Officials: Personnel of the City Government 1875 Part IV

The City Auditor

The duty of the Auditor is to examine all bills presented against the city for payment. No claim against the city, including claims for local improvements, shall be paid unless the Auditor shall certify that the services have been rendered, or the materials furnished for which such bills may be presented, and that the charges are just and reasonable, or according to contract. The Auditor is required to report to the Common Council weekly the name of every person in whose favor an account has been presented during the preceding week, together with his (the Auditor's) decisions and final action in each case.

Wm. S. Searing

The office is now held by Wm. S. Searing, who was elected on the Democratic ticket last Fall. Mr. Searing was born in the Fifth Ward of this city and is forty-two years of age. He has always lived in Brooklyn and was for many years engaged in the coal business. In 1871 and 1872 he served as Supervisor of the Twenty-first Ward, which is the only public office he ever held before being elected City Auditor. He was connected with the old Volunteer Fire Department for many years, as foreman of No. 9 Engine, and as member of the Boards of Trustees and Representatives. Mr. Searing is a staunch Democrat and a faithful and capable official. The duties of the Department of Audit have been enlarged by the new charter, and as a consequence the business has greatly increased. As proof of that it may be mentioned that when James O'Brien was Auditor, four years ago, the number of claims audited was about 1,300 a year. Now it is about 8,000 a year. Mr. Searing resides in the Twenty-first Ward, is married and has a family. The term of office of City Auditor is two years; the salary $5,000.

Registrar of Arrears

The Department of Arrears is managed by Registrar Daniel D. Whitney, whose duty it is to attend to and supervise the advertising, sale and leasing of property for unpaid taxes, assessment and water rates. Heretofore, and until the passage of the charter of 1873 the Registrar was appointed by the Collector of Taxes, and the Arrear Department was then considered as being merely a bureau of the tax office. Now, however, that official is nominated by the Mayor and confirmed by the Common Council the same as the head of any other city department, his term of office being two years.

Daniel D. Whitney

Daniel D. Whitney was born at Oyster Bay, Long Island, and is 56 years of age. He has lived in Brooklyn thirty-six years, during which time he has been engaged in the grocery business. He was elected Alderman of the First Ward in 185 8, and has served four terms in the Board, though not successively. He was President of the Board for two years. He is a Director of the Mechanics' Bank and President of the Hamilton Fire Insurance Company.

Mr. Whitney is a life long Democrat and a man very popular with his party. His name has on several occasions been prominently mentioned in connection with the nomination for Mayor and Controller. He has never held any public offices save Alderman and Registrar of Arrears. He resides in the First Ward, is married and has a family. The term of office of Registrar of Arrears is two years; the salary $5,000 per annum.

Board of City Works

The Board of City Works consists of a President and two Commissioners. The Department has charge and control (subject to the direction of the Common Council) of the water works, sewers, streets, public roads, public buildings, street cleaning, wells and pumps, &c.Major General John B. Woodward is President of the Board. General Woodward is an old citizen of Brooklyn and is engaged in mercantile business in New York. He is about forty five years of age. The General was formerly Commander of the Second Division of Militia and has always taken an active part in military affairs. He is a Democrat. Never held office before. Married. President Woodward's associates are Wm. A. Fowler and Thomas W. Adams.

Wm. A. Fowler

Wm. A. Fowler is an energetic official, a shrewd politician, and a gentleman by nature and education. He is about 39 years of age, and has always lived in Brooklyn. He was formerly a clerk in the rice house of Talmadge & Co., of which firm his father was a member, but young Fowler's ambition was for political life. He was cut out for a politician, and but few men of his age have gained so prominent a position in the affairs of the Democratic party as he now holds. As one of the leaders of the party in Kings County, and as a member of the State Central Committee he has been very active in behalf of the Democracy. Mr. Fowler was one of the Commissioners of the old Nassau Water Department of this city, having been made such in 1865, and has been identified with the Water Works of Brooklyn from that time to the present. He is personally popular. He is married and has a family.

Thomas W. Adams

Thomas W. Adams, was born in the City of New York, and is 52 years of age. He was formerly a builder in New York, where he resided until about 1861, when he moved to Brooklyn. He was Alderman of the Seventh Ward of New York from 1856 to 1860, but never held any other office there. He is a strong Democrat, a resident of the Twentieth Ward and a man of family. Mr. Adams was appointed a Commissioner of City Works in the place of R.M. Whiting.

The term of office of Commissioner of City Works is two years; the salary of the President is $7,000 per annum, and the others, $6,000 each. There is a great amount of patronage to be dispensed by the Commissioners, which makes the office a great political prize.


Website: The History
Article Name: Officials: Personnel of the City Government 1875 Part IV
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


Brooklyn Daily Eagle 7/31/1875
Time & Date Stamp: