Andrew Jackson Bettwy

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Andrew Jackson Bettwy
18th Mayor Nogales, Arizona
In office
Arizona State Senator Santa Cruz County
In office
Personal details
Born 1894
Altoona, Pennsylvania
Died 1950
Little Rock, Arkansas
Alma mater University of Arizona

Andrew Jackson Bettwy (1894–1950), an Arizona Democrat, served as Mayor[1] of Nogales, Arizona, from 1935 to 1937, was an Arizona delegate at the Democratic National Conventions of 1924 and 1928,[2][3] was elected state senator from Santa Cruz Country in 1926[4] and 1928,[5] and was an unsuccessful candidate for governor in the 1930, 1932,[6] 1934,[7][8] 1936,[9] and 1938 primary elections and in the 1932 general election.[10]

Controversial as Mayor[edit]

Although affable, Bettwy was a controversial firebrand as mayor of Nogales,[11] and he is most remembered in Arizona folklore for flattening William Mathews, the publisher of the Arizona Daily Star, during Mathews' anti-Roosevelt New Deal speech at the 1936 Arizona State Democratic Convention in Tucson, Arizona.[12]

Family, Education and Military Service[edit]

Bettwy was the son of André Bettwy (1867-1951) and Mary Billand (1863-1939), natives of Alsace who immigrated to the United States and settled in Altoona, Pennsylvania. Bettwy had two sons, Andrew Leo Bettwy (1920-2004), Arizona State Land Commissioner (1970-1978) and William Frederick Bettwy (1918-2005) of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, the first commercial pilot to land at Washington Dulles Airport. His grandson was Andrew Wilson Bettwy, the second Chief Hearing Officer of the Arizona Corporation Commission (1975-1979) and renowned utility rate legal expert in Arizona, Nevada and California.

Bettwy was in the first class of the University of Arizona law school (the James E. Rogers College of Law) when it opened in 1915, but he interrupted his studies to join the U.S. Army. From 1916 to 1919, he participated in the Pancho Villa Expedition, including the Battle of Ambos Nogales, which was dedicated to the pursuit of Pancho Villa along the border. Bettwy served until the end of WWI after which he received an honorable discharge. He re-joined the U.S. Army as a commissioned officer during WWII and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1947.[13]

Bettwy married Mary Chenoweth-Escalante, a dual citizen of Mexico and the United States, who (as Mary Bettwy) was County Recorder of Santa Cruz County, Arizona, for 21 years and the first Hispanic female to be elected to any office in the State of Arizona.


  1. ^ | Mayors of Nogales, Arizona
  2. ^ Barbara Basler, In the Tumult of '24, Exhaustion Won, N.Y. Times, Aug. 11, 1980
  3. ^ | Our Campaigns
  4. ^ (photo 1927-28)
  5. ^ (photo 1929-30)
  6. ^ | Runs for Governor, Casa Grande Dispatch, Apr. 15, 1932
  7. ^,914394 | Convention to Settle Policy of Democrats, The Lodi Sentinel, Sept. 15, 1934
  8. ^ | Bettwy for Governor, Arizona Silver Belt (Miami), Sept. 28, 1934
  9. ^ | The Watch Tower, Casa Grande Dispatch, April 24, 1936
  10. ^ | Our Campaigns: Governor - History
  11. ^ Jane Eppinga, Nogales: life and times on the frontier 142-43 (2002) ("Bettwy started his mayoral term by firing 36 employees and replacing them with 70 men of his own choosing. Craig Pottinger started an "Oust Bettwy" campaign in the International.")
  12. ^ Star's longtime chief was feisty, arrogant, powerful, Arizona Daily Star, Feb. 24, 1991 ("Delivering an anti-New Deal speech to the delegates gathered for the Arizona Democratic Convention in Tucson in 1936, Mathews persevered through a chorus of hissing and booing. Finally, Andrew Bettwy, former mayor of Nogales, could stand it no longer. He leaped to the stage and knocked Mathews to the ground. Unfazed, the Star's editor-in-chief arose, then finished his address")
  13. ^ | Dep't of the Army, Official Army Register (1 Jan 1953)

External links[edit]