Hazen S. Pingree took office on January 15, 1890, and would embark on a career that would earn him the nickname “the Idol of the People.”
But don’t take our word on his greatness: Pingree was named the fourth-best mayor in U.S. history by a poll of scholars published in “The American Mayor” by Melvin Holli (Penn State University Press, 1999).
“His role as an advanced social reformer was unmatched by any big-city mayor in the last half of the 19th Century,” Holli wrote. He “was one of the most important pre-Progressive reform mayors and made a national reputation for himself supporting a novel work-relief program for the poor and fighting for municipal ownership and for low utility and tax rates for the urban masses.”
Dan Austin, “The day Detroit got its greatest mayor”, Detroit Free Press, January 15, 2015.
Bill Loomis, “Hazen Pingree: Quite possibly Detroit’s finest mayor; He changed the city’s structure for the people’s benefit”, Detroit News, January 6, 2013.
Don Lochbiler, “The Shoemaker Who Looked Like a King”, Detroit News, June 11, 1998.
Hazen S. Pingree Monument entry by Dan Austin of HistoricDetroit.org