Hart, Thomas N. (Thomas Norton), 1829-1927
Thomas Norton Hart was the twenty-ninth mayor of Boston, serving in 1889 and 1890 and again in 1900 and 1901. Mr. Hart was born in Reading, January 20, 1829, and after a country school education, came to Boston, a penniless boy, to seek his fortune. He acquired a competency in mercantile business, and became president of the Mount Vernon National Bank. From 1879 to 1881 he was a member of the Common Council, and in 1882, 1885, and 1886 a member of the Board of Aldermen. He was four times defeated for mayor, and three times elected. As alderman, he opposed the granting of a franchise to the Bay State Gas Company "to enter the streets of Boston for the sole purpose of making money." While mayor, he attended strictly to his duty, seeing that the streets were swept, the city's finances were put into systematic shape. He opposed the extinction of the City Council in 1897, and also acts of the legislature which allowed the city to incur further debts, believing, however, that money should be spent for necessary work, such as paving streets, sewers, water department needs, and schools. Thinking that business should come before sentiment, he fought excessive expenditures for parks. He advocated building a subway, but not with city funds.
Taken from "Boston's 45 Mayors from John Phillips to Kevin H. White," City Record, Boston, 1979.
Found in 3 Collections and/or Records:
Photographs and other images collected by the Boston Landmarks Commission for reference use and for publications as well as photographs taken by the Landmarks Commission documenting their work and city neighborhoods.