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Local History 

Springfield Mayors

 Sempronius Boyd

From time to time, the Local History and Genealogy department receives requests for a list of Springfield Mayors.  The following information is predominately from an article in Springfield! Magazine, March 1999, p. 36.  The Mayor's political affiliation, when found, was from biographies in Greene County Histories online and obituaries published in Springfield newspapers.  The photograph of Sempronius Boyd is courtesy of United States Library of Congress Prints and Photographs.

The first seven mayors on the list were elected by vote.  After J. W. Mack, the mayors were appointed by the Springfield City Council.  Once the new city charter was approved in 1953, mayors were again elected to office. During the civil war era, 1861-65, "six military officers …[serving] on both sides (Union and Confederate) in the Civil War, ruled Springfield under martial law".

 

  1. A. Maurice 1847-49.
  2. Joseph Burden 1849-51.
  3. Warren Graves 1852-56;  "...one of the first newspaper men in Southwest Missouri".
  4. H. S. Chenoweth 1856.
  5. J. S. Kimbrough 1857.
  6. Sempronius H. Boyd 1858-60;  “He was the Missouri member of the Republican national executive committee from 1864 to 1868".
  7. J. W. Mack 1860-61.
  8. Benjamin Kite 1865-66; “In May, Benj. Kite, a Republican, who had voted for Lincoln, received a commission as postmaster of Springfield”.
  9. James H. Creighton 1866; “…the Radicals of Greene county… [held a mass meeting]…The committee on resolutions was composed of Sam. Kneeland, J. H. Creighton, James Vaughan…”.
  10. R. B. Owen 1867.
  11. J. B. Dexter 1868.
  12. W. E. Gilmore 1869-70.
  13. L. H. Murray 1871-72;  “In 1871 he was elected mayor of Springfield, and in 1874 was elected to the Legislature, being the only Democratic representative Greene [County} had had since 1858”.
  14. Jonathan Fairbanks 1872-73;  “Mr. Fairbanks has been a Republican all his life”.
  15. John McGregor 1873-74;  “John McGregor, Democrat, received 406 votes…”.
  16. John Lisenby 1874-75;  “…John W. Lisenby (Republican) for mayor...”.
  17. Joseph J. Weaver 1875-76.
  18. W. A. Hall 1876;  "...Politically, Mr. Hall was a Democrat".
  19. Homer F. Fellows [Homer] 1877-79;  “Politically, Mr. Fellows was at one time a Whig, but later an Abolitionist, and finally a Republican”.
  20. Joseph McAdoo 1879-80;  “In 1879, the Republicans headed their city ticket with his name for mayor, and for the first time in 13 years, the entire ticket was elected".
  21. Marzavan J. Rountree 1880-81;  “In 1880 he was elected upon the Democratic ticket to the mayoralty of the city of Springfield".
  22. James Abbott 1881-82;  “He was mayor of the city in 1881, and chairman of the Republican Congressional Committee of this district in 1882".
  23. George Sale Day 1882-83.
  24. John McGregor 1883-84 [see 15].
  25. Ralph Walker 1884-86;  "...Politically, Mr. Walker has followed in the footsteps of his honored father and is a staunch Democrat, although he has never been active in political affairs".
  26. J. S. Atkinson 1887-88;  “In his political views he leans to the Republican party”.
  27. Ralph Walker 1888-90 [see entry 25].
  28. E. D. Parce 1890-94.
  29. J. (Jeremiah) Fenton 1894-96.
  30. V. S. Bartlett 1896-98.
  31. W. A. Hall 1898-1900 [see entry 18].
  32. Ralph Walker 1900-02 [see entry 25].
  33. J. E. Mellette 1902-04;  "...Mr. Mellette has always been a strong Republican...".
  34. Ben E. Meyer 1904-06;  "...Politically Mr. Meyer is a Democrat and has long been active in party affairs...".
  35. James Blain 1906-08; his obituary is unclear about his politics but does have the following: "...Harry D. Durst, present mayor recalled this morning that he was democratic floor leader for Mr. Blain in the city council during that administration.  Leader & Press, March 5, 1934,page 3.
  36. Louis P. Ernst 1908-10; "...he is a staunch Republican...".
  37. Robert E. Lee 1910-12; "In 1910-11 Mr. Lee served one term as mayor ... his only political activity; though he was a lifelong democrat." Leader & Press December 18, 1935, page 1.
  38. George Culler 1912-14; "...Politically, Mr. Culler is a staunch Republican".
  39. T. K. Bowman 1914-16; Mr. Bowman's obituary, October 17, 1948, did not mention his political affiliations.
  40. J. J. Gideon 1916-1920; "...In politics he is a staunch Republican...".
  41. W. E. Freeman 1920-28; "In 1908 he was elected sheriff of Greene County with the largest majority any Democrat ever received for that office...".
  42. T. H. Gideon 1928-32; "...In that early part of his political career he also served as chairman of the Greene County Republican Central Committee." Leader & Press February 13, 1959, page 9.
  43. Harry D. Durst 1932-40;"...He was an ardent Democrat and during many years was a committeeman..." Leader & Press September 21, 1959, page 1.
  44. Harry Ben Carr 1940-48; "...Mayor Carr was an active Democrat..." Leader & Press, October 17, 1950.
  45. Otis L. Barbarick 1948-51; "... in the early 1960s was...Springfieldfield representative for U. S. Rep. Durward Hall, R-Springfield." Leader & Press, February 6, 1975, page 17.
  46. J. Oliver Gideon 1952.
  47. Nathan (Bill) Karchmer 1952-53.
  48. W. L. English 1953-55.
  49. Warren M. Turner 1955-57.
  50. Joe Ben Wann 1957-59.
  51. David C. Scott 1959-62.
  52. E. L. Anderson 1962-67.
  53. Carl Stillwell 1967-72.
  54. Jim Payne 1972-78.
  55. Paul (Les) Redfearn 1978-81.
  56. Harry C. Strawn 1981-83.
  57. George Scruggs 1983-87.
  58. Thomas J. Carlson 1988-93 Thomas J. Carlson was elected as Mayor of Springfield in April 2001 and re-elected in April 2003, April 2005 and April 2007.
  59. N. L. McCartney 1993-1995.
  60. Leland Gannaway 1995-1998.
  61. Thomas Carlson 1999 [See entries 58 and 63].
  62. Leland Gannaway 1999-2001 [See entry 60].
  63. Thomas J. Carlson 2001-2009.
  64. Jim O'Neal 2009-present.

For more information about city government see Missouri Government and Politics.  For information about Missouri mayors see Missouri Statue chapter 77 and Missouri Statue chapter 78.


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