William O. Head
name = William O. Head
residence = 1414 S. Second Street in
birth_date = birth date|1859|07|29
Providence, Kentucky, U.S.A.
death_date = death date and age|1931|04|19|1859|07|29
Clearwater, Florida, U.S.A.
Tobaccowarehouse manager, businessman
title = Mayor of Louisville
term = 1909-1913
James F. Grinstead
John H. Buschemeyer
party = Democratic Party
William O. Head was mayor of
Louisville, Kentuckyfrom 1909 to 1913. He was the son of a captain in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. He was raised on a farm near Providence, Kentuckyand came to Louisville age age 21 to take a job in a tobaccowarehouse. He worked his way up through the tobacco industry for the rest of his professional career.
In 1894 he was elected to the
Kentucky General Assemblyas a Democrat. With the support of the John Henry Whallen's Democratic machine, he defeated James F. Grinsteadto be elected mayor of Louisville in 1909. Local newspapers ran stories intended to scare white voters into voting for Head, exploiting fears of the growing black community in Louisville.
Head oversaw efforts to reform the city's tenement housing, adding code to the city's charter forbidding various unacceptable practices by landlords. The city also began appropriating funding for the
University of Louisvilleduring his administration.
After his term as mayor, he served as a delegate to the
Democratic National Committeeand as president of the Louisville Water Company.
He is buried in
Cave Hill Cemetery.
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