John How

 

John How

Term: 1853 - 1855
1856 - 1857
Party: Democratic
Born: 1813
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died: January 3, 1885
San Francisco, California
 
John How (Mayor 1853-1855 and 1856-1857)-Background
Mayor (1853-1855) and (1856-1857). John How was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 1813. He lived there throughout his boyhood. As a young man he came to St. Louis and engaged in business. He became a prominent and wealthy merchant here. How was married and had two sons, one being James F. How, who married a daughter of James Eads, the builder of Eads Bridge.

John How ran for the office of Mayor in 1853 on the Democratic ticket against Charles P. Chouteau, and was elected one year before defeating John B. Carson of the Know-Knothing Party, at the election of 1856.

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John How (Mayor 1853-1855 and 1856-1857)-Administration
In 1853 John How became the sixteenth Mayor of St. Louis.

Between 1856-1857 he served as the eighteenth Mayor of St. Louis.

During John How's first administration (1853-1855) the temporary Workhouse located near the future City Hospital, was moved to Broadway and Meramec Streets. In 1855 permanent buildings were authorized. A House of Refuge was provided for. Part of the old County Poor Farm, now Marquette Park, was set aside. In 1854 Mayor How approved an Ordinance providing the Refuge with a Board of Managers consisting of the Mayor and two members from each of the houses of the City Council.

City park areas were added during How's administration. Hyde Park, containing fourteen and one-half acres, was purchased for $36,250. The block on which the Central Public Library is located was bought from James H. Lucas for $95,500. Mr. Lucas gave the City the block just to the north of the Library (Lucas Park). This two block area, from Olive to St. Charles and Thirteenth to Fourteenth Streets, was then known as Missouri Park.

The Missouri State Legislature passed a Law in 1853 permitting the City to invest in railroads. By 1856 St. Louis had acquired an interest in four railroads. City Ordinances were passed granting right-of-way privileges and rights to put up depots on certain lots. The collapse of many buildings in the City led Mayor How to suggest a Building Inspection Service in 1854. The office of Inspector of Buildings and Fires was created in 1855 and building permits were required.

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John How (Mayor 1853-1855 and 1856-1857)-Post-Administration
John How left St. Louis about 1869 and went farther West to enter the mining business. He served as Indian Agent at Elko, Nevada, for four years.

John How lived in San Franciso the last few years of his life and died there January 3, 1885. Burial was at Bellefontaine Cemetery.

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