February 3, 1892: Charles D’Autremont elected mayor of Duluth

On this day in Duluth in 1892, Charles D’Autremont was elected as mayor of the Zenith City. In 1892 he defeated fellow Democrat and incumbent M. J. Davis in the primary for Duluth’s mayoral race and faced Republican candidate Charles Long. The Republican-leaning Duluth News Tribune called for the Republican party to endorse Davis, saying Davis “Stands for…morality and good” while D’Autremont wanted “wide-openness.” The News Tribune also thought very little of Mr. Long. The paper even predicted a loss for D’Autremont the day before the election: “There are about 1,400 Democratic votes [remember only property owning males of European descent could vote at the time]. But all of the Democrats are not going to vote for D’Autremont because there are some respectable Democrats who love law, order and morality. Mr. D’Autremont cannot get many votes outside of the Democratic ranks; therefore his chances of election are very slim. If he gets 1,000 votes he will do well.” The paper also quoted D’Autremeont’s address to “Polanders” two days before the election: “The question now before you is whether or not you will turn over the government of this city to the churches and the Scandinavians. Will you do it? I think not.” The paper ran yet another brief story that day trying to persuade readers to not elect D’Autremont: “Up to date not a single argument has been produced to show why Mr. D’Autremeont should be elected.” D’Autremont won handily. Despite the News Tribune’s fears, historians describe the D’Autremont administration as “efficient and progressive” and for the rest of his life D’Autremont was considered one of the leading Democrats of the region. You can read more about Charles D’Autremont here.

Charles d’Autremont (Image; Duluth Public Library)