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John Fletcher Darby (December 10, 1803 – May 11, 1882) was a U.S. Representative from Missouri and the fourth mayor of St. Louis.

John Fletcher Darby
4th Mayor of St. Louis, Missouri
In office
April 14, 1835 – October 31, 1837
Preceded byJohn W. Johnson
Succeeded byWilliam Carr Lane
In office
April 14, 1840 – April 13, 1841
Preceded byWilliam Carr Lane
Succeeded byJohn D. Daggett
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 1st district
In office
March 4, 1851 – March 3, 1853
Preceded byJames B. Bowlin
Succeeded byThomas H. Benton
Member of the Missouri Senate
In office
Personal details
Born(1803-12-10)December 10, 1803
Person County, North Carolina
DiedMay 11, 1882(1882-05-11) (aged 78)
Pendleton, Missouri
Political partyWhig
Spouse(s)Mary Darby

Darby was born in Person County, North Carolina. He moved with his father to Missouri in 1818, where he worked on a farm before moving to Frankfort, Kentucky, in 1825. Thereafter, Darby studied law and was admitted to the bar. He then returned to Missouri to practice in St. Louis. He was the Mayor of St. Louis from 1835 to 1837 and 1840 to 1841, between which he served as a member of the Missouri Senate, in 1838. During his time as mayor, Darby was very active in getting the first Missouri railroad convention held in St. Louis. Eventually, that led to the incorporation of two railroads in the state. Lafayette Park was built, becoming the first city park west of the Mississippi River.

He was elected as a Whig to the Thirty-second United States Congress (March 4, 1851, to March 3, 1853), after which he returned to St. Louis and became a banker. He died near Pendleton, Missouri, on May 11, 1882, and his remains are interred at Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis.


  • United States Congress. "John Fletcher Darby (id: D000049)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • "St. Louis Mayors: John Fletcher Darby". St. Louis Public Library. Archived from the original on 2008-11-21. Retrieved 2008-07-22.
  • Darby, John Fletcher (1880). Personal Recollections. St. Louis: G. I. Jones and Company. OCLC 497877. Retrieved 2008-08-22.
  • "Proceedings of the Board of Aldermen of the City of St. Louis". Daily Commercial Bulletin & Missouri Literary Register. 1837-11-14.
Political offices
Preceded by
John W. Johnson
Mayor of St. Louis, Missouri
Succeeded by
William Carr Lane
Preceded by
William Carr Lane
Mayor of St. Louis, Missouri
Succeeded by
John D. Daggett
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
James B. Bowlin
Member from Missouri's 1st congressional district
Succeeded by
Thomas Hart Benton