William J. Behan
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William J. Behan (1840-1928) was the 41st mayor of New Orleans (November 20, 1882 – April 28, 1884).
Early Life 
Behan was born in the City of New Orleans, Louisiana on September 25, 1980 to his parents, father John Holland Behan and mother Katherine Behan. He was the eldest of three boys, William J., Frank, and Isaac D. With deep family ties to the City, Behan was destined from a young age to live out his days in the area. William attended Western Military Institute in Nashville, Tennessee. There he grew his knowledge in the fields of militia and army tactics. This Education played a vital role in the position he had in the imminent Civil War.
Civil War 
William J. Behan with an educated background and a Family bond to the South served as an Officer in the Washington Artillery under the Confederate Army. He held, at the time, the notoriety of being the youngest Officer under that section of General Robert E. Lee's forces. His role throughout the war gave him exposure to many important figures, and after the ultimate defeat the South faced, Behan sought a position in politics.
After the war, the infrastructure and formation of the Southern states was in shambles. The city of New Orleans was especially devistated due to the fact that it was a key component of the flow of resources for the Confederate forces. Behan headed the implementation of the Crescent City White League after the ending of the war. This Parliamentary group consisted of Confederate Veterans that sought to keep Republicans from taking office. It was described by many to be the "Military arm of the Democratic Party. Behan's involvement in the formation of this led to his nomination from the Democratic Party for the Mayor of New Orleans. He won in what is considered a landslide Political victory in the 1882 election. He became the first Mayor in the new city charter which was constructed in the post-war process. In 1884, after 2 years in office, William J. Behan lost his incumbent position in what is considered to be an travesty to the Democratic selection. The popular vote in the election was thrown out and was deemed inconclusive, and the decision was made by a "Ring" of influential politicians. He was then ousted by fellow Democrat J. Valsin Guillotte. Outraged by this decision, Behan left the party and joined the Republican Party. He was defeated in his third attempt at Mayor in 1904, and stated that he would never strive to be Mayor of New Orleans for the rest of his life.
Late Life 
William J. Behan after leaving politics, lived out his life with his Wife Mrs. W. J. Behan and his two daughters. He found riches as a business merchant and a manufacturer of Sugar. He also was a partner in the Zuberbeir and Behan groceries company. Behan died May 4, 1928 on Jackson Avenue at his home in the heart of New Orleans. He lies for eternity in the same place he was born, lived, and controlled.
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Joseph A. Shakspeare
|Mayor of New Orleans
November 20, 1882-April 28, 1884
J. Valsin Guillotte
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