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George W. Welsh

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George W. Welsh
46th Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives
In office
January 3, 1923 – December 31, 1924
GovernorAlex J. Groesbeck
Preceded byFred L. Warner
Succeeded byFred B. Wells
Member of the Michigan House of Representatives
from the 1st Kent County district
In office
January 1, 1917 – December 31, 1924
37th Lieutenant Governor of Michigan
In office
January 1, 1925 – December 31, 1926
GovernorAlex J. Groesbeck
Preceded byThomas Read
Succeeded byLuren Dickinson
Mayor of Grand Rapids, Michigan
In office
April 4, 1938 – 1949
Preceded byTunis Johnson
Succeeded byStanley J. Davis
7th President of the United States Conference of Mayors
In office
Preceded byEdward Joseph Kelly
Succeeded byCooper Green
Personal details
George Wilson Welsh

(1883-03-27)March 27, 1883
Glasgow, Scotland
DiedJune 29, 1974(1974-06-29) (aged 91)
Ada, Michigan
Resting placeOak Hill Cemetery, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Political partyRepublican

George W. Welsh was a Republican politician from Michigan who served as the 37th lieutenant governor of Michigan, in the Michigan House of Representatives including as its Speaker during the 52nd Legislature, and as the mayor of Grand Rapids, Michigan.[1]

Born in Glasgow, Scotland on March 27, 1883 to Joseph and Elizabeth Welsh, George Welsh operated a printing business and was the publisher of the farm magazine "The Fruit Belt."

Welsh's political career began in 1917 when he was elected to the State House representing Kent County, where he served until 1924 and as Speaker in his final two years. Alex J. Groesbeck selected Welsh to be his running mate for his successful campaign for Governor of Michigan in 1924. Welsh attended the Republican National Convention in Cleveland that year which nominated Calvin Coolidge for President of the United States.

He was a candidate in the primary for governor in both 1928, losing to Fred W. Green, and 1932, losing to Wilber M. Brucker.

Welsh was elected mayor of Grand Rapids in 1938, serving for just over a decade.

Welsh served as president of the United States Conference of Mayors from 1947 until 1949.[2]

When he served as the city manager of Grand Rapids, Welsh masterminded the construction of the pool at Richmond Park.[3] He also developed a plan during the Great Depression whereby the city would provide jobs for needy residents, paying them in scrip-type money which could be redeemed for food, clothing, and other necessities at stores in the city. His plan preceded Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal and came to an end when federal programs became available.[4]


  1. ^ The Political Graveyard: Welsh, George Wilson
  2. ^ "Leadership". The United States Conference of Mayors. November 23, 2016. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  3. ^ "The Big Splash" by George W. Welsh, Former Mayor and City Manager | History Grand Rapids
  4. ^ "The City of Grand Rapids: A Short History of Grand Rapids". Archived from the original on 2015-03-16. Retrieved 2013-11-26.
Political offices
Preceded by Lieutenant Governor of Michigan
Succeeded by