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35 Mayors in 100 Years... Who Were They?
By Ed Bridges

Thirty five men have served as mayor of the city of Marlbough since the community became a city in 1890.

The first was Simon Herbert Howe, Republi-can, who owned a shoe factory. Mr. Howe incorporated into the city seal a picture of his own factory and it remains to this day as a part of that seat: A resident of 11 Pleasant Street, he won election on December 2, 1890, the first election held by Marlboro as a city. He defeated Dr. James Campbell of 13 Prospect Street, a Democrat, by a vote of 1,468 to 1,007. On his inauguration day, 1January 5, 1891, Mayor Howe said, "Let our pride be in quality of work rather than in quantity". Liquor was voted down the same year by a margin of 421 votes.

George Howe, the second mayor, served for the year 1892. He was also a Republican, owner of the Howe Lumber Company. Again the city went dry, as Mr. Howe beat Dr. Campbell. At his inauguration on January 4, 1892, George Howe, in his speech, pledged 'To hand down to our successors an unsullied trust faithfully administered." Liquor lost by 327 votes due, it was reported, "to recent agitation." It was claimed by Mayor Howe during his campaign that he "carried a musket in the rebellion at age fifteen."

The third mayor was John O'Connell, a native of Ireland and a Republican, who served in 1893. Owner of a shoe company, he devised a plan whereby discounts were given to those paying their taxes early. Mr. O'Connell defeated James T. Murphy on December 6, 1892 by 1,344 to 1,156, Murphy being a Democrat. Finishing a poor third was Walter Goss, representing the Peoples Independent Party. In his inaugural ad-dress on January 3, 1893, O'Connell said, "Harmony is vital to the good of the city."

Elected for 1894 was William Davenport, 39 Newton Street, an attorney. He defeated his Democratic opponent by 1,421 to 1,257 in the election of December, 1893. placeCityDavenport, a Republican, also won the election in 1894 for the following year, defeating another Demo-crat, John Dalton, by 1,572 to 1,137. The first mayor to serve two terms, Davenport was the first to appoint a sergeant in the police department, and claimed in his inaugural speech of 1895, "Careful inquiry convinces me that the illegal sale of liquor has been suppressed." This was after a local clergyman claimed all kinds of violations were occurring in the city.

On December 3, 1895, Alderman Charles Bartlett, also Republican, was elected for the year 1896. He defeated Timothy Curley, Democrat, by 1,545 to 1,182. Bartlett, a baker, planned the construction of Marlborough High School, now the Walker Building. The park at Main and Prospect Streets is named after him. At his inaugural he said, 'We are but human and that means to err, since not to err is divine." Bartlett later served for the year 1897, defeating Dr. Eugene Hoitt, Democrat, by 1,450 to 1,227.

During 1898 Dr. Hoitt, a surgeon at Marlbor-ough Hospital, served as mayor, after he defeated F.A Pope, a Republican. Hoitt was the first Democrat to serve in the top job. He defeated Mr. Pope 1,456 to 1,164.

For the years 1899 and 1900 Edward Plunkett, Democrat, a shoe salesman and stable operator, was mayor. His first election, at age 29, was won over Walter Morse, Republican, by 1,247 to 1,197. He won again in 1900, beating Herman S. Fay by 1,247 to 1,140.

For the years 1901 through 1903 the mayor was Walter Morse, a Republican. Mr. Morse, owner of the Wheeler Express Company and president of the Marlborough Enterprise, defeated Charles Faveau, Democrat, by 1,325 to 1,129. In order to serve in 1902, he beat William D. Doyle by 1,458 to 778. For his third term he defeated Democrat F.R.S. Mildon by 1,392 to 1,275. Mayor Morse formed a City Hall Commission to plan and build the present edifice after the original City Hall burned down on Christmas night, 1902. He also obtained a cash gift from the Andrew Carnegie fortune for construction of the present public library.

In 1904 Fredrick R. placeS. Mildon, Democrat, served as mayor. He defeated Mr. Morse by 1,505 to 1,248. Mr. Mildon was active in the planning of the present City Hall plus the fire and police stations.

Elected to serve in 1905 and 1906 was General Henry Parsons, Republican. Parsons was also elected for the years 1908 and '09. In his first election he won over Mr. Mildon by 1,557 to 1,442. He won again in 1906, beating Democrat Edward Brown by 1,496 to 1.442. Parsons lost in his third bid, being defeated by Edward Brown, 1.545 to 1.491, and Mr. Brown took over as mayor for 1907.

For the year 1908 Henry Parsons returned to the mayor's job, beating Rep. William Brigham, Democrat, by 1,812 to 1,189. Parsons won again to serve in the year 1909, defeating attorney John Shaughnessy, 1,572 to 1,138. In the same election John Mullen picked up 51 votes.

For the year 1910, four men contested the election, Democrat John Shaughnessy, the winner with a total of 1,255 votes. Losing out were Mr. Parsons, who collected 998 votes, Theodore Temple (Independent) with 873, and Ovide Laduc, Socialist, getting 41 votes. Mr. Shaughnessy was elected again to serve in 1911, winning with a total of 1,215 to 859 for J. Henry Gleason, 669 for Temple, 36 for John Mullen, and 147 for F.R.S. Mildon.

J. Henry Gleason, Republican, served as mayor in 1912 and 1913. He first beat Mr. Shaughnessy for 1912 by 1,709 to 1,224, and for 1913 he defeated former alderman Daniel Cronin and Theodore Temple, with Gleason picking up 1,495, Cronin getting 1,177, and Temple 317.

Next to serve as mayor was Thomas O'Halloran, Democrat, in the years 1914 and 1915. In his first election Mr. O'Halloran won by 1,116 votes to 984 for J. Henry Gleason, Independent, and Walter Morse, Republican, 984. In his winning re-election bid for 1915 O'Halloran collected 1,241 votes; Louis Farley, nominally a Republican but running as an Independent Citizen Party member, got 991; Mr. Gleason collected 919, and Arthur Rougeau picked up 11 votes.

For the year 1916 Mr. O'Halloran was defeated by Louis Farley, 1,653 to 1,484. Mr. Farley died in office on November 19, 1916. He was suc-ceeded for the rest of the year by John Frye, an alderman, who did not run for the job.

In 1917 William Pine, Republican, served as mayor, being elected with 1,527 votes to 1,427 for his opponent, former alderman, John Rowe, Democrat. Democrat Charles McCarthy served as mayor for the years 1918 through 1920. In his first election he defeated William Pine, 1,474 to 1,445. It is worth noting that he won by 29 votes, while 32 blanks were cast. For his second term McCarthy defeated Republican William Wellen, 1,437 to 1,137. For his third term Charles McCarthy beat Theodore Temple, 1,494 to 1,352. In his final inaugural address, on January 5, 1920, he warned Marlborough "is no place for Reds..."

Serving as mayor for 1921 was Democrat Andrew Patrick Sullivan, winning by 2,727 to 2,604 for his Republican opponent, J. Clovis Dandenault. There was no inaugural speech for the first and only time in local history.        

The mayor of Marlborough in 1922 and '23 was Republican Edward Simoneau. He defeated Andrew Sullivan in his first election bid, 2,836 to 2,153. Mr. Simoneau won in 1923 by beating Charles McCarthy, 32,999 to 2,249.

For the year 1924 attorney James Hurley was elected to a two-year term. It was the first non-partisan election in under a new modified Plan B form of government in which the Board of Alderman was eliminated, leaving only seven ward councilors, four at large, and six school committee members. Mayors would henceforth serve two years. In his election he beat Mr. Simoneau 3,062 to 2,808.

In the second election under the non-partisan, two-year term for mayors concept, Winfield Temple was the winner. Mr. Temple served two terms under this plan, from 1926 through 1929. In his first election he defeated James Hurley, 3,302 to 2,751. This was largely because Hurley, for the first time in history, was a mayor who sought revaluation. For his second election Mr. Temple won over Philias Brodeur, 3,084 to 2,834. Mr. Brodeur was serving at the time as a fulltime police officer in Marlborough. It was the first time in history that such a bid was made by a police officer.

Amedee Martel was mayor of Marlborough in 1930-'31. He won over former Mayor William Daven-port, 3,759 to 2,376, with a majority of 1,383, the second biggest majority in history. But during his one term he built the Bigelow and Hildreth Schools over strong opposition. In the following election he declined to run again. Of those who sought to get re-elected at the end of 1931, all lost except for Charles Lyons, a city coun-cilor.

Lyons won three consecutive terms as mayor, serving from 1932 through 1937. In the year end 1931 election he defeated Winfield Temple, 2,707 to 2,464, with Arthur Rougeau picking up 1,566 votes on stickers. In his next election Lyons defeated William H. Finn by 3,775 to 3,398.

Louis Ingalls served as mayor from 1938 through most of 1940. He committed suicide while in office on December 3, 1940. In his first election bid he won over Charles Lyons by a vote of 4,162 to 3,135. He won again over Charles Lyons by a vote of 4,271 to 3,130. After his death, he was succeeded by Michael Cronin, president of the PersonNameCity Council. In the election of 1941, Cronin won the right to be mayor after defeating Daniel O'Conner by a 3,967 to 3,456 vote. Cronin won again in 1943, over Arthur Rougeau by a 4,150 to 1,373 vote. He carried every ward in the city by a three-to-one majority.

Carlton Allen was mayor of the city for three terms, serving from 1946 through 1951. In his first election he beat Cronin by a vote of 3,279 to 3,030. In his second election he defeated Arthur LaFreniere by a vote of 4,852 to 1,171. At his third election, Allen defeated Romeo Gadbois 4,052 to 3,283. It is worth noting when Mr. Allen defeated Mayor Michael Cronin the first time around, the outgoing chief executive declined to attend the inauguration of his successor.

Romeo Gadbois served as mayor from 1952 through 1957. He won his first election by beating Charles Lyons, 3,910 to 2,607, carrying every ward. In his second bid he defeated Arthur LaFreniere, 5,337 to 946, by a six-to-one majority, the biggest in history. In his third election he defeated Edward Cusson, 3,755 to 2,161.

In the November 1957 election, Frank Kelleher won a two-year term, defeating Mr. Gadbois 4,159 to 3,685. At the end of that term Mr. Kelleher declined to seek re-election.

Kuson Haddad was elected to serve as mayor of Marlborough during the years 1960 through 1965. He later won a fourth term, from 1984 and '85, thus becoming the first and only mayor in history to serve four two-year terms. Mr. Haddad defeated Romeo Gadbois in his first bid in November 1959, by a vote of 4,194 to 3,775. In his second attempt, he defeated George E. Hutch, a city councilor, by 6,026 to 2,093. In his third time around, he defeated Frank Walker, 5,078 to 3,425. He announced he would not run for a fourth term, though, as noted, he later did so in the Eighties.

Frank Walker served as mayor for the years 1966 and '67. Hew won over Edgar Gadbois the first time out, 4,947 to 3,851. At the end of his term, how-ever, he was defeated for re-election by Fred Cole, 4,572 to 3,654. Fred Cole served from 1968 through 1971. In his successful bid for re-election he again defeated Walker, this time by 4,702 to 3,716.

Edgar Gadbois was mayor for the years 1972 through 1975. In his first attempt he defeated Roland Simoneau, 5,292 to 4,887. To win his second term he beat Simoneau again, this time by 5,078 to 4,563.

Frank Kelleher, after an absence from politics for nearly two decades, won election as mayor for the years 1976 and '77. He defeated Joseph Ferrecchia by 5,601 to 4,029, served two years, then quit after that single term as he had done earlier.

Joseph Ferrecchia was mayor of Marlbor-ough from 1978 through 1983. He won his first election by beating Frank Walker, 4,551 to 4,251. In his second election bid he was unopposed, but on election day, 1979, 5,070 voters marked their ballots for him anyway. It was the first time ever in which a sitting mayor had been unopposed since the town of Marl-borough became a city.

When Joseph Ferrecchia ran for re-election in November 1981, again he was unopposed, This time he collected 5,052 votes.

The next time he ran, in November 1983, seeking a fourth term, he was defeated by Kuson Haddad. In the final result of this battle between two men seeking an unprecedented fourth term, Mr. Haddad beat Mr. Ferrecchia, 5,220 to 4,693. It was also the first year in which a woman ran for the top spot. Mildred Bolt collected 180 votes in the autumn primary that year.

Chester E. Conary served two terms as mayor, beginning in 1986 and continuing through 1989. In his first bid he defeated Joseph Ferrecchia by a vote of 5,366 to 3,805. The second time around he defeated Ferrecchia again, 4,844 to 3,308. At the close of Conary's second term he decided not to seek re-election, just as another insurance broker, Mr. Kelleher had done before him.

In the election of 1989, Michael Hogan, grand-son of an earlier candidate for mayor, Edward Cusson, defeated Joseph Ferrecchia by a vote of 4,729 to 4,255. At age 29, Mr. Hogan was the second chief executive in the history of Marlborough to be elected at that tender age. The first was Edward Plunkett, who was mayor at the turn of the century.

In its 100 year history as a city, Marlborough has had four foreign born mayors, O'Connell from Ireland, Mildon of Nova Scotia, Pine of Nova Scotia and Farley of Quebec.

Michael Hogan is the 35th man to serve as mayor of the city.


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