List of mayors of Louisville, Kentucky

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The history of Louisville, Kentucky, USA, as a city is considered to have started on February 13, 1828, the date of the first city charter. From the time of its first organization as a village, on February 7, 1781, until its incorporation as a city, it was governed by a board of trustees. At the time when its growth and commercial importance demanded the change of its government, it was chartered by the state legislature into a city of five wards and placed under the government of a mayor and city council, the latter being composed of ten members, two from each ward.

History of the office[edit]

The first election under the Act of Incorporation took place in March 1828. All free white males who had lived in the city for at least six months prior to the election could vote, although mayors were not elected directly initially. The two top vote-getters were referred to the Governor, who selected the mayor from the two, with senate approval. The early mayor was relatively weak, acting mostly as a Justice of the Peace, serving a one-year term, and lacking a vote on the City Council except to break ties.

A change to the charter in 1838 allowed for direct election of a mayor, extended the term to three years, and prevented incumbents from running for re-election. The term was reduced to two years from 1851 to 1870, then returned to three, and was finally set at four years by the Kentucky Legislature in 1894. In the early 20th century, corruption and political machines were rampant, causing mayors of both parties to be removed from office by courts. All legislative power was given to the Board of Aldermen in 1929. Mayoral term limits were set at three in 1986.

On January 6, 2003, the city of Louisville and Jefferson County governments merged to form the government of Louisville Metro, and the office of Mayor of Louisville Metro was created.

Incorporated city[edit]

Mayor Term began Term ended Political party
John Bucklin 1828 1833
John Joyes 1834 1835
W. A. Cocke 1836 1836
Frederick A. Kaye 1837 1840 Whig
David L. Beatty 1841 1843
Frederick A. Kaye 1844 1846 Whig
William R. Vance 1847 1850 Whig
John M. Delph 1850 1852
James S. Speed 1853 1854 Whig
John Barbee 1855 1856 Know Nothing
William S. Pilcher 1857 August 1858[1] Know Nothing
Thomas W. Riley August 1858 April 1859[2] Whig
Thomas H. Crawford April 1859 1860 Unionist
John M. Delph 1861 1862 Unionist
William Kaye 1863 1864 Democratic
Philip Tomppert 1865 December 28, 1865 [3] Democratic
James S. Lithgow January 2, 1866 February 14, 1867[4] Democratic
Philip Tomppert February 14, 1867 1868 Democratic
Joseph H. Bunce 1869 March 1870 Democratic
John G. Baxter 1870 1872 Democratic
Charles D. Jacob 1873 1878 Democratic
John G. Baxter 1879 1881 Democratic
Charles D. Jacob 1882 1884 Democratic
P. Booker Reed 1885 1887 Democratic
Charles D. Jacob 1888 1890 Democratic
William L. Lyons May 12, 1890[5] August 1890 Democratic
Henry S. Tyler 1891 January 14, 1896[6] Democratic
Robert Emmet King January 14, 1896 January 31, 1896 (pro tem) Republican
George Davidson Todd January 31, 1896 December 1897 Republican
Charles P. Weaver December 1897 December 1901 Democratic
Charles F. Grainger December 1901 December 1905 Democratic
Paul C. Barth December 1905 July 1907[7] Democratic
Robert W. Bingham July 1907 December 1907[8] Democratic
James F. Grinstead December 1907 December 1909 Republican
William O. Head December 1909 December 1913 Democratic
John H. Buschemeyer December 1913 December 1917 Democratic
George Weissinger Smith December 1917 December 1921 Republican
Huston Quin December 1921 December 1925 Republican
Arthur A. Will December 1925 June 1927[9] Republican
Joseph T. O'Neal June 1927 December 1927 Democratic
William B. Harrison December 1927 December 1933 Republican
Neville Miller December 1933 December 1937 Democratic
Joseph D. Scholtz December 1937 December 1941 Democratic
Wilson W. Wyatt December 1941 December 1945 Democratic
E. Leland Taylor December 1945 February 16, 1948[10] Democratic
Charles R. Farnsley February 16, 1948 December 1953 Democratic
Andrew Broaddus December 1953 December 1957 Democratic
Bruce Hoblitzell December 1957 December 1961 Democratic
William O. Cowger December 1961 December 1965 Republican
Kenneth A. Schmied December 1965 December 1969 Republican
Frank W. Burke December 1969 December 1, 1973 Democratic
Harvey I. Sloane December 1, 1973 December 1, 1977 Democratic
William B. Stansbury December 1, 1977 January 1, 1982 Democratic
Harvey I. Sloane January 1, 1982 January 1, 1986 Democratic
Jerry Abramson January 1, 1986 January 1, 1999 Democratic
David L. Armstrong January 1, 1999 January 5, 2003 Democratic

Louisville Metro[edit]

Mayor Term began Term ended Political party
Jerry Abramson January 6, 2003 January 2, 2011 Democratic
Greg Fischer January 3, 2011 Present Democratic

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Died in office in August 1858.
  2. ^ Served as mayor Served as mayor pro tempore. Left office on April 1859.
  3. ^ Impeached by Board of Aldermen for failure to approve an infrastructure bill tainted by bribery
  4. ^ Resigned on February 14, 1867 after the Kentucky Court of Appeals restored Tomppert.
  5. ^ Served as mayor pro tempore.
  6. ^ Left office on January 14, 1896.
  7. ^ Removed from office in June 1907 as election was found to be fraudulent.
  8. ^ Appointed interim mayor
  9. ^ Removed from office in June 1927 as election was found to be fraudulent.
  10. ^ Died in office on February 16, 1948.

References[edit]