Derby History Quiz

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Dr. Thomas Jefferson O'Sullivan

Though Derby was officially recognized by the state legislature in 1675, it wasn't until more than 200 years later that its present boundaries were fixed following Ansonia's separate incorporation as a city. At that point, Dr. Thomas Jefferson O'Sullivan became the first mayor of the new City of Derby.

Correct answers were received from: Barbara Jean Garofalo, Mary Lou Boroski, and current mayor Marc Garofalo. Several others guessed correctly that the picture portrayed the first mayor, but they didn't have the right name to go with the picture. 

The following is an excerpt from a special 1895 edition of the Evening Transcript describing Mayor O'Sullivan:

More than ordinarily active in movements of a public nature is Dr. Thomas Jefferson O'Sullivan, the first mayor of the city of Derby. He was born in Preston, Conn., forty-three years ago, and obtained his early education in ,the public schools of Norwich. After graduating at the Norwich Free Academy he entered Nicolet College, Canada, and upon taking a regular college course at that institution returned to Norwich. He began the study of medicine under Dr. Patrick Cassidy, last year surgeon-general on the staff of Governor Morris. He later entered the Medical College at Burlington, Vt., and afterwards went to Bellevue Medical College, New York, from which he graduated in 1876. Upon receiving his diploma he immediately commenced practice, first locating in Worcester, Mass., where he remained for two years and a half. After having built up a good practice there, in 1878 he came to Derby, and has ever since continued in practice.

Dr. O'Sullivan has for many years been a prominent worker in politics and has served in various public capacities. He was for eight' years a member of the board of burgesses of the borough of Birmingham, the last three of which he was warden of the borough. Upon the incorporation of Derby as a city he was chosen its first mayor. He has also served four years on the school board and has been registrar of vital. statistics. His administration as mayor was marked by an honest, capable and economical handling of the city's affairs, and the excellent precedent established during his term will doubtless tell to the advantage of the city and its taxpayers for several years to come. His long experience in public affairs proved him an excellent choice

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