The mayor of St. Charles has always had the job of ensuring that St. Charles lives up to our well-deserved motto, “The Pride of the Fox.” Continuing to admire the City’s history for its 185th Anniversary, this month we look back at our first mayor, Mayor James Lewis, and see how times have changed, as compared him to our current Mayor, Mayor Ray Rogina.
Mayor James K. Lewis:
Photo Courtesy of the History Museum
- Became St. Charles’ first mayor, serving from 1875-1877, and again from 1879-1881
- Served as a physician in St. Charles
- Born in Ononadga County New York in 1822
- Graduated from the Geneva Medical College of New York in 1846
- Moved to St. Charles with his wife and two children in 1852
- Built his Greek Revival house in 1859, which was restored in 2001 and is now a Historic Landmark
- During his terms as mayor, he banned nude bathing in the Fox River during daylight hours, as well as kite flying, hoop rolling, throwing banana peels on the sidewalk, and other activities that he thought interfered with pedestrians
- His daughter, Jenny Lewis, was the librarian at the first St. Charles Library
Mayor Raymond Rogina
- Took office as St. Charles’ 18th mayor on May 6, 2013, and continues to hold office
- Previously served as Alderman of Ward Three on the St. Charles City Council for two years
- Served as a department chairperson in Business Education and instructor in Law and Economics at St. Charles East High School for 30 years, as well as a part-time faculty member at Aurora University in the College of Education
- Earned a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Business Education from Illinois State University
- Has lived in St. Charles for more than 40 years
- Enjoys seeking out America’s sports’ stadiums, having visited every major league baseball park. Favorite sports team: Chicago White Sox; close second: Notre Dame football and basketball.
- He is a long distance runner and has completed 15 marathons
- His wife Diane is a retired elementary teacher and his son Matthew, a lawyer, is Assistant Director for the University of Illinois FOIA Administration. Daughter-in-law Anna is a lawyer in the Office of the Illinois Attorney General
- Grandson Henry (four months old) was born on the Mayor's father’s 95th birthday
- Favorite authors--Modern: John Grisham, Stephen King; Classic: John Steinbeck and Edgar Allan Poe
- Calls himself a "clothes hound;" loves to color coordinate, especially socks with ties, shirts and pocket squares.
- Working with city council and staff, is proud of the following: construction of new police station which will bring interesting choices for redevelopment along river; near completion of the First Street development from Main Street to Illinois; several commercial developments and residential developments and redevelopments; numerous new service, retail and industrial businesses entering St. Charles; proposed liquor commission and working with staff and council now regulates alcohol, tobacco and massage locally.
- Feels very honored and humbled to be in a “club” of only 18 mayors since 1875 and being mayor of a town he fell in love with as a teacher
For monthly 185th Anniversary updates, visit our 185th Anniversary page.