This gavel was used during first meeting of the City of Chicago's Common Council. The meeting was held in the old Saloon Building on Lake and Clark Streets shortly after the election of William B. Ogden as Chicago's first mayor on May 2, 1837.
This gavel documents early government in the newly-chartered Chicago. It was used by Mayor William B. Ogden during the first meeting of the Chicago Common Council, an early governing body of the city. Chicago was granted a city charter by the state of Illinois in 1837, and held its first elections that May. Chicago's first city government consisted of a mayor, twelve aldermen, six assessors, a clerk and a treasurer, who made decisions in meetings of the Common Council in which this gavel was used.