Eugene Van Antwerp

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Eugene Ignatius Van Antwerp
61st Mayor of Detroit, Michigan
In office
January 6, 1948 – January 2, 1950
Preceded by Edward Jeffries
Succeeded by Albert Cobo
Personal details
Born July 26, 1889
Detroit, Michigan
Died August 5, 1962(1962-08-05) (aged 73)
Detroit, Michigan
Spouse(s) Mary Frances McDevitt
Profession Civil Engineer

Eugene Ignatius Van Antwerp (July 26, 1889 – August 5, 1962) was the mayor of Detroit, Michigan.


He was born on July 26, 1889, the son of Eugene C. Van Antwerp and Cecelia Renaud.[1] He was educated in parochial schools and then at the University of Detroit[2] and worked as an instructor in English at Gonzaga University in 1910-1911.[1] He returned to Detroit, working briefly at the Detroit Police Department[2] before going to work as a civil engineer. He did engineering work first for the Michigan Central Railroad and then for the Grand Trunk Railroad.[1] Van Antwerp served as a captain in 16th Regiment of Engineers(Railway) from Detroit in the United States Army Corps of Engineers during World War I, and was among the first members of the Allied Expeditionary Force to land in France,[2] serving in 1917-1919.[1] He returned to his position with Grand Trunk after the war.[1] He was chief engineer for the National Survey Service from 1926–1928, after which he went into private practice as an engineer and surveyor.[1] He died on August 5, 1962.


In 1911, Van Antwerp married Mary Fances McDevitt.[1] The couple had eleven children: Dolores, Pauline, Loretta, Eugene, Joseph, Gore, Joan, Agnes, George, Dacia, and Daniel.[1]


Van Antwerp was elected to the Detroit City Council in 1932.[1] He served continuously from 1948, when he ran for mayor.[3] During his time on the council, he ran unsuccessfully for county auditor in 1935[2] and served a stint as the commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in 1938-39.[4]

Van Antwerp served a single term as mayor, beating Edward Jeffries in 1947 but losing in the primary in 1949.[5] He returned to the City Council in 1950, winning a special election in November of that year to replace Edward Jeffries after the latter's death.[3] During his second time on the council, he ran unsuccessfully for state highway commissioner in 1952 and for United States Congress in 1955.[2] Van Antwerp served on the council continuously until his death.[3]

Political offices
Preceded by
Edward Jeffries
Mayor of Detroit
January 6, 1948 - January 2, 1950
Succeeded by
Albert Cobo


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Who's Who in Detroit, 1935-36, Walter Romig & Co, 1935, p. 324 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Detroit Official Dies at 73". The Windsor Star. Aug 7, 1962. 
  3. ^ a b c "Detroit City Council, 1919 to present". Detroit Public Library. Archived from the original on September 28, 2011. Retrieved November 6, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Past Commanders-in-Chief" (PDF). Veterans of Foreign Wars. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 17, 2010. Retrieved November 12, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Cobo, Edwards Win in Detroit". Toledo Blade. Sep 14, 1949.