Mayor Frederick Octavius Prince
First Administration, 1877
"Born in Boston, January 18, 1818; died June 6, 1899; served as Boston Mayor during 1877. His second administration was from 1878 to 1881.
He was a candidate of the Democratic Party and defeated his opponent, Nathaniel J. Bradlee, a candidate of the Republican Party and citizens organization, by 5,000 votes. Mayor Prince had not previously been connected with the city government. Being regarded as a special representative of his party, he found some difficulty in adjusting the demands of his supporters to the best interest of the city. Like his predecessor he advocated retrenchment and succeeded in reducing the tax levy about one-half million dollars.
Under him, appropriations were made for improved sewerage, a new building for the English High and Latin schools and for a Back Bay park. Indeed, one may date the development of the park system from the administration of Mayor Prince.
Mayor Prince stood distinctly for retrenchment, but the prosperity beginning in 1880 created a demand for additional improvements. Expenditures increased; so did also the tax rate which reached $15.20 and enabled a reduction of the city debt.
Mayor Prince did not approve of the common attitude toward municipal expenditures. In his inaugural, he said that the citizens of Boston were 'disposed to regard many things, which elsewhere are considered municipal luxuries, as municipal necessaries, and yet they are unwilling to pay the cost of them.' The president of the Common Council stated the situation in regard to municipal expenditures clearly and concisely in saying, 'We plan and provide for the present only. Our policy leads to temporary expedients and make-shifts.' He, too, found that the demands of the citizens were too great and necessitated a cost above that to be found in other municipalities."