Little Rock Look Back: First Council Meeting after Civil War

First 1866 minutesOn January 8, 1866, the Little Rock City Council resumed meeting. This was the first meeting since the body had disbanded in September 1863.

Mayor J. J. McAlmont, a physician, presided. The Council members present were I.A. Henry, Henry Ashley, M.H. Eastman, Richard Bragg, P.O. Hooper, G. S. Morrison, John Collins and Alexander George.  Alderman Henry had actually served on the 1863 City Council which had voted to cease operation.

Thomas C. Scott was named constable and collector, and Augustus F. Woodard was appointed City Attorney.

Mayor McAlmont announced the creation of eight committees: Finance, Streets, Ordinances, Mount Holly, Fire Department, Police, Schools and Gas. Though a police committee was established, at a future meeting the Mayor appointed a committee to visit with the commanding Union officer over Little Rock to discuss the establishment of a police force.

One ordinance was introduced. It would establish a rate for licenses. It was read one time, and would be amended at future Council meetings.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the City Constable was charged with finding a room “for temporary use of the City Council.”

The Council would meet again the next night to continue discussions as they revived a dormant government.