daily Record copy machine the other day, I ran across a copy of The Gazette and Daily front page. One of our journalists must be working on a piece about George Leader, the first York County native son to become governor of Pennsylvania.

It reminded me how often the Leader family has been in the news – and still is in the news.

When a resident of Country Meadows earns a headline, you get such a reminder.

When you read an upcoming Journal of York County Heritage article about a prominent inn/home – the Blue Ball Inn in Shrewsbury Township – you learn that a Leader lived there.

When you hear a self-effacing comment from a native about whether anything good can come out of the Dover area, you think about an article about George Leader and others.

And of course, we remember the passing of the Leader family patriarch, Henry Leader, earlier this year.

Then you remember the front page of the last November election in which another prominent York countian from a longtime county family gained the governor’s seat… .



fp (1)Tom Wolf and his family are often in the news, as well. Ownership of the Wolf kitchen cabinet business recently passed from the family for the first time since its founding in 1843.

You learn in an editorial board meeting with York Fair officials that Bill Wolf, Tom’s father, is No. 1 in seniority on the York County Agricultural Society Board. (He was No. 2 in 2011 and Tom was No. 184.) And you read about community events like the Northeastern Senior Citizens’ upcoming activities, and you know that center is in Mount Wolf, named after the Wolf family and still home of Pennsylvania’s governor.

Then you wonder, after re-reading these historic front pages, how George Leader and Tom Wolf fared in their home county in their respective elections.

The YDR’s Ed Mahon provided a comparison:

George Leader: In York County, Leader received 46,029 votes compared to 27,619 for Lloyd Wood.

Tom Wolf: Gained 52,386 votes or 42.94 % in his home county. Tom Corbett, his incumbent opponent, received 69,604 or 57.06 %.

All this is good off-year, off-season election fun, but it goes to show the lasting influence these prominent families had – and are having – in the life of their home counties.


To find out more about the shift from Dems to GOP majority in York County, check out: York County Dems slumped, GOP prospered in 1980s.


daisy1George Leader and Daisy Myers address an audience in 2002. To see how their two lives intersected years before, check out: Follow these links to find out more about civil rights pioneer Daisy Myers.