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Name:    Wimer, John M.
Profession:  Mayor
Category:  Politics and Government, Transportation and Infrastructure    (Number 7)
Term as Mayor:    1843-1844, 1857-1858
Born/Started:     May. 08, 1810
Died/Ended:     Jan. 11, 1863
Description:    John M. Winer was the seventh mayor of St. Louis, serving from 1843 to 1844 and again from 1857 to 1858. One of the City┬┤s first fire prevention measures was put into effect during his first administration. In August of 1843, chimney and stove pipe specifications were spelled out in detail. The Street Inspectors were ordered to examine every building at least once a month and report any violations to the city judge, who would have defective pipes and chimneys pulled down by the City Marshal.

In September of 1843 the duties and salaries of City officials were revised and written out in more detail then previously. The city engineer was the highest paid city official, receiving $1500 per year. The mayor, register, auditor, judge and waterworks superintendent were paid $1200 per year. The comptroller was paid $800 and the treasurer $400 yearly. The city law on misdemeanors was more clearly defined and penalties more clearly prescribed.

The most important accomplishment of his second administration was the organization of a regular paid Fire Department in 1857. This department took over the property of the volunteer companies. An appointed chief engineer and two members from each of the boards of the City Council formed a board of fire engineers to make rules and regulations for efficient operation of the department. A fire alarm telegraph system was planned and the City was divided into five fire districts.

Mayor Wimer arrived in St. Louis in 1828 and worked at the blacksmith trade. Fire fighting was one of his greatest interests. He helped found the Liberty Fire Company of the old St. Louis volunteer fire department. As his start in City politics, he was first elected a constable. He served as one of the early superintendents of the waterworks. In 1838 he was a member of the board of aldermen. Between his two terms as mayor he served as postmaster of St. Louis. Taking an active interest in railroads, he became president of the Missouri Pacific line.

When the Civil War began, Mr. Wimer took up the cause of his native state of Virginia. In the Spring of 1862 he was arrested and held in the Gratiot Street Military Prison. He was transferred to the Alton Penitentiary in August and then escaped in December. He reached southwest Missouri, where he joined the command of Confederate General Emmet McDonald, with whom he served until he was killed at Hartsville, MO on January 11, 1863. His grave is in Bellefontaine Cemetery.

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