On May 28, 1832, the first election in Buffalo took place. Under the first city charter, the Common Council had the power to elect the mayor. Dr. Ebenezer Johnson was elected the first mayor of Buffalo with a salary of $250 per year. At the time of his election, Dr. Johnson was one of the wealthiest citizens in Buffalo. His political affiliation was Democrat-Republican.
So one day last summer we were at the Erie Canal in downtown Buffalo. We are walking on the bridge over Commercial Slip and I see some new historic metal signs on the bridge floor. Suddenly I see one with Elijah Efner ‘mayor of Buffalo’ and I flipped out. Efner was never a mayor and only nominated once.
I wrote to the state and complained, received an email a week later and subsequently spoke to someone. It’s almost a year later and that incorrect historic sign is still there.
What’s your opinion? Is it important?
Sightseeing in Buffalo, NY
For those of you who follow our tour business this may be old news, but for those of you who are unaware, here’s an update.
In 2008 we formed The Mob Tours and began bus tours of former Mafia sites in Niagara Falls. In 2010 we decided to add a couple walking tours in Buffalo, one of them based on my book “Nine Nine Eight“. This year we completely revamped our tours and renamed our company to Naked Buffalo.
It’s a fun name for our company that shows the different type of tour company we are. As well as changing the name we added five new tours! We have a new Mafia walking tour, another one with some ties to my book “Through The Mayors’ Eyes“, a bus tour of local breweries, a new Mafia bus tour, plus an Erie Canal tour unlike any other!
So, please check out our new website and come join us on a tour this year. We start next weekend and will be going until October, with well over 100 tours. You can keep up-to-date by joining us on Facebook or our website.
Future Buffalo mayor and president Stephen Grover Cleveland was born in Caldwell, New Jersey on March 18, 1837. He was one of nine children born to a Presbyterian pastor. Cleveland’s rise to stardom was quick. He was nominated and elected governor of New York during his first year in office.
This and other Buffalo mayoral history can be found in “Through The Mayors’ Eyes”, available on Amazon.com or Lulu.com.
On March 5, 1839, General Heman B. Potter was elected mayor by the Common Council. General Potter respectfully declined, and after several ballots the Council voted six to four in favor of Hiram Pratt. The Common Council, during this second term, was comprised of seven Whig aldermen out of ten. Together they sought to improve the city by levying taxes on many projects, including “education, parks, the militia, and fire protection.”
There is an interesting poll on Business First on the best mayor in the last 50 years.
Future Buffalo mayor William Ketchum was born on March 2, 1798 in Bloomfield, New York to a farming family. He was educated in Canandaigua, New York, moving to Buffalo in 1819. Ketchum is best known for his books “History of Buffalo and the Senecas,” and “An Authentic and Comprehensive History of Buffalo.”
Erastus Cole Knight was born in Buffalo, New York on March 1, 1857. He was one of five children, the son of a local manufacturer. He was born in a home on Clinton Street, near Jefferson Avenue. knight was nominated the Republican candidate for mayor in 1901, shortly after the death of President McKinley in Buffalo. He defeated his Democratic challenger with nearly all offices going Republican. Her served a 4 year term from 1902 to 1905 and did not seek re-election.
Future Buffalo mayor William Findlay Rogers was born in Forks Township, near Easton, Pennsylvania, on March 1, 1820, the son of General Thomas J. Rogers. In 1867 Rogers was elected mayor of Buffalo over current mayor Chandler Wells. Rogers was a Democrat. He served one term, 1868-1869 and did not seek re-election.
On February 13, 1953, a rumor spread that Buffalo mayor Joseph Mruk had died. No one knew how it started, but he found out when calls started coming to City Hall from his family. “I’m very much alive,” he reported.
This and other interesting tidbits of history can be found on this site and also in the book “Through The Mayors’ Eyes“.