Mayor Walter C. Flower
Incoming Correspondence

City Archives
New Orleans Public Library

Date range: 1897-1900
Size of collection: 1 carton
Terms of Access: Available to registered researchers by appointment

Historical Note

Walter Chew Flower was born in East Feliciana Parish in 1850, the son of a planter and cotton factor. Flower was educated at Pass Christian College and also studied law at the University of Louisiana (later Tulane University). After leaving school, he worked for several years as a reporter for the Daily Picayune and briefly practiced law before joining the cotton factoring firm of Edwin Nall & Co. In 1884, he founded his own firm, Flower Brothers, with his brother Ivy, and in 1888 formed a partnership with Branch M. King; in 1891 the firm became Flower, King and Putnam. He served as President of the New Orleans Cotton Exchange in 1891 and 1892 and retired from the business in 1895.

In 1896, Flower was chosen by the Citizens' League, a non-partisan reform group dedicated to overthrowing the current political regime in New Orleans, as its candidate for Mayor. Flower defeated the regular Democrat candidate Charles F. Buck.

The Flower administration brought in a municipally owned water, sewer, and drainage system and placed the port facilities under a publicly controlled board. It was during the Flower administration that the 1896 city charter was implemented, which cut the city council to 17 members, increased the mayor's appointive powers and (briefly) instituted a system of civil service. Flower also worked to de-politicize the Police Department and to combat epidemic disease. The City Council passed the infamous "Storyville" ordinance in 1897 during Story's time in office.

In 1900, the regular Democrats returned to power with the election of Mayor Paul Capedeville. Flower died of tuberculosis at his summer home in Covington later that year.


Correspondence is arranged chronologically, with letters from 1897-1899 in one folder and those 1900 in separate folders for each month represented.

The detailed item-level description below was begun and left incomplete a number of years ago by a former Louisiana Division employee. Given the very small size of this collection, we have continued this item-level description in completing the processing of these records. Each letter is identified by its date, its recipient, its correspondent, the place where it was written and its subject matter. The number of pages is also given, along with the designation "typewritten" or "handwritten."

Scope Note

Very little incoming correspondence has survived from the administration of Mayor Flower, and what has survived is of a very routine nature. Letterpress copies of outgoing correspondence for this period have survived in the form of the Letter Books from the Office of the Mayor. The following volumes are available for Mayor Flower's administration:

v. 39 (9/25/1895 -- 6/2/1896)
v. 41 (3/9/1897 -- 5/27/1898)
v. 42 (5/28/1898 -- 2/23/1899)
v. 44 (9/11/1899 -- 1/25/1900)
v. 45 (1/25/1900 -- 6/20/1900)
[vols. 40 and 43 are missing]

Detailed Description of the Records

Date Recipient Correspondent Place Subject Extent
2/26/1897 Mayor E. Heche, President, Louisiana Construction & Improvement Co. New Orleans Protest against fees for upkeep and policing of wharves 2 pages; typewritten
8/24/1897 Mayor Jenkins & Sears, agents, Belliare Stamping Co. New Orleans Can provide samples of license plates 1 page; handwritten
11/20/1897 Mayor Henry J. Levy, attorney for liquidators of Louisiana Auxiliary Sanitary Assn. New Orleans Claim against city 3 pages; typewritten
8/26/1898 Mayor H.C. Brown, former City Surveyor New Orleans Request for back pay 3 pages; typewritten
3/7/1899 Mayor and City Council John W. Murphy, Commissioner, Police and Public Buildings New Orleans Need to have Comptroller advertise for bids for replacing 4th and 7th Precinct stations 1 page; typewritten
4/22/1899 Mayor and City Council R.J. McNeill, W.M. Hermitage Lodge No. 98 New Orleans Requests duplicates of receipts for Lodge's purchase of vaults in Lafayette Cemetery No. 2 1 page; typewritten
11/4/1899 Mayor Sarah Cooley [illegible] Various questions about lodging and employment in the area from woman relocating to the South 2 pages; handwritten
11/4/1899 Mayor [signature illegible] New Orleans Procedure for extending street railroad franchise is illegal 1 page; typewritten
12/26/1899 Mayor W.B. Spencer, attorney, member of Board of Commissioners of Prisons and Asylums New Orleans Resigns position on Board 1 page; typewritten
n.d. J.S. Waterman, Secretary to Mayor S.W. Urban (Urban the Tailor) East St. Louis, Illinois Regarding his distant relative Charles Ender, now destitute in New Orleans 1 page; handwritten
January, 1900
1/12/1900 Mayor C.E. Phelps, Chief Engineer, City of Baltimore Baltimore, Maryland Information on New Orleans city lighting station 1 page; typescript
1/12/1900 Mayor Joseph E. Manning, Secretary, Louisiana Improvement Co. New Orleans Paving Canal St. neutral ground, Delta to Liberty St. 2 pages; typed
1/16/1900 J.S. Waterman, Secretary to Mayor Herman E. Bulkley, University of Chicago Chicago Request for last Mayor's Annual Report 1 page; handwritten
1/18/1900 Mayor James Trahan, Jr., New Orleans Maritime Assn. New Orleans Use of "spark arresters" on steam vessels operating in harbor or at wharves 2 pages; typewritten
1/18/1900 Mayor Mary Scott Stafford McHenry, Mississippi Request for name of a divorce lawyer in New Orleans 1 page; handwritten
1/19/1900 Mayor James E. Manning, Secretary, Louisiana Improvement Assn. New Orleans Paving Canal Street neutral ground 2 pages; typewritten
1/19/1900 J.S. Waterman, Secretary to Mayor Charles M. Raquet, Texas Land Agency Marshall, Texas Trying to locate Thomas Sheldon or heirs 1 page; typewritten
1/22/1900 Mayor Dan McGary, Acting City Electrician New Orleans Request of Baltimore City Engineer handled (see 1/12/1900 above) 1 page; typewritten
1/22/1900 Mayor and City Council L. Arnauld, Recorder, Sixth Recorder's Court New Orleans Criminal Sheriff is collecting fines and releasing prisoners without authority 1 page; typewritten
1/23/1900 Mayor C.D. Wyman, New Orleans City Railroad Co. New Orleans Trying to expedite work on railroad tracks on Canal Street (St. Charles Ave. to River) 2 pages; typewritten
1/24/1900 Mayor Dr. S.E. Hale New Orleans Napoleon Avenue needs repairs 2 pages; handwritten
1/24/1900 Mayor W.C. Spotswood, Tow Boat Co. Mobile, Alabama Wants to bid on gravel and stone for paving 1 page; handwritten
1/25/1900 John. S. Waterman, Secretary to Mayor Charles M. Raquet, Texas Land Agency Marshall, Texas Locating Tomas Sheldon 1 page; typewritten
1/25/1900 Mayor C.D. Wyman, New Orleans City Railroad Co. New Orleans Work on neutral ground on Canal St. (St. Charles and Royal intersection) agreement reached between New Orleans City Railroad and Carrollton Railroad 1 page; typewritten
1/26/1900 Mayor C.D. Wyman, New Orleans City Railroad Co. New Orleans Has submitted plans to City Engineer for Canal-Camp St. work 2 page; typewritten
1/28/1900 Mayor [Fragmentary; no signature] Bird's Point Danger of Atchafalaya River cutting New Orleans off trade route 6 pages; handwritten
1/29/1900 Mayor A.C. Bell, City Engineer New Orleans Annex to Live Oak School not begun yet 1 page; typewritten
1/30/1900 Mayor L. Clarke Davis, editor, Public Lodger Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Thanks for information on trolley fares 1 page; typewritten
1/30/1900 Mayor J.H. Kalley Sullivan, Indiana Requests names of hotels for Mardi Gras 1 page; handwritten
1/31/1900 Dr. Edmond Souchon, President, La. Board of Health; copy to Mayor F.C. Zacharie, attorney for La. Board of Health New Orleans Laborers arriving in New Orleans with small-pox 1 page; typewritten
1/31/1900 Mayor Dr. Edmond Souchon, La. Board of Health New Orleans Enclosed letter (see above) 1 page; typewritten
1/31/1900 Mayor Samuel L. Gilmore, City Attorney New Orleans Opinion--Sheriff incompetent to collect fines 1 page; typewritten
February 1900
2/2/1900 Mayor A. Lehman, A. Lehman and Co. New Orleans Sending two statements due since 1898 (one for Mayor and one for Dept. of Police and Public Buildings) 1 page; typewritten
2/2/1900 Mayor H.L. Favrot, attorney New Orleans Public market proposed for Second District 1 page; typewritten
2/3/1900 Mayor W.E. Uniacke, Criminal Sheriff New Orleans Collection of fines controversy 2 pages; handwritten
2/5/1900 Mayor Henry V. Johnson, Mayor of Denver Denver, Colorado Affairs of the League of American Municipalities 2 pages; typewritten
2/5/1900 City Clerk John F. Fisdale Montgomery, Alabama Wants licenses fees for street salesmen 1 page; handwritten
2/9/1900 Mayor S. Jacobs New Orleans Complaint about paving Canal/Camp St. 1 page; typewritten
2/9/1900 Mayor Dan McGary, Acting City Electrician New Orleans Free telephone service to which city is entitled 1 page; typewritten
2/10/1900 Mayor A. Bell, City Engineer New Orleans Calliope St. Engine House work not complete 1 page; typewritten
2/12/1900 Mayor Dan McGary, Acting City Electrician New Orleans Report on street lights not burning 1 page; typewritten
2/12/1900 Mayor Charles Dormand, Secretary, Board of Police Commissioners New Orleans Meeting on 2/14/1900 to hear cases 1 page; typewritten
2/14/1900 J.S. Waterman, Secretary to Mayor William J. Bok, Regent Publishing Co. Bell Port, New York Seeking location of cemeteries; Girod Cemetery; seeking death of novelist Eliza Ann Dupuy 2 pages; handwritten
2/15/1900 Mayor Lillie May Mobile, Alabama Wants name of a good New Orleans dentist 1 page; typewritten
2/19/1900 Mayor E.L. Cope, Superintendent, Commissioners, Port of New Orleans New Orleans Comparative report 1872/3 and 1898/9 3 pages; handwritten
2/26/1900 Mayor C. Milo Williams, City Surveyor New Orleans Board of Commissioners of Carrollton Ave. resolution 1 page; handwritten
2/28/1900 Mayor V.H. Tucker Jacksonville, Florida Wants information on liquor taxes 1 page; handwritten
March 1900
3/1/1900 Mayor J.W. Beam & Co. Montreal, Arkansas Wants names of coal dealers 1 page; handwritten
3/2/1900 Mayor Charles R. Fitzenreiter New Orleans Bienville St. resident complaint against New Orleans/Spanish Fort Railroad 2 pages; handwritten
3/2/1900 Mayor John J. Seay, Mayor, Rome, Georgia Rome, Georgia Telegram requesting release of a man from prison; note on telegram says man was released, got drunk and was re-arrested
3/7/1900 Mayor W.C. Dotterer, New Orleans/Spanish Fort & Lake Railroad New Orleans Railroad's defense of its tracks on Bienville St.; answer to all charges 3 pages; typewritten
3/8/1900 J.S. Waterman, Secretary to Mayor Albert C. Philips, Lepers Home New Orleans Reporting of leprosy cases 1 page; handwritten
3/9/1900 Mayor Merchants Electric Light & Power Co. New Orleans Furnishing bond as required 1 page; typewritten
3/12/1900 Mayor H.W. Ball Norfolk, Virginia Information on loan businesses in New Orleans 2 pages; handwritten
3/13/1900 Mayor Charles R. Fitzenreiter New Orleans Complaints against New Orleans/Spanish Fort & Lake Railroad 6 pages; handwritten
3/14/1900 Mayor Eanilien Rerrin, New Orleans Railroad Co. New Orleans Bridge on Bayou St. John; bridgekeeper is incompetent 1 page; typewritten
3/14/1900 Mayor C. Driscoll, Clerk, Committee on Public Order New Orleans Regarding New Orleans and Carrollton Railroad 1 page; typewritten
3/16/1900 Mayor T. Wallis Blakistone Baltimore, Maryland Telephone rates requested 1 page; typewritten
3/17/1900 Mayor Harvie DuVal Montezuma, Georgia Information on White Oak Stars 1 page; handwritten
3/19/1900 Mayor Elizabeth Hubbard Carlinville, Illinois Requests names of Cemetery Board 2 pages; handwritten
3/21/1900 Mayor F.S. Sheilds, Secretary New Orleans Resignation of W.B. Spencer from Board of Prisons and Asylums tendered 1 page; handwritten
3/24/1900 Mayor James E. Griyyard Austin, Texas Trying to locate William Gee 1 page; handwritten
3/24/1900 Mayor Baykin Optical Manufacturing Co. Memphis, Tennessee Wants names of New Orleans oculists 1 page; handwritten
3/26/1900 Mayor Charles W. Brown, Continental Gaurds New Orleans Rumors of being evicted from their rooms in Fisk Library building 1 page; typewritten
3/26/1900 Mayor H.V. Johnson, President, League of American Cities New York, New York Notice of meeting of Leaguein New York. 1 page; typewritten
3/27/1900 Councilman Sidney Story J.R.G. Pitkin, Office of the Postmaster New Orleans Notifies Story that Capt. Thomas J. Woodward will attend Trans-Mississippi Commercial Congress in Houston as Mayor's appointee. 1 page; handwritten
3/28/1900 Mayor Hodgson, Harry H., auctioneer and real estate agent New Orleans Requests appointment of certain individuals to Board of Commissioners of St. Charles Avenue 1 page; typewritten
3/29/1900 Jack Waterman, Secretary to Mayor Sidney Story New Orleans Asks that Vincent Riviere be appointed a delegate to the Trans-Mississippi Commericial Congress. 1 page; typewritten
3/30/1900 Mayor W.R. Brashear, Clerk of Council New Orleans Forwards ordinance Cal. 3183 1 page; typewritten
3/31/1900 Jack Waterman, Secretary to Mayor Sidney Story New Orleans Asks that Vice-President of Trans-Mississippi Commercial Congress be officially notified of names of delegates. 1 page; typewritten
3/31/1900 Jack Waterman, Secretary to Mayor Charles Wenar New Orleans Regarding cancellation of order for metal files furnished to the Comptrollers Office. 1 page; typewritten
April 1900
4/1/1900 Mayor Mollie Appleby Lavergne, Tennessee Seeking man in New Orleans--A.C.Dudley 1 page; typewritten
4/2/1900 Mayor B.F. Gilkison, Secretary, League of American Municipalities New York, New York Asks whether Mayor will attend meeting of Executive Committee of League of American Municipalities. 1 page; typewritten
4/2/1900 "My dear Sir" E.H. Murrell, M.D. Lynchburg, Virginia Looking for E.W. Perry, his former tenant before, during and after the Civil War, and others, for affidavits to be used in claim 2 pages; handwritten
4/3/1900 J.S. Waterman, Secretary to the Mayor Sidney Story New Orleans Asks for appointment of John R.G. Pitkin as delegate to Trans-Mississippi Commercial Congress 1 page; typwritten
4/3/1900 Mayor P.S. Sowell, Attorney and real estate agent Leguin, Texas Trying to verify death of Nancy A. McLean 1 page; handwritten
4/6/1900 Mayor I.C.G. Raburn, Superintendent, South Georgia Conference Orphan's Home Macon, Georgia Inquiry about moral and financial character of woman who wants to adopt child from them 1 page; handwritten
4/10/1900 Mayor ____ Ferris, Jr., Secretary of Committee on Franchises New Orleans Encloses ordinance providing for sale of ferry privileges 1 page; typewritten
4/11/1900 J.S. Waterman, Secretary to Mayor Sidney Story New Orleans Requests mayor to sign resolution invinting Trans-Mississippi Commercial Congress to meen in New Orleans next year. 1 page; handwritten
4/12/1900 Mayor D.S. Gaster, Superintendent of Police New ORleans Encloses letter from Dr. Kells requesting removal of bridge across sidewalk 1 page; typewritten
4/12/1900 D.S. Gaster, Chief of Police C. Edmund Kells, Jr., President, Board of Commissioners of St. Charles Ave. New Orleans Requests replacement of bridge across sidewalk 1 page; handwritten
4/16/1900 Mayor C. Edmund Kells, Jr., President, Board of Commissioners of St. Charles Ave. New Orleans Requests return of water cart loane to city by his board 1 page; typewritten
3/9/1900 J.F. Herberger C. Edmund Kells, Jr. New Orleans Regarding ownership of the water cart 1 page; typewritten; attached to letter above before
4/17/1900 Mayor Mrs. S. Miller New Orleans Requests information on character of Professor Andre Faning, a palmist 2 pages; handwritten
4/21/1900 Mayor and Council Charles Pajewski, Vice President and Treasurer, Cleveland Park Commission New Orleans Regarding excavations left on Claiborne Street neutral ground 2 pages; handwritten
4/23/1900 Mayor Elizabeth B. Kirkbride, Chairman, Committee on Legislation, Civic Club of Philadelphia Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Submits list of questions regarding street-cleaning, garbage and ash removal 3 pages; handwritten
4/24/1900 Mayor William L. McGary, Commissioner of Public Works New Orleans Enclosing letter from Fred A. Ober 1 page; typewritten
n.d. William L. McGary, Commissioner of Public Works Fred A. Ober New Orleans Regarding injury suffered due to lack of footbridge and street lights 1 page; handwritten
4/25/1900 J.S. Waterman, Secretary to Mayor D. Goldstein, Touro Infirmary New Orleans Reply to inquiry about current Touro patient William Dalaney 1 page; handwritten
4/27/1900 Mayor Fred A. Ober New Orleans Regarding letter about injury referred to Mayor (see above) 1 page; handwritten
May 1900
5/2/1900 Mayor Fanny B.L. Kinnie, Associate Society of the Red Cross Woodbury, New Jersey Offering help to victims of floods near New Orleans 2 pages; handwritten
5/2/1900 J.S. Waterman, Secretary to Mayor Fred A. Ober New ORleans Regarding compensation for his injury (see above) 1 page; handwritten
5/3/1900 Mayor Mary H. Shaw Neligh, Nebraska Seeks information on life of "Margaret" [Haughery] 2 pages; handwritten
5/4/1900 Mayor P.H. Wessel, Mayor of Moline, Ill. Moline, Illinois Telegram inquiring about asphalt paving on residential streets
5/5/1900 Mayor of Algiers, La. J.E. Greffet, real estate agent St. Louis, Missouri Asks for name of reliable notary public 1 page; handwritten
5/5/1900 Judge of Probate James B. Hopkins Birmingham, Alabama Inquiring about reformatory for his daughter 1 page; handwritten

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coded: 7/29/1990
coded by: Irene Wainwright

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