1888-1929 City Councils

1888-1929 City Councils

CITY COUNCILS 1888-1929

The first St. John's Municipal Council was elected in 1888 but it was not until 1902 that the residents of St. John's elected it's first Mayor.

Below is a running list of Councils and some of its activities for the period 1888 to 1929:

August 30, 1888  General Election
January 23, 1892  General Election
1893 By-Election
January 23, 1896  General Election
June 19, 1902  General Election
June 26, 1906  General Election
June 27, 1910  General Election
June 29, 1916  General Election
December 15, 1921  General Election
December 8, 1925  General Election
December 9, 1929  General Election

August 30, 1888  General Election
Ward 1  John T. Carnell
Ward 2  Francis St. John
Ward 3  Moses Monroe
Ward 4  Michael Power
Ward 5  William Morison

Government appointees on Council: James Goodfellow, Chairman and James P. Fox.  The Hon. J. Harris succeeded James P. Fox who died before the end of his term.

This was the first municipal election in St. John's and the first election under the Ballot Act.

January 23, 1892  General Election
Ward 1  John T. Carnell
Ward 2  John T. Southcott
Ward 3  James Goodfellow
Ward 4  Michael Power
Ward 5  Donald Morison

Appointees to Council: Edward W. Bennett and Thomas Mitchell.  On February 26, 1892, Mitchell was elected Chairman.  In 1894 James J. Callahan was appointed to Council.

1893  By-Election
John Harris elected following the death of John Carnell.

1893  T.G. Chapman of Plymouth, England was to be engaged as City Engineer.

December 30, 1893  Chairman Thomas Mitchell was replaced by Thomas J. Edens

January 4, 1894  Councillor Power was elected Chairman

1894  John Harris was elected in a By-Election following the death of Carnell in 1893.

January 23, 1896  General Election
Ward 1  John Harris
Ward 2  Thomas Keating
Ward 3  John V. O'Dea
Ward 4  Michael Power
Ward 5  James T. Callahan

Appointments by Government: Thomas J. Edens and R.A. McCoubrey.

The new Council held its first meeting on February 7, 1896 and Power was elected Chairman.

1898 - 1902  St. John's was governed by Commission.  Three members were appointed by Government consisting of: H.C. Burchell, T.M. White and J.V. O'Dea.

1899  P.C. O'Driscoll succeeded T.M. White who resigned.

1900  O'Driscoll and O'Dea resigned and H.F. Bradshaw was appointed.

1902  Abolishment of the Commission.

1902  Legislation was passed providing for an elected Council consisting of a Mayor and six Councillors, all elected at large.  Elections were to be held in June of every fourth year from 1902 onwards.

June 19, 1902  General Election
Mayor:  George Shea

Councillors:
John R. Bennett
William J. Ellis
Charles F. Muir
John Harris
John Anderson
Michael Kennedy

Bennett received the highest vote among the six and was referred to as Senior Councillor and as such was to preside over Council Meetings in the absence of the mayor.

June 26, 1906  General Election
Mayor: George P. Gibbs

Councillors:
William J. Ellis
Michael Kennedy
John Carew
Samuel G. Collier
John Cowan
James T. Martin

Between September 3-10, 1906 John Carew died in office, no by-election was held.

July, 1908  First civic strike - sanitary workers.

June 27, 1910  General Election
Mayor: William J. Ellis

Councillors:
James Martin
John Coaker
James J. Channing
Charles R. Ryan
James J. Mullaly
Martin W. Myrick

August 9, 1911  Council opened the town's first civic-owned offices after having purchased the Seaman's Home in late 1910.

July 1, 1914   Elected form of municipal government replaced by Commission system of government.
Appointments:
John Anderson
Charles P. Ayre
F. W. Bradshaw
William Ellis
William Gilbert Gosling
John Harris
Edward M. Jackman
James McGrath
Francis MacNamara
Issac C. Morris
James J. Mullaly
J. W. Withers

July 2, 1914  First meeting of Commission.  Gosling elected as chairman, defeating Ellis.  Ellis resigned after failing to become chairman.

June 29, 1916  General Election
Mayor: William G. Gosling

Councillors: Issac C. Morris
Dr. James S. Tait
Henry J. Brownrigg
James J. Mullaly
Charles P. Ayre
Nicholas J. Vinnicombe

June 1920 to June 1921  St. John's run by Commission appointed by the Governor-in-Council.
July 5, 1920  Appointments: 
W. G. Gosling
Charles P. Ayre
Issac Morris
James Mullaly
Nicholas J. Vinnicombe

August 2, 1921  Civic legislation known as the City Charter passed both Houses of the Legislature. This document was worked on extensively by William G. Gosling and laid out the rights and responsibilities of the council and it's officials. Women received the right to vote as a result of the charter.

July 1 - December 31, 1921- New commission appointed to replace the one that went out of office June 30, 1921.

June 26, 1921  New commission took office.
Appointments: Issac Morris, Chairman
Samuel G. Collier
W. H. Jackman
James J. Mullaly
Samuel H. Peet
Nicholas J. Vinnicombe

The old Commission ended it's term of office on June 30, 1921 and the new Commission took office on July 26, 1921 leaving St. John's without any local government for nearly a month.

December 15, 1921  General Election
Mayor: Tasker Cook

Councillors:   James T. Martin
Philip E. Outerbridge
Nicholas J. Vinnicombe
Samuel G. Collier
Charles W. Ryan
Reginald Dowden

The new position of Deputy Mayor was to be determined by a vote of all the Council. 

December 8, 1925  General Election
Mayor: Tasker Cook

Councillors: 
Joseph Fitzgibbon
Dr. Archibald C. Tait
William E. Brophy
Philip E. Outerbridge
Charles W. Ryan
James T. Martin

Julia Salter Earle ran in this election and came within eleven votes of claiming the sixth and final Council seat. This was the first election in which women were allowed to run for Council. Three women ran unsuccessfully.

1927  City's first Town Planning Commission appointed.

December 9, 1929  General Election
Mayor: Charles J. Howlett

Councillors: 
Charles W. Ryan
Andrew G. Carnell
John P. Kelly
Jonas C. Barter
James R. Chalker
Ernest St. Clair Churchill

Carnell was elected Deputy Mayor.

March 31, 1932 Mayor Charles J. Howlett died.  Carnell administered the City.