Past Mayors

William F. Davidson (1853-1857) (1873-1875)

Public Service:
Served the first time for three terms as Intendent. He resigned the office to run for a North Carolina Senate seat. He was elected Mayor again in 1873.

Davidson was born in the first block of South Tryon Street. He was a lawyer and Justice of the Peace.


During his Administration:
During his first administration (1853-1857) -

  • Town commissioners leased the third story of a new downtown building for $300 to be used as the Town Hall.
  • The first Western Union Office opened.
  • The first fire engine (a horse-drawn pumper) was purchased for the City for $1,000.
  • The Charlotte Female Institute (forerunner to Queens College) opened.

During his second administration (1873-1875) -

  • North Carolina's first public graded school opened in 1873.
  • The Old Mansion House (built in 1840) was converted in 1873 into the Central Hotel. Located on the northwest corner of Trade and Tryon, the hotel hosted elegant visitors and parties.
  • Commercial National Bank (a forerunner of Bank of America) was incorporated
  • The last stagecoach left Charlotte in 1874. It's destination was Wadesboro and points east.
  • Stumptown changed its name to Matthews in honor of a railroad official that brought the train though the town.
  • Charlotte's first distillery, which made spirited liquors, opened in Charlotte. Four local dealers sold the product.