George Hunt Pendleton was born in Cincinnati in 1825. He served in the Ohio Senate from 1854-1856, in the United States House of Representatives from 1857-1865, and was a United States Senator from 1879-1885. An anti-war Democrat, Pendleton was the Vice Presidential candidate along side running mate George B. McClellan in 1864. The lost the election to President Abraham Lincoln. Pendleton was also married to Alice Key, daughter of Francis Scott Key.
After the Civil War, Pendleton was an advocate for the, “Ohio Deal” to pay back war bonds in paper money or, “greenbacks” instead of gold which was not a very popular idea. During his time in the Senate, he sponsored civil service reform based on merit and not political patronage. The legislation became known as the Pendleton Act.
The Pendleton House sits atop Prospect Hill and is visible from many parts of downtown and Mt. Adams. Built in 1870, this Second Empire style building was the lifelong home of George Pendleton. In 1882, members of the Civil Service Commission met at the home to draft the legislation that bears Pendleton’s name and the commission met here for the first two years of its existence. The home is on the National Register of Historic Places.
559 Liberty Hill, Prospect Hill