Mayor of Allegheny 1858
Jacob Stuckrath was elected Mayor of Allegheny in 1858. Many of Stuckrath’s supporters celebrated his victory by pushing a cannon to his home, firing it from his doorstep. Force of the blast shattered every window in the home and blew the front door off its hinges. Stuckrath was intent on filing charges until he was informed the volley was set off by supporters of his campaign. Upon learning this, Stuckrath told the crowd to bring the cannon into his parlor for another round—an invitation the mob appears to have declined. Ironically, Stuckrath went on to enact a ban on fireworks during his single year in the Mayoral office.
The 12th mayor of the City of Allegheny, Jacob Stuckrath, was a native of Baden, Germany who immigrated to America in 1829. The twenty year old settled in York, Pennsylvania where he set up shop as a tanner and currier. In 1833 he moved to Allegheny to take a foreman position at the Irwin Tannery, eventually becoming a partner in the firm. He married Rebecca Wicklin of Allegheny in 1835. The couple had five children, four of whom would grow up to serve in the Civil War. In 1848, Stuckrath was admitted to membership in Allegheny Lodge #223 of the Free Masons. The Lodge had been founded less than a year earlier and Stuckrath quickly rose through the ranks, serving as Worshipful Master for five terms (1852, 1854, 1856, 1858 and 1863). Both his business and his work with the Masons made him a well-known and respected figure in Allegheny.
After his year as mayor, Stuckrath continued his civic work, serving as a Trustee of the Dime Savings Institution. After an unsuccessful bid in 1870 for the position of Sheriff, Stuckrath was elected in 1871 as a county commissioner. A change to the system for election of county commissioners in 1875 landed Stuckrath in front of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas when he refused to vacate his commissioner office to make way for a successor who had been voted in under the new guidelines. The court found Stuckrath guilty of “usurping” his position and he was forced to step down.
In 1868, Stuckrath was accorded the honor of having a Masonic Lodge named after him. The Stuckrath Lodge #430 was the fourth lodge in the County to be named after a living Mason. When Stuckrath died in 1891, his funeral was overseen by the Allegheny Lodge #223. Honorary Pall Bearers included Mayor James Wyman and exMayors Simon Drum, Lewis Peterson, and Richard Turner Pearson. In 1985, Lodge #430 merged with Lodge #318 and is now known as the McKinley-Stuckrath Lodge #318.