|Harry W. Baals|
|Mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana|
|Preceded by||William J. Hosey|
|Succeeded by||Henry Branning|
|Preceded by||Henry Branning|
|Succeeded by||Robert Meyers|
November 16, 1886|
|Died||May 9, 1954
|Spouse(s)||Minnie Marie Baals (m:1909-1936)
Irene Baals (m:?–1954)
When he first took office he consolidated city departments and lowered city tax rates. He launched construction of Fort Wayne's massive underground sewage system and built the city sewage treatment plant, still being used today.
During the great depression, Mayor Baals directed war materials drives, upgraded city equipment and services, and broke ground for Baer Field, now Fort Wayne International Airport. In the 1930s one of his major accomplishments was getting the old Nickel Plate Railroad tracks, running through downtown, to be elevated. This opened up the north side of the airport for development.
Fort Wayne newscaster Bob Chase, of WOWO-AM, relates a story that he once pronounced the mayor's name "Bales." Mayor Baals personally called him following the broadcast to correct his pronunciation, saying, "son, this is your Mayor. I pronounce my name 'Balls'."
Harry Baals Drive was named in honor of the late mayor, extending east from Parnell Avenue, north and west of the St. Joseph River in Johnny Appleseed Park. In recent years, the double entendre arising from Baals's name has led Fort Wayne officials to shy away from naming streets and buildings after him. The aforementioned street has been renamed to "H. W. Baals Drive" as the old street sign was constantly being stolen.
Harry Baals Government Center
In early 2011 Fort Wayne city officials invited people to suggest names for a new government building. The winner with 23,826 votes was the "Harry Baals Government Center," more than ten times the votes received by the closest contender. But city officials almost immediately backed away from the name (many Americans, including those in the Fort Wayne area, pronounce Harry identically to hairy. See the Mary–marry–merry merger.) The city's deputy mayor Beth Malloy said, "We realize that while Harry Baals was a respected mayor, not everyone outside of Fort Wayne will know that. We wanted to pick something that would reflect our pride in our community beyond the boundaries of Fort Wayne." Subsequently it was announced that the building would be named "Citizens Square."
- Find a Grave: Minnie Marie Witte Baals
- "Builders of Greater Fort Wayne". Allen County Genealogy Center. Retrieved February 24, 2011.
- "Illness Fatal to Mrs Baals Sunday Night". Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette. December 28, 1936.
- "Harry W. Baals, 67, Fort Wayne Mayor". New York Times. May 10, 1954. p. 23.
- Fort Wayne, Indiana Courthouse Will Not Be Named After Harry Baals WJBF–TV, February 11, 2011
- Fort Wayne History
- "Harry Baals gives community worldwide attention". WALB News. 2011. Retrieved Dec 24, 2016.
- Leininger, Kevin (February 12, 2011). "Jokes aside, Harry Baals worth honoring". The News-Sentinel. Retrieved June 2, 2011.
- Feedback Fort Wayne at the Wayback Machine (archived May 8, 2012)
- Wells, John C. (1982). Accents of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-22919-7, pp 480-482
- Popular mayor, Unpopular name Associated Press
- Last name dooms popular Indiana mayor at the Wayback Machine (archived April 4, 2012)
- “Baals, Harry William” (biographical sketch, p. 747), Who's Who and What's What in Indiana Politics, published by James E. Perry, Indianapolis, 1944.
William J. Hosey
|Mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana
|Mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana