Little Rock Look Back: H. L. Fletcher, 35th Mayor of Little Rock

Mayor H L Fletcher

On September 15, 1833, future Little Rock Mayor Henry Lewis Fletcher was born in Saline County.  His parents were Henry Lewis and Mary Lindsey Fletcher.  One of his siblings was future Little Rock Mayor John Gould Fletcher.  The Fletcher brothers are the only set of siblings to serve as Mayors of Little Rock.

Though the life of John Gould Fletcher is fairly well documented, not much information is available on his brother Henry Lewis (and some of what is out there is incorrect).  He married Susan Bricelin August 30, 1855, in Pulaski County.  During the Civil War, he served as a sergeant in the cavalry for the Confederate Army in Captain Ed Nowland’s Company.

As a civic leader, Fletcher oversaw Arkansas’ contribution to the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876. The building received as a prize a cast-iron fountain. A replica of that stands in front of the Old State House Museum.

Fletcher served as Mayor of Little Rock from 1891 to 1893.  When Fletcher became Mayor he appointed a new Police Chief (as most Mayors did) and the entire police force was dismissed.  A new police force was hired by E. H. Sanders, who served as chief for 18 months.  Upon his resignation, Frank MacMahon (who had been dismissed from the force when Fletcher came to office), was appointed Chief by Mayor Fletcher.  He would serve from 1892 until 1905.

Mayor Fletcher died on June 30, 1896 and is buried at Oakland Cemetery next to his wife (who died in 1911).