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Name:    Noonan, Edward A.
Mayor
Profession:  Mayor
Category:  Politics and Government    (Number 27)
Term as Mayor:    1889-1893
Born/Started:     Dec. 20, 1852
Died/Ended:     Sep. 23, 1927
Description:    Edward Noonan was the 27th mayor of St. Louis, serving one term from 1889 to 1893. As Mayor, he signed the ordinance necessary for the construction of Union Station, and floated a bond issue in London when investment concerns in this country failed to buy bonds drawing less than 6% interest. Washington Square was made the site of the present City Hall in 1889 and construction started in July, 1890. The cornerstone was laid June 6, 1891 but it was not completed until 1904.

The City┬┤s population grew from 350,518 in 1880 to 451,770 in 1890. The consolidation of street railway companies took place at this time. Most of the lines changed to the trolley system. By the end of 1890, most of the street lighting plan had been changed from gaslights to electricity. The new Chain of Rocks Waterworks was under construction. A search was begun for a better method of purifying and clarifying the water. Inspection of elevators was provided for by ordinance in 1889. An 1891 ordinance limited work on all City contracts to no more than eight hours per day. In 1892 an inspector was appointed to see that all garbage was collected and delivered to a contractor for processing. The first smoke ordinance was passed in 1893, making the emission of "dense black or thick grey smoke" a misdemeanor. A commission of three members was set up to study the problem and report on smoke reduction devices.

Mayor Noonan was born in Reading, PA and came to St. Louis after graduating form law school in 1870. In 1876 he married Miss Margaret Brennan, sister of Dr. William Brennan, a well-known physician of that day. In 1878 he was elected assistant circuit attorney. He was re-elected in 1882, but resigned in 1884 to run for the office of judge of the court of criminal correction. He was elected and re-elected in 1888. In 1889, he gained the Democratic nomination over George W. Allen, president of the Council. He won the election over the Republican, Colonel James Butler.

Mr. Noonan returned to law practice after his term as Mayor ended. In 1922, at the age of 74, he won the Democratic nomination for judge of the court of criminal correction, but was defeated as the Republicans swept the election. He lived his last few years at the Park Hotel near the Public Library. He died September 23, 1927. Burial was in Calvary Cemetery.


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