John D. Daggett

 

John D. Daggett

Term: 1841 - 1842
Party: Whig
Born: October 4, 1793
Attleboro, Massachusetts
Died: May 10, 1874
St. Louis, Missouri
 
John D. Daggett (Mayor 1841-1842)-Background
Mayor (1841-1842). John D. Daggett was born in Attleboro, Massachusetts on October 4, 1793. At the age of 13 his father died and he soon became a machinist apprentice. He followed the trade during the War of 1812, when he made musket-locks for the army. Then Daggett started west working as a locksmith and salesman. He went down the Ohio River and then up the Wabash River from Vincennes to St. Louis on horseback. Arriving in the City in 1817, he went into retail merchandising. Daggett married Miss Sarah Sparks in 1821 and they raised a large family of twelve children.

Daggett was elected to the Board of Alderman in 1827 during the administration of Dr. William Carr Lane. In 1830 he purchased an interest in the steamer 'St. Louis' and continued in the steamboat business for many years. He ran principally between St. Louis and New Orleans. In 1838 he became Street Commissioner, and in 1841, as a candidate of the Whig Party, he was elected Mayor.

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John D. Daggett (Mayor 1841-1842)-Administration
In 1841 John D. Daggett became the seventh Mayor of St. Louis.

At this time the City had a two-house City Council. The first City Charter of 1823 had provided for a Board of Alderman only. This was changed by the Missouri Legislature in 1839. During the twenty year period from 1839 to 1859 there was a Board of Alderman and a House of Delegates. A bill had to pass both houses before being sent to the Mayor for approval. The City's population had jumped from 4,977 in 1830 to 16,469 in 1840.

During Mayor Daggett's administration an Engineering Department was created. This department was composed of the City Engineer, Street Commissioner, and the Superintendent of the Waterworks. The office of City Counselor dates from this time. This office was created to draft the City's contracts needed by the Council and the Mayor. The City Counselor prosecuted all suits by the City and represented the City in all suits against it. His annual salary was $600, and in addition, he received a 3 per cent commission on all claims collected for the City. The harbor improvement work of the previous administration was continued.

The City received the site of Soulard Market by the terms of the will of Julia C. Soulard. A condition of the gift was that the area must be used exclusively for market purposes. The first market building was erected there in 1848.

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John D. Daggett (Mayor 1841-1842)-Post-Administration
John D. Daggett was one of the founders of the Gas Light Company in 1839, and became its president in 1842. From 1846 to 1848 he was Secretary of the Board of Public Schools. He was successful in most of his commercial ventures until late in life. In 1849 he became manager of the the Sectional Dock Company.

John D. Daggett died on May 10, 1874. Burial was in Bellefontaine Cemetery.

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