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Cutter, Leonard R. (Leonard Richardson), 1825-1894



Among the forty-five men who have served as mayor of Boston the shortest tenure - just thirty-seven days - was held by Leonard Richardson Cutter a century ago.

As chairman of the Board of Aldermen in 1873, he succeeded as acting mayor upon the November 29 resignation of Mayor Henry L. Pierce to begin service as new Congressman from the Third Massachusetts district.

Cutter, as fifteenth chairman of the Board of Aldermen, became the twenty-second man to occupy the mayor's office. He served until Samuel C. Cobb was inaugurated as mayor on January 5, 1874.

While acting mayor, Cutter continued to head the aldermanic board for the remainder of the municipal year and received plaudits of his colleagues for his dual service. He then stepped down to complete one more year - his fourth - as alderman.

Born July 1, 1825, in farm country, Jaffrey, New Hampshire, he left for Boston at age twenty after teaching three years in his native area. He found work in a grocery store in Boston, lived in the West End, and went into the grocery business for himself.

After a decade he turned to real estate and was a successful real estate agent and owner. He resided at Hancock Street, Beacon Hill, at the time of his elective public service.

He also was for many years a justice of the peace and earlier was a city assessor from 1859 to 1861.

After elective office he served until 1883 as a member of the Boston Water Board, four years as chairman, and also had overlapping service eight years as water commissioner.

Mr. Cutter, who had moved to 1 Arlington Street, Back Bay, died at his residence on July 13, 1894, at age sixty-nine.

Taken from "Boston's 45 Mayors from John Phillips to Kevin H. White," City Record, Boston, 1979.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Mayor Leonard R. Cutter, 1873, undated

Identifier: 5210004_015_022
Scope and Contents From the Collection:

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.

Dates: undated