James H. Britton

 

James H. Britton

Term: 1875 - 1876
Party: Democratic
Born: July 11, 1817
Shenandoah County, Virginia
Died: January 27, 1900
Ardsley, New York
 
James H. Britton (Mayor 1875-1876)-Background
Mayor (1875-1876). James H. Britton was born in Shenandoah County, Virginia on July 11, 1817. His education was a plain practical one gained in Virginia. His first job was a clerk's position in a store at Sperryville, Virginia. In six years he was made a partner in a store at Thompsanville, Virginia. The partnership lasted two years, during which time Britton was married. In 1840 Britton came west to Troy, Missouri and opened a general merchandising business. In 1857 Britton moved to St. Louis and became a cashier of the Southern Bank. In 1864 he was made president of this bank. Later Britton was president of the National Bank of the State of Missouri.

Britton entered public life in 1848 as Secretary of the Senate of the Missouri State Legislature. From 1852 to 1856 he was a representative in the State Legislature from Lincoln County. He was Chief Clerk of the Missouri House of Representatives in 1856 and 1857. Britton was County Treasurer of Lincoln County. Britton also served as Postmaster at Troy in Lincoln County.

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James H. Britton (Mayor 1875-1876)-Administration
In 1875 James H. Britton became the twenty-seventh Mayor of St. Louis.

Following Mayor Barret's death, it was necessary to hold a special election to select a new Mayor. Mr. Britton was nominated by the Democrats on May 10, 1875. He was declared elected Mayor by the election judges on May 15.

Britton served as Mayor until February of 1876 when he was unseated as the result of a contested election. Two days after the special election of May 15, 1875, Mr. Henry Overstolz gave notice of his intention to contest Mayor Britton's election. The Council secured possession of the ballots and called witnesses before that body during January of 1876. After the recount of the ballots, Mr. Overstolz was declared to have 14,725 votes and Mayor Britton 14,648. Mr. Overstolz was seated as Mayor on February 9, 1876, after Mayor Britton had served almost nine months of the two-year term.

During Mayor Britton's short term, several Special Sewer Districts were created and the Fire Department's inspection of buildings were spelled out in more detail. Applications for building permits, filed with the Chief Engineer, were to state complete specifications and inspections were to take place during construction to see that Building Ordinances were complied with.

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James H. Britton (Mayor 1875-1876)-Post-Administration
James H. Britton lived until January 27, 1900. He died at Ardsley in New York State. Interment was in Calvary Cemetery.

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