Henry Overstolz

 

Henry Overstolz

Term: 1876 - 1881
Party: Independent non-partisan
Born: July 4, 1822
Munster, Germany
Died: November 29, 1887
N/A
 
Henry Overstolz (Mayor 1876-1881)-Background
Mayor (1876-1881). Henry Overstolz was born in Munster, Germany on July 4, 1822. His education was at the Gymnasium of Munster. Overstolz's parents came from Germany and settled in St. Claire County, Illinois. Mr. Overstolz came to St. Louis in 1846 and entered the merchandising business. He married Miss Philippine Espenschied, the daughter of a prominent St. Louis citizen.

Overstolz was elected to membership in the City Council in 1847. In 1853 he became Comptroller. He was the first native born German to be elected to City office in St. Louis. In 1871 Overstolz was elected to the Presidency of the Council. In 1875 he ran for the office of Mayor on an independent non-partisan ticket, and was declared defeated by the election officials. Nine months later the Council seated him as Mayor as the result of a re-count of the ballots. In 1877 he was nominated for re-election by both the Democratic and Republican conventions.

Back to the top


Henry Overstolz (Mayor 1876-1881)-Administration
In 1875 Henry Overstolz became the twenty-eighth Mayor of St. Louis.

He was the first Mayor under the Charter and Scheme of 1876. This Charter and Scheme provided for the separation of St. Louis City and County. The Missouri Constitution, adopted in 1875, made possible the separation of the City and County. The Board of Freeholders, provided for in the Constitution, drew up the plan (called Scheme) of separation and the new City Charter. The Scheme of separation was ratified by vote of the people of the whole County, including the City. The City Charter was approved by the City's population as extended by the new city limits, which were moved westward from Grand to Skinker Avenues. The City was divided into 28 wards. The legislative power of the City was vested in a two-house Municipal Assembly, the Council and House of Delegates. The Charter of 1876 provided for a four-year term for the Mayor.

Mr. Overstolz was the first St. Louis Mayor elected for a four-year term. During this four year period, he guided the new government in its new relationship with the County and State. Ordinances were passed re-defining the powers and functions of the old departments, and those new ones transferred to the City under the Scheme of Separation. The office of Commissioner of Supplies was set up to do the purchasing for all institutions of the City Government. The City assumed the bound debt of the County. The City's area was increased from 20 to 61 square miles.

Back to the top


Henry Overstolz (Mayor 1876-1881)-Post-Administration
During the later years of his life, Henry Overstolz was identified with banking and insurance interests in St. Louis.

Henry Overstolz died November 29, 1887. Burial was at Bellefontaine Cemetery.

Back to the top

St. Louis Public Library Search this Exhibit About this Exhibit Contact Us
Copyright 2001 St. Louis Public Library. (St. Louis, MO) All rights reserved.