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1867-1868 Dudley C. Carr

colorseal smNew Yorker Dudley Carr became mayor in 1867, leading a board of aldermen composed of all newcomers to Chattanooga.  The election of this Board of Aldermen and Mayor reflected the shift in the make-up of the citizens of Chattanooga, as more and more were either Union veterans or northern carpetbaggers.  During this time, to improve the city’s economy, officials advertised in northern publications in hope that industrialists would move into Chattanooga.

As Mayor Carr was leading Chattanooga through its recovery from the Civil War, the city experienced the greatest flood in its history, with waters reaching 58.6 feet.  The early March flood destroyed the only bridge across the Tennessee River and damaged most buildings in town.  As floodwaters rose, Mayor Carr ordered food and other supplies to be gathered and taken to the top of Cameron Hill, where many citizens were taking refuge. 

In April 1867, city officials conducted the first post-war census of Chattanooga.  This census recorded that 3,229 whites and 2,550 blacks lived within the city limits.

Reelected in December 1867 for the 1868 term, Mayor Carr worked throughout 1868 to have the city appropriate $100,000 to the Tennessee River Improvement Commission in hopes of determining a way to protect the city from other floods.

Photo by Phillip Stevens and Matt Lea