In 1862 he was elected as a Democrat to the City Council, and on April 4, 1863 he was elected mayor over former mayor Thomas H. Crawford, who ran on the Unionist platform. Kaye was not an open supporter of the Confederacy, but he was backed by some secessionists.
After his term as mayor, he served again on the City Council, and also as Chief of Police for a year. He died of heart failure and is buried in Cave Hill Cemetery.
William Kaye in The Guns of the SouthEdit
In early 1865, the Mayor of Louisville joined the contrite delegation to the visiting Robert E. Lee, who had narrowly dodged a sharpshooter's bullet while in the city on business. The delegates expostulated on the horror of the attempted murder, and assured Lee that Kentucky welcomed him. Lee just wished they would leave so he could eat his ham and eggs.
| Political offices|
John M. Delph
|Mayor of Louisville, Kentucky|
| Succeeded by|