Little Rock Look Back: Ages of Little Rock Mayors

With the election of Frank D. Scott, Jr., as Little Rock’s next mayor, there have been questions about the ages of Little Rock’s past mayors.

Mayor-elect Scott will become Little Rock’s 73rd mayor when he takes office on January 1, 2019..  There have been sixty-six other men and women serve as mayor of Little Rock.  Much like Grover Cleveland is counted twice in the list of US presidents because of serving non-sequential terms, there have been six men who have served non-sequential terms as Little Rock’s mayor and are therefore counted twice.

Of the seventy-three mayors of Little Rock (including Mayor-elect Scott), the ages are known of fifty-eight at the the time they took office.

Of those fifty eight, the youngest mayor of Little Rock was Eli Colby. He took office in 1843 at the age of 28.  The next youngest is Pat L. Robinson who took office a month after turning 29.

The oldest person to take office as mayor was 66 year old Haco Boyd in 1969. The next oldest was 64 year old David Fulton in 1835.

The average age upon taking office is 45.

The largest gap of years between the ages of sequential mayors at the start of their terms was 31 years. Webster Hubbell was 31 when he took office in 1979. He was succeeded by 62 year old Charles Bussey in 1981.

The shortest gap of ages of sequential mayors at the start of their terms was roughly one year.  W.W. Stevenson and Elijah A. More (yes he spelled his name with only one “O”).  In 1833, Stevenson took office at the age of 35. The next year, More took office at the age of 34. Stevenson’s birthday was on January 29 and More’s was on January 20.

Here is the list of the ten youngest mayors of Little Rock at known age of starting their term:
1. Eli Colby — 28 in September 1843
2. Pat L. Robinson  — 29 in April 1929
3. Webster L. Hubbell — 31 in June 1979
4. J. G. Botsford — 32 in January 1871
5. William E. Ashley — 33 in January 1857
6. John E. Knight — 34 in January 1851 (34 years and 3 months)
7. Harold E. “Sonney” Henson, Jr. — 34 in January 1965 (34 years and 5 months)
8.  Elijah A. More – 34 in January 1834 (34 years and 11 months)
9.  Frank D. Scott, Jr. – 35 in January 2019 (35 years and 1 month)
10. Thomas A. Prince – 35 in January 1985 (35 years and 4 months)

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Arkansas Heritage Month – LR Mayor John E. Knight

May is Arkansas Heritage Month. This year’s theme is “Arkansas Arts: Celebrating Our Creative Culture.”

Did you know that a former Little Rock mayor was a published songwriter?

John Elliott KJno E Knight signight (1816-1901) published a song entitled “I A Near to Thee” in 1858. He wrote the lyrics while Benjamin Scull wrote the music.  The song was dedicated to Mary Woodruff, a daughter of Arkansas Gazette publisher William Woodruff.

 

As an attorney and newspaper editor, John E. Knight collected documents about the settlement of Little Rock. Those papers are now part of a collection at the Arkansas History Commission.  The majority of these papers are from William Russell to Chester Ashley, pertaining to pre-emption claims in and around Little Rock. Other material concerns the 1819-1822 dispute related to the the New Madrid Certificate and pre-emption claims of James Bryant, Stephen F. Austin, and William M. O’Hara.

Little Rock Look Back: Mayor John E. Knight

Jno E Knight sigOn September 20, 1816, future Little Rock Mayor John Elliott Knight was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts. In 1843 he married Hannah Donnell in New York, and came to Little Rock that same year.

Knight was editor of the Arkansas Democrat from 1846 to 1850. He was also associated with the Arkansas Gazette and published the short-lived Chronicle. In 1851, Knight served as Mayor of Little Rock. In 1855, he served as a member of the City Council.

In 1858 a song was published entitled “I Am Near to Thee” which featured music by Arkansan Benjamin Scull and lyrics by Knight.  The song was dedicated to Mary Woodruff.

During the Civil War, he served as a Colonel.  During the 1850, 1860 and 1880 census, he was listed as an attorney.

He had one daughter, Elizabeth Knight, who married James S. Pollock, a banker in Little Rock. Knight died in Little Rock, Arkansas, on October 28, 1901, and was buried in Mount Holly Cemetery. Elizabeth Knight Pollock died in 1910.

As an attorney and newspaper editor, John E. Knight collected documents about the settlement of Little Rock. Those papers are now part of a collection at the Arkansas History Commission.  The majority of these papers are from William Russell to Chester Ashley, pertaining to pre-emption claims in and around Little Rock. Other material concerns the 1819-1822 dispute related to the the New Madrid Certificate and pre-emption claims of James Bryant, Stephen F. Austin, and William M. O’Hara.

Little Rock Look Back: John Elliott Knight, LR’s 18th Mayor

Jno E Knight sigOn September 20, 1816, future Little Rock Mayor John Elliott Knight was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts. In 1843 he married Hannah Donnell in New York, and came to Little Rock that same year.

Knight was editor of the Arkansas Democrat from 1846 to 1850. He was also associated with the Arkansas Gazette and published the short-lived Chronicle. In 1851, Knight served as Mayor of Little Rock. In 1855, he served as a member of the City Council.

In 1858 a song was published entitled “I Am Near to Thee” which featured music by Arkansan Benjamin Scull and lyrics by Knight.  The song was dedicated to Mary Woodruff.

During the Civil War, he served as a Colonel.  During the 1850, 1860 and 1880 census, he was listed as an attorney.

He had one daughter, Elizabeth Knight, who married James S. Pollock, a banker in Little Rock. Knight died in Little Rock, Arkansas, on October 28, 1901, and was buried in Mount Holly Cemetery. Elizabeth Knight Pollock died in 1910.

As an attorney and newspaper editor, John E. Knight collected documents about the settlement of Little Rock. Those papers are now part of a collection at the Arkansas History Commission.  The majority of these papers are from William Russell to Chester Ashley, pertaining to pre-emption claims in and around Little Rock. Other material concerns the 1819-1822 dispute related to the the New Madrid Certificate and pre-emption claims of James Bryant, Stephen F. Austin, and William M. O’Hara.

Little Rock Look Back: Mayor John Elliott Knight

Jno E Knight sigOn September 20, 1816, future Little Rock Mayor John Elliott Knight was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts. In 1843 he married Hannah Donnell in New York, and came to Little Rock that same year.

Knight was editor of the Arkansas Democrat from 1846 to 1850. He was also associated with the Arkansas Gazette and published the short-lived Chronicle. In 1851, Knight served as Mayor of Little Rock. In 1855, he served as a member of the City Council.

In 1858 a song was published entitled “I Am Near to Thee” which featured music by Arkansan Benjamin Scull and lyrics by Knight.  The song was dedicated to Mary Woodruff.

During the Civil War, he served as a Colonel.  During the 1850, 1860 and 1880 census, he was listed as an attorney.

He had one daughter, Elizabeth Knight, who married James S. Pollock, a banker in Little Rock. Knight died in Little Rock, Arkansas, on October 28, 1901, and was buried in Mount Holly Cemetery. Elizabeth Knight Pollock died in 1910.

As an attorney and newspaper editor, John E. Knight collected documents about the settlement of Little Rock. Those papers are now part of a collection at the Arkansas History Commission.  The majority of these papers are from William Russell to Chester Ashley, pertaining to pre-emption claims in and around Little Rock. Other material concerns the 1819-1822 dispute related to the the New Madrid Certificate and pre-emption claims of James Bryant, Stephen F. Austin, and William M. O’Hara.