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Edwards, Richard; Hopewell, M.; Ashley, William; Barry, James G.; Belt and Priest; Casey, John; Hall, W.; Labaum, Louis A.; Leduc, Mary Philip; Lisa, Manuel; O'Fallon, Benjamin; Piernas; Port Folio; Risley, W.; Stoddard, Amos; Williams, Henry W.; Yore, John E. Edwards's Great West and Her Commercial Metropolis, Embracing a General View of the West, and a Complete History of St. Louis, from the Landing of Ligueste, in 1764, to the Present Time; with Portraits and Biographies of Some of the Old Settlers, and Many of the Most Prominent Buisiness Men . St. Louis: Office of Edwards's Monthly, A Journal of Progress, 1860. [format: book], [genre: biography; history; letter; narrative]. Permission: St. Louis Mercantile Library
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=edwards.html


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Dr. William Carr Lane, First Mayor of St. Louis.

WILLIAM CARR LANE was born December 1st, 1789, in Fayette county, Pennsylvania. His ancestors were of English origin, with the exception of one branch, which was Irish, and came at a very early period to Virginia. For many years they made the "Old Dominion" their home, until the father of the subject of this memoir emigrated with his family to Pennsylvania. They were highly esteemed in their new home; the father being an opulent farmer and very popular, was elected repeatedly to the state senate.

William Carr Lane, in his youth, had good advantages of education. His father being a man of sound practical sense, knew how important was the wealth of the mind, and sent him to the most respectable institutions of learning, that he might fit himself for any profession, and be qualified for any career in life. He first had all of the advantages which the country schools of his neighborhood could give, then an academical education, and finally completed his course at Jefferson College, Pennsylvania, where he remained for three years enjoying all of the advantages afforded by that justly celebrated institution. From there, after a short sojourn at home, still further to perfect him in his education, he was sent to Dickinson College of the same state, where he remained for two years. Being then fully competent to pursue any vocation, he shortly afterward moved to Louisville, Kentucky, and commenced the study of medicine under the instruction of Drs. Collins and Johnson, both eminent physicians.

In 1813, Dr. William Carr Lane had that passion for military glory which appears to spring spontaneously from the warm blood of youth, and which every young man, at some time in the April of his life, experiences. As a volunteer, he joined a brigade commanded by Colonel Russell, of the regular army, in a campaign against the North-west Indians, the whole expedition being under the command of Major Taylor, afterward the renowned Mexican hero and president of the Union.

At the close of the expedition, the professional services of Dr. Lane were called into requisition, and he filled the appointment of surgeon's mate at Fort Harrison; but losing his health, he was ordered to the station at Vincennes, and soon afterward resigned his appointment in the army. However, in a short time, receiving an appointment of surgeon's mate in the regular army he accepted it, and in that capacity remained until ill health again compelled him to retire. He then attended a course

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of medical lectures at the university of Pennsylvania, and at the completion of the course he was promoted to the rank of surgeon, and retained in service though the army had been reduced to a peace establishment.

In 1818, Dr. Carr Lane married Miss Mary Ewing, daughter of Nathaniel Ewing, Esq., of Vincennes, Indiana, and having sent in his resignation of surgeon in the army, which was accepted with reluctance, in the following year, 1819, he came to St. Louis, and devoted himself wholly to the duties of his profession, and soon became one of the leading physicians of the place. However, it was but a short time that he was permitted to devote his entire time to his profession, for, when Missouri became a state, he was appointed the first quartermaster-general; and when St. Louis became incorporated a city he was elected the first mayor.

So well satisfied were the people with the administration of Dr. Lane, that he was elected for six consecutive years, and after an interim of some years he was again elected to the office, and served a second term of three years. His labor during his official administration over municipal affairs was untiring. During his first administration there was but little pavement, and in some seasons of the year the streets were almost impassable from the mud, the government of the city was in a disordered and ineffective condition, and the revenue of the city was wholly inadequate to its wants. He went to work with that vigor so characteristic of his nature, and soon many of the streets were graded and paved, wholesome laws were enacted, and the treasury was replenished. His administration was popular and successful.

Dr. Lane has also served three terms in the Missouri legislature, and for several years filled a professor's chair in the medical department of Hamper's College. He has always been a hard worker.

When Mr. Fillmore was called to the presidential chair, he appointed Dr. Lane governor of New Mexico, a country at that time settled in a great measure by lawless spirits and unprincipled adventurers. Prompt and decisive action and clear judgment were necessary in the executive to calm the dangerous elements of which it was composed, and bring them, insensibly, under the salutary dominion of the law. The governor was equal to the emergency of the occasion, and soon the country exhibited all the indications of administrative healthfulness. When Mr. Pierce became president, Dr. Lane resigned, and returned to St. Louis.

Dr. Lane is well and favorably known throughout Missouri, and has a fame beyond its limits. He is in the evening of life, but all the essentials of happiness are about him — "health, peace, and competence."

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Edwards, Richard; Hopewell, M.; Ashley, William; Barry, James G.; Belt and Priest; Casey, John; Hall, W.; Labaum, Louis A.; Leduc, Mary Philip; Lisa, Manuel; O'Fallon, Benjamin; Piernas; Port Folio; Risley, W.; Stoddard, Amos; Williams, Henry W.; Yore, John E. Edwards's Great West and Her Commercial Metropolis, Embracing a General View of the West, and a Complete History of St. Louis, from the Landing of Ligueste, in 1764, to the Present Time; with Portraits and Biographies of Some of the Old Settlers, and Many of the Most Prominent Buisiness Men . St. Louis: Office of Edwards's Monthly, A Journal of Progress, 1860. [format: book], [genre: biography; history; letter; narrative]. Permission: St. Louis Mercantile Library
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=edwards.html
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