Bernard Pratte

 

Bernard Pratte

Term: 1844 - 1846
Party: Whig
Born: December 17, 1803
St. Louis, Missouri
Died: August 10, 1886
Jonesburg, Missouri
 
Bernard Pratte (Mayor 1844-1846)-Background
Mayor (1844-1846). Bernard Pratte was born in St. Louis, Missouri on December 17, 1803 and was the first native-born St. Louisian to become Mayor of the City. He was also the first child born in St. Louis after the ratification of the Louisiana Purchase treaty with France. Pratte's elementary and high school education was gained in St. Louis. He completed his formal education at Georgetown Academy in Kentucky. In 1824 he married Miss Louis Chenie and they raised seven children.

Bernard Pratte's father had a general merchandising business in the City and Pratte joined in the business. The father, General Bernard Pratte, was head of the old fur trading firm Pratte, Chouteau and Company. They maintained a large fur trade with the Indians. Young Pratte was adventurous and the fur trade was pushed into remote regions through his activities. As late as 1832 no steamboat had been up the Missouri River to the headwaters of the Yellowstone. Mr. Pratte thought the voyage practicable and in 1832 he ascended the Missouri River with Pierre Chouteau to the mouth of the Yellowstone.

Bernard Pratte was elected to membership in the Missouri Legislature in 1838.

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Bernard Pratte (Mayor 1844-1846)-Administration
In 1844 Bernard Pratte became the tenth Mayor of St. Louis.

In June the Mississippi River flooded the City. Five hundred people were driven from their homes. The river was from three to six miles wide in some places. It was a record flood in St. Louis history, and for many years this high water mark was shown on the front Harbor and Wharf building on the levee. A Flood Relief Ordinance was signed by the Mayor on June 26.

Carr Square was given to the City as a public park by William C. Carr in 1844. An Ordinance accepting the gift and providing for its survey was approved by the Mayor on July 6, 1884. The City's food inspection regulations were expanded as Inspectors were authorized to check and grade butter, lard and tallow. Lucas Market, located in the middle of what is now Twelfth Street, was provided for by Ordinance of August 8, 1845. It extended down the center of the street from St. Charles to Market Street. There actually were two streets with the market between them. This market was abolished in 1882 to make Twelfth Street 150 feet wide.

Gas lights were first used to light the streets during Mayor Pratte's administration. The levee was paved with stone blocks. In 1845 the City Engineer was given authority to erect a City Hospital and it was completed in 1846. Work continued on the improvement of the harbor and wharf.

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Bernard Pratte (Mayor 1844-1846)-Post-Administration
Bernard Pratte was prominent in banking circles and was for many years a director of the Bank of the State of Missouri and for a time was its president.

Bernard Pratte died August 10, 1886 at Jonesburg, Missouri. Burial was in Calvary Cemetery.

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