Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Friday, September 28, 2007

When Incorporated, The Original Village of Pelham Needed More Elected Officials Than it Had Voters

One of the oddest pieces of trivia relating to the history of Pelham arises from the incorporation of the tiny little Village of Pelham in 1896. The original Village of Pelham encompassed the area known today as Pelham Heights. The Village of North Pelham, north of the New Haven line tracks, and the tiny Village of Pelham merged to form today's Village of Pelham in the 1970s.

When first created in 1896, the tiny Village of Pelham had only sixteen registered voters. Yet, by law, if it had been required to fill all seats on its Board of Health, the little Village would have had more offices for elected officials than it had voters. The New York Times made note of this curious fact on June 10, 1896. It said:


Pelham Is The Smallest Incorporated Village of Record.

MOUNT VERNON, N. Y., June 9. - The new village of Pelham, which was created by a special act of the Legislature that was signed recently by Gov. Morton, comprises the territory known as Pelham Heights, and is one of the smallest incorporated villages of record. There are but sixteen voters in the place, and there are eleven offices to be filled. If a full Board of Health should be elected there would be offices for all the voters and some left over.

The village covers that part of Pelham bounded by the village of Pelham Manor, the New-York, New-Haven and Hartford Railway, Mount Vernon, and New-Rochelle. The new village is the home of Congressman Benjamin L. Fairchild."

Source: Has More Offices Than Voters, N. Y. Times, Jun. 10, 1896, p. .

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