Who was the first Mayor of Chicago

While Chicago's territory grew in the 1860s, so did its political corruption, as "rings" controlled payoffs in the city council. People's Party candidate Mason was elected as a reform mayor in 1869, but he is better remembered as the man who held office
during The Great Chicago Fire in October, 1871.

Civil engineer, was born in Oneida County, N.Y.; in his boyhood was employed as a teamster on the Erie Canal, a year later (1822) accepting a position as rodman under Edward F. Gay, assistant-engineer in charge of construction. Subsequently he was employed on the Schuylkill and Morris Canals, on the latter becoming assistant-engineer and finally, chief and superintendent. Other works with which Mr. Mason was connected in a a similar capacity were the PA Canal and the Housatonic, NY & New Haven and the Vermont Valley Railroads. In 1851 he came west and took charge of the construction of the Illinois Central Railroad, a work which required 5 years for its completion. The next four years were spent as contractor in the construction of roads in Iowa and Wisconsin, until 1860, when he became Superintendent of the Chicago & Alton Railroad, but remained only one year, in 1861 accepting the position of Controller of the land department of the Illinois Central Railroad, which he retained until 1867. The next two years were occupied in the service of the State in lowering the summit of the Illinois & Michigan Canal. In 1869 he was elected Mayor of the City of Chicago, and it was in the closing days of his term that the great fire of 1871 occurred, testing his executive ability to the utmost. From 1873 to 1883 he served as one of the Trustees of the Illinois Industrial University, and was one of the incorporators, and a life-long Director, of the Presbyterian Theological Seminary of the Northwest. (Src: Historical Encyclopedia, 1901)