Benair C. Sawyer

Benair Clement Sawyer, sometimes incorrectly referred to as "Benjamin" Sawyer (October 18, 1822 – March 13, 1908), was the Mayor of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from 1862 to 1864.[1]

Benair C. Sawyer
Portrait of Benair C. Sawyer,
c. 1862–1864
24th Mayor of Pittsburgh
In office
Preceded byGeorge Wilson
Succeeded byJames Lowry, Jr.
Personal details
Born(1822-10-18)October 18, 1822
DiedMarch 13, 1908(1908-03-13) (aged 85)


His family was in the soap making business. While he was mayor the American Civil War's single worst civilian accident occurred when, on September 17, 1862, the Allegheny Arsenal exploded and claimed the lives of seventy-eight people. Most of the fatalities were young women. [2]

After his political career, the Panic of 1873 decimated Sawyer's assets, forcing him to move to Colorado. He would later prosper there from investments in mining. He died in California.

See also


  1. A Century and a Half of Pittsburg (sic) and her People, Vol.4, edited by John Newton Boucher. Lewis Publishing (1908)
  2. Connors, Michael (September 12, 2010), "The Next Page: The Allegheny Arsenal explosion -- Pittsburgh's Civil War carnage", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, retrieved September 13, 2010
Preceded by
George Wilson
Mayor of Pittsburgh
Succeeded by
James Lowry, Jr.
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