This past Saturday, April 27, was St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay's 4,394th day in office, which, by his staff's calculations, officially makes him the longest serving mayor in the history of the city.
He was first inaugurated on April 17, 2001.
Slay received a formal proclamation signed by his staff plus a symbolic "lock to the city" on Friday (more photos below) and Eddie Roth, chief of operations for Slay, has offered old newspaper clippings to explain his math and take a look back at some of the previously longest-serving mayors. Check out these archival front pages below of past mayors of the city.
Roth explains in a Facebook post that St. Louis has had only four mayors who have served three four-year terms: Henry Kiel (1913-1925), Raymond Tucker (1953-1965), Vince Schoemehl (1981-1993) and now Slay (2001-present).
Mayors Tucker and Schoemehl first took their oaths of office on April 21st (1953 and 1981, respectively). They were succeeded by Mayors Cervantes and Bosley, who were inaugurated on April 20 (1965 and 1993, respectively).
Since a mayor serves from the time he or she is elected and qualifies until his or her successor is elected and qualifies, I have counted days in office for purposes of this analysis from the date of inauguration, to and including the date of his successor's inauguration. Counted by that method, Mayors Tucker and Schoemehl each served 4,383 days.
Kiel, Roth explains, served 4,393 days in office, because he was inaugurated nine days earlier than his successors.
Slay, who was formally elected to his fourth four-year term earlier this month -- after defeating his primary challenger Lewis Reed in March -- has now passed his 4,394 days in office, which means he has held the position longer than anyone else.
Need proof? Roth collected and posted these neat Post-Dispatch covers from previous inaugurations. Check them out here followed by more photos from Friday's office gathering, which his staff sent to Daily RFT.
Continue for more Post-Dispatch archives and photos.
Continue for more photos.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.