Little Rock Look Back: Mayoral Election of 1903

In April 1903, Warren E. Lenon took the oath of office and became Little Rock Mayor.  He had previously served a decade on the City Council.  A native of Iowa, Mr. Lenon was a banker and real estate developer.

At the time, winning the Democratic primary was tantamount to election. The Pulaski County Democratic Committee would set the primary date which would vary yearly anywhere from August to February prior to the April general election.  The primary for this race was set for January 28, 1903.

By July 1902, Alderman Lenon had expressed his desire to run for mayor. He would be challenging incumbent W. R. Duley who was planning on seeking another term. Over the summer, W. C. Faucette, a former alderman who lived north of the Arkansas River, and Col. S. M. Apperson announced their intentions to run for the office too.

In December 1902, Mayor Duley dropped out of the race citing business obligations.  Three days before Christmas, Mr. Faucette also dropped out and endorsed Col. Apperson.

In the primary, Lenon carried all eight of the City’s wards.  In Lenon’s home ward, he received 391 votes and Apperson only 21 votes.  The closest Apperson came was in Faucette’s ward, where Lenon received 159 and Apperson 123 votes.  The total results were 2009 and Apperson 716.

In the April 8, 1903, general election, Mr. Lenon was unopposed and received 662 votes.  This was down from the 1,911 which Mr. Duley had received in 1901 when he had an opponent.

Mayor Lenon took office in April 1903 and was re-elected in April 1905 and April 1907. He served until he resigned in April 1908 because of expanding responsibilities in the private sector.