Jonathan Child

Jonathan Child

Infobox Mayor
name = Jonathan Child

width = 200
caption =
office = 1st Mayor of Rochester, New York
term_start = 1834
term_end = 1835
predecessor = (none)
successor = Jacob Gould
birth_date = 1785
birth_place = Hagerstown, Maryland
death_date = October 1860
death_place = Buffalo, New York
nationality =
party = Whig
spouse = Sophia Child
relations =
children =
residence = Child Mansion
alma_mater =
occupation =
profession = Businessman
religion =

website =
footnotes =

Jonathan Child (1785 – October 1860) was the first mayor of Rochester, New York, and was son-in-law of Colonel Nathaniel Rochester. Child was born in New Hampshire, and in 1805, at the age of 20, he moved to Utica, New York. In 1810, he moved to Charlotte, New York, and then during the War of 1812, he moved again to Bloomfield, New York, where he met Sophia, the oldest daughter of Col. Rochester.

In 1816, Child was a representative to the New York State Assembly in Albany. In 1820, he moved to Rochester and opened a store at the "Four Corners" there. When the Erie Canal was completed, he operated a fleet of canal boats on those waters. He later helped organize and build the Tonawanda Railroad, the first in Rochester. In 1824, he became a trustee of the First Bank of Rochester, and in 1827, became a village trustee.

In June of 1834, the Whig majority of the first Rochester city council, selected Child to be the first mayor — Rochester mayors were not elected by popular vote until 1840. He resigned the next spring after newly elected Democrats in the city council authorized granting liquor licenses in Rochester. After his resignation, Child built a mansion of Washington Street in Rochester, and using some of his canal boats, became an early importer of coal.

After his wife Sophia died in 1850, Child moved to Buffalo, New York, where he was to die ten years later.


* [ Blake McKelvey "Rochester Mayors Before the Civil War", 1964]

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