William Kaye (February 13, 1813 – November 19, 1890) was the fourteenth Mayor of Louisville, Kentucky from April 4, 1863 to April 1, 1865. He was born in Yorkshire, England to a clothing manufacturer, trained as a machinist, and came to Louisville in 1836. In 1841 he founded Kaye & Co., which was well known for its brass and bell works, including the bell in the Cathedral of the Assumption.
In 1862 he was elected as a Democrat to the City Council, and on April 4, 1863 he was elected mayor over former mayor Thomas H. Crawford, who ran on the Unionist platform. Kaye was not an open supporter of the Confederacy, but he was backed by some secessionists.
After his term as mayor, he served again on the City Council, and also as Chief of Police for a year. He died of heart failure and is buried in Cave Hill Cemetery.
William Kaye in The Guns of the South
In early 1865, the Mayor of Louisville joined the contrite delegation to the visiting Robert E. Lee, who had narrowly dodged a sharpshooter's bullet while in the city on business. The delegates expostulated on the horror of the attempted murder, and assured Lee that Kentucky welcomed him. Lee just wished they would leave so he could eat his ham and eggs.
- Kaye isn't named, but there's no reason to think that someone else was mayor.
- The Guns of the South, p. 301.
John M. Delph
|Mayor of Louisville, Kentucky