Henry Overstolz

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Henry C. Overstolz
24th Mayor of St. Louis, Missouri
In office
February 9, 1876 – April 12, 1881
Preceded by James H. Britton
Succeeded by William L. Ewing
Personal details
Born (1821-07-04)July 4, 1821
Munster, Germany[disambiguation needed]
Died November 29, 1887(1887-11-29) (aged 66)
St. Louis, Missouri
Political party Independent
Spouse(s) Philippine Overstolz

Henry C. Overstolz (July 4, 1821 – November 29, 1887) was the twenty-fourth mayor of St. Louis, Missouri, serving from 1876 to 1881.

Overstolz was born in Munster, Germany[disambiguation needed] and moved to St. Louis in 1846, where he entered the merchandising business. He quickly involved himself in the city's government and, in 1847, was elected to membership in the City Council. In 1853, Overstolz was elected as the city's comptroller, becoming the first native-born German to be elected to office in St. Louis. Overstolz is a direct descendant of the oldest patrician family of Cologne, Germany.[1] Later, in 1871, he was elected president of the city council.[2]

Overstolz ran for mayor as an independent in April 1875, but lost to Arthur Barret.[3] Following Barret's sudden death a scant three weeks after his election, Overstolz again ran for mayor in the special mayoral election that followed, but lost to his opponent James Britton. Overstolz contested the election two days later, alleging, among other irregularities, ballot stuffing.[4] In February 1876, after a recount of the ballots, Overstolz unseated Britton and was declared mayor, having won by 77 votes out of more than 29,000 votes cast.[5]

Overstolz was a supporter of the Charter and Scheme that separated the city of St. Louis from St. Louis County in 1876. As a result of the new city charter, Overstolz became the first mayor of St. Louis elected to a four-year term when he was reelected in 1877.[2]

During the course of his mayorship, Overstolz worked to reorganize the city government and forge new relationships with the county and state resulting from the changes instituted by the new city charter.[2]

Overstolz sought a third term as mayor, but was defeated by William Ewing in the 1881 mayoral election.[6]

Overstolz died on November 29, 1887 and was buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis.[7]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Henry Overstolz at the St. Louis Public Library: St. Louis Mayors Online Exhibit.
Political offices
Preceded by
James H. Britton
Mayor of St. Louis, Missouri
1876 – 1881
Succeeded by
William L. Ewing