Frederick O. Prince

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Frederick Octavius Prince
Frederick O. Prince.JPG
25th & 27th Mayor of Boston, Massachusetts
In office
Preceded bySamuel C. Cobb
Succeeded byHenry L. Pierce
In office
Preceded byHenry L. Pierce
Succeeded bySamuel A. Green
Member of the
Massachusetts State Senate[1]
In office
Member of the
Massachusetts Constitutional Convention of 1853[1]
In office
Member of the
Massachusetts House of Representatives[1]
In office
Personal details
BornJanuary 18, 1818
Boston, Massachusetts
DiedJune 6, 1899 (aged 81)
Boston, Massachusetts
Political partyWhig Party
Spouse(s)Helen Henry (d. 1885)
Relations5 sons, 1 daughter
Alma materHarvard College

Frederick Octavius Prince (January 18, 1818 – June 6, 1899) was an American lawyer, politician, and mayor of Boston, Massachusetts.

He was the father of financier Frederick H. Prince.

Life and politics[edit]

Frederick Prince was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 18, 1818, the son of Thomas J. and Caroline Prince. He was educated at Boston Latin School and graduated from Harvard College in 1836. He studied law at the office of Dexter & Gardiner and was admitted to the bar in 1840. He engaged in politics as a member of the Whig Party.

In 1848, Prince married Helen Henry and took residence in Winchester, Massachusetts. They had five sons and one daughter.

Prince was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1851 and served for three years. He was a prominent participant in the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention of 1853. In 1854, he was elected to the Massachusetts Senate.

Prince joined the Democratic Party after the Whig Party dissolved in 1860. He was a delegate to the 1860 Democratic National Convention and was elected secretary of the convention. He served as secretary until 1888.[2]

In 1876, Prince was elected Mayor of Boston, serving in 1877. He was defeated for re-election that year, but returned to office in 1879, serving until 1881.[3]

Prince as Mayor

During his tenure as mayor, Prince oversaw improvements to the city's sewer system and the development of the city's park system. At the end of Mayor Prince's incumbency, the most important projects before the city were the erection of the new Court House, the Public Library building, and the establishment of public parks in different parts of the city. In 1880, the city government celebrated the 250th anniversary of the settlement of Boston. On this occasion the statue of John Winthrop was unveiled on Scollay Square.

After serving as mayor, Prince became a trustee of the Boston Public Library and served as president of its board of trustees for 11 years. During his trusteeship, he advocated and oversaw the construction of the library's McKim Building in Copley Square.[4] In 1879 Prince was named an Honorary Member of the American Library Association, the first year the award was bestowed.[5] Prince was the Democratic nominee for Governor of Massachusetts in 1885 and 1896, losing both times.

Frederick Prince died in Boston on June 6, 1899.

A bust of Frederick Prince now stands in the Cushman Room of the Boston Public Library.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d State Street Trust Company (1914), Mayors of Boston: An Illustrated Epitome of who the Mayors Have Been and What they Have Done, Boston, MA: State Street Trust Company, p. 35. External link in |title= (help)
  2. ^ Dickinson, Edward B. (1888). Official Proceedings of the National Democratic Convention, Held in St ... St. Louis: Woodward & Tiernan printing. p. 133. OCLC 67886704.
  3. ^ Gilman, Arthur (1889). The Story of Boston: A Study of Independency. Boston: G. P. Putnam's sons. p. 456. OCLC 599803.
  4. ^ a b "Board of Trustees - Former Trustees - Frederick Octavius Prince". Boston Public Library. Retrieved 2007-11-15.
  5. ^ American Library Association. Honorary Membership.
  • Rand, John C. (1890). One of a thousand : a series of biographical sketches of one thousand representative men resident in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, A.D. 1888-'89. Massachusetts: First national publishing. p. 492. OCLC 56335662.
  • White, James T. (1900) [1893]. The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography. J. T. White. p. 222. OCLC 17692533.
  • Drake, Samuel A. (1880) [1879]. History of Middlesex County, Massachusetts: Containing Carefully Prepared ... Middlesex County, Mass.: Estes and Lauriat. p. 519. OCLC 3583041.
Political offices
Preceded by
Samuel C. Cobb
Mayor of Boston, Massachusetts
January 1, 1877–January 7, 1878
Succeeded by
Henry L. Pierce
Preceded by
Henry L. Pierce
Mayor of Boston, Massachusetts
January 6, 1879–January 2, 1882
Succeeded by
Samuel Abbott Green