Silas H. Douglass (1816-1890) was mayor of Ann Arbor form 1871 to 1873.

He is listed as mayor in Cole and Keating's Ann Arbor Directory 1872, a city directory which provides a reference to his contemporaries.


Douglass, Silas H. (1816-1890) — also known as Silas H. Douglas — of Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County, Mich. Born in Fredonia, Chautauqua County, N.Y., October 27, 1816. Married, May 1, 1845, to Helen Welles (died 1880). Physician; university professor; mayor of Ann Arbor, Mich., 1871-73. Episcopalian. Died in Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County, Mich., August 26, 1890. Buried in Forest Hill Cemetery, Ann Arbor.

Dr. Douglas moved to Michigan from his home state of New York in 1838 and began to study medicine in the office of Regent Zina Pitcher. He also worked as a physician under another Regent, the renowned Native American scholar Henry R. Schoolcraft. In 1842 he finished his medical studies at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. He moved to Ann Arbor in 1843 to practice medicine, and his enthusiasm about the field fueled contributions to the creation of a medical department at Michigan.

When Bradish's portraits of Pitcher and the five original faculty of the Medical Department were completed in 1852, their existence was recorded in an engraving prepared by John Sartain (1808-1897) of Philadelphia for the medical class of 1851-52--the first full class to graduate from the Medical Department. Regent Pitcher naturally occupied the central position in the engraving, since he, more than any one else, was responsible for the opening of the Medical Department in 1850. Surrounding him are Samuel Denton, a long-time Ann Arbor physician; chemist Silas Douglas; Abram Sager, Professor of Botany and later of the Theory and Practice of Medicine; the ambitious young surgeon Moses Gunn; and Jonathan Adams Allen, Professor of Pathology and Physiology.

Civic leader Silas Douglass, dean of the UM medical faculty and twice mayor of Ann Arbor, lived in this home at 502 East Huron Street from 1848 until 1902. His three daughters, Kate, Marie, and Louise, shown here around 1890, enjoyed the luxuries of privileged America.