John B. Sutphin was the last mayor of the village of Duluth and the first mayor of the rebord city of Duluth. He was born in 1848 in New Jersey, and he arrived in Duluth at the age of 20. He was elected as village mayor in 1886 and reelected to the same office in the newly restored city of Duluth one year later. He presided over the construction of a new City Hall to celebrate the regained charter. During his time in office Sutphin began Duluth's sewer system and fire department in addition to improving city and harbor infrastructure. He was also involved in quelling citizen unrest with regards to labor issues. Sutphin died in 1908 of kidney failure; he was survived by his only son Robert and his wife Anna Louise Anderson.
The first mayor of Duluth, Joshua B. Culver, was born on Sept. 12, 1829 in Armenia, New York. Culver first came to Duluth in the 1850s when he surveyed and plotted the town site. He fought for the Union in the American Civil War, where he rose to the rank of full colonel. He returned to Duluth and became a civic leader, elected as Duluth's first mayor after the community initially became a city in 1870. Culver was elected to a second term as mayor in 1882, but on July 17, 1883, he died while visiting Buffalo, New York. In addition to his role as mayor, Colonel Culver served Duluth as its first clerk of court, postmaster, and superintendent of schools, and founded the first steel plant. His portrait was painted by J.W. Trussler in 1889.