From the collections at the Leavenworth County Historical Society and Museum. Reprinted with permission from The Leavenworth County Historical Society and Museum and the Leavenworth Times. Donated by Debra Graden.
First Official Elected in 1885 Under Council Form--Only One Served 4 Terms.
Thirty mayors, covering a span of 83 years, have ruled Leavenworth city, according to a record compiled by City Clerk Edward A. Schaaf from records at the city hall.
During these years the mayors ruled under the council form of government, in 1855, which system continued until 1881 when the system, although unchanged, granted a two year term in office in place of the original one-year term.
The council form of government remained in effect until 1908, when the commission form of government was inaugurated, with the mayor serving a two year term, the same present-day city rule.
In the council form of government, the mayor was elected by a board of five members, who in turn were elected by a popular vote of the people. After the mayor was elected, the board then proceeded with the election of the various commissioners, all restricted to members of the city group.
The first mayor to serve in Leavenworth was Thomas T. Slocum, who was elected in 1855, while the first mayor to serve under the two-year council form was W. M. Fortescue, who served from 1881 until 1882.
In 1908, when the commission form replaced the council system, Edward W. Crancer was appointed by the vote of the board, but from 1909, when Omar Abernathy was elected, the choice was made by popular vote.
Only one of the thirty mayors, S. F. Neely, was elected to the city's highest office for four terms. He served from 1883 until 1888, and again in 1899 to 1900, all under the two-year council form.
H. B. Denham, the mayor in 1858, 1859, and 1862, D. R. Anthony, 1863, 1872, and 1873, E. W. Crancer, 1908, 1913-14, and 1915-16, and J. H. Miller, the present mayor, all had or have served three terms. Miller's three terms have been successive.
Following is a complete list of mayors who served the city of Leavenworth since 1855: