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Rowena, Russell Co. native W.T. McFarland, was de facto Mayor of Columbia, KY

Before 1921, when Columbia became a fifth class city, the "Mayor" was the city councillor who received the highest number of votes in the election for that office. And there was a time when a five-member board was elected with four members from districts, and one at large. Today, the City of Columbia is a Fourth Class City, with Mayor and 6 member council elected, at large
About: JIM: Chicken 1, Snake 0

By "Jim"
Written in response to question from factotum, CM

Mr.W.T. McFarland was indeed Mayor of Columbia. He was a native of Rowena, Russell County (far outside the bounds of the Sacred Triangle, I fear), but being a man of above-average sagacity, he early in life recognized Columbia as place of enlightenment -- a beacon of light and center of moral rectitude -- and removed himself thereto. He was a mason by trade, and, as I recall, did the stonework for what is now the L.R. McDonald Administration Building.

He was elected to the City Board in 1909, along with A.H. Ballard, J.B. Coffey, Chas. Sandusky, and J.F. Patteson (later of funeral home fame). At that time, the person receiving the most votes in the City Board election became the Mayor de facto. (Not until the KY legislature declared Columbia to be a fifth-class city - in 1921, I think - was the Mayoral election separate and apart from that of City Board.)

In 1909, four of the five Board members represented the Burkesville, Jamestown, Greensburg and Campbellsville Street areas, respectively, while the fifth member represented the city at large. McFarland and Ballard were elected that year on the Citizens Ticket; the other three gentleman on that ticket came up short on election day.

The September 29, 1909 News described the Citizens Ticket thus:

It is understood that the ticket named are public spirited men, in favor of street improvements and for the perpetuation of the stock law.

The meeting at which the Citizens Ticket was selected was held in the Courthouse and was presided over by James Garnett (Jr.). The above-cited article ended with this paragraph:

Before the meeting adjourned, Chairman Garnett announced that sixty cents would have to be paid in order to meet the expenses of the gathering. Mr. Geo. T. Flowers moved, seconded and put the motion that the candidates selected pay the bill. It carried unanimously, and the meeting adjourned.

(Imagine that -- politicians paying their own way!)

And in other news...... Having enjoyed (perhaps I use the word a bit lightly) depression for most of my adult life, I wholeheartedly agree, concur, and otherwise am in the amen corner that it does indeed get one down :)

Compiled by "Jim"

This story was posted on 2011-08-28 02:19:56
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