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William Butler Ogden

William Butler Ogden (June 15, 1805 - August 3, 1877) was the first Mayor of Chicago, Illinois.

Ogden was born in Walton, New York. Although William B. Ogden's first impression of Chicago was poor, he came to appreciate the fledgling city.

During his term as Chicago's first mayor, 1837-1838, the land rush that had brought him to the Midwest went bust, but Ogden managed to help the city weather the storm.

Ogden designed the first swing bridge over the Chicago River and donated the land for Rush Medical Center. He built the first railroad from Chicago in 1848. The Galena & Chicago Railroad ran from Chicago to a point ten miles west of town. Several railroads later, Ogden Flats, Utah, where the Golden Spike was driven, was named for him.

On October 8, 1871, Ogden lost most of his possessions in the Great Chicago Fire. He also owned a lumber company in Peshtigo, Wisconsin, which burned the same day.

In 1860, Ogden switched to the Republican Party, which shared his views regarding slavery, although he left the party over a dispute with Abraham Lincoln. Ogden felt that the Emancipation Proclamation was premature. Following his defection from the Republican party, Ogden retired from politics and moved back to his native New York.