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1873 Dr. Eli M. Wight


EM Wright 1872-1876(Lived May 4, 1841 – January 6, 1881)

Born in Dechard, Maine in 1841, Eli Wight joined the Union Army at the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861.  Trained as a surgeon, Dr. Wight arrived in occupied Chattanooga in 1864.  Though serving in the Union Hospital in Chattanooga, Dr. Wight also saw civilian patients.  Dr. Wight mustered out of the Union Army in 1866 and remained in Chattanooga to practice medicine. 

Records show that Dr. Wight’s focus as mayor was to reduce the operating expenses of the town government.  To this end, Mayor Wight reduced the police force and laid off the city engineer during the winter months.  Perhaps his most drastic step the republican mayor took was closing the Public Works department for a few months and calling on citizens to help the city by paying all taxes promptly.

Photo by Phillip Stevens and Matt Lea