William H. McKeighan

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William Henry McKeighan
52nd Mayor of the City of Flint, Michigan
In office
1915–1916
Preceded byJohn R. MacDonald
Succeeded byEarl F. Johnson[1]
58th Mayor of the City of Flint, Michigan
In office
1922–1923
Preceded byEdwin W. Atwood
Succeeded byDavid R. Cuthbertson[1]
61st Mayor of the City of Flint, Michigan
In office
1927–1928
Preceded byJudson L. Transue
Succeeded byRay A. Brownell[1]
64th / 2nd City Commission Mayor of the City of Flint, Michigan
In office
1931–1933
Preceded byHarvey J. Mallery
Succeeded byRay A. Brownell[1]
City Commissioner of the City of Flint, Michigan
Personal details
BornJuly 1, 1886
Cleveland, Ohio
DiedSeptember 15, 1957
Political partyRepublican

William Henry McKeighan (July 1, 1886 – September 15, 1957[2]) was a Michigan politician and state political boss based in Flint.[1] Together with Detroit Mayor Ed Barnard and Grand Rapids politician-businessman Frank D. McKay form a Republican political triumvirate with ties to the Purple Gang of Detroit.[3]

Biography[edit]

William H. McKeighan was born in 1886 in Cleveland. In Saginaw, he attended high school. He moved to Flint in 1908, initially working in a drug store. A year later, he opened his own pharmacy. McKeighan established a "base of operations at Leith Street and Industrial Avenue" where he owned a barber shop and pool hall, then organized his political machine.[3]

McKeighan in 1913 was elected as a Flint city alderman at age 27.[3] He was elected five times to the office of Mayor of City of Flint. His first time was in 1915 for a single 1-year term then again in 1922[4] defeating Marvin C. Barney, Citizens Party candidate. On April 3, 1923, he was defeated in the race for mayor by David R. Cuthbertson.[1] He was elected as mayor again in 1927. A recall election to remove McKeighan in 1927 failed during which the police arrested recall supporters. In 1928, he faced conspiracy charges.[5]

McKeighan was under investigation for a multitude of crimes and ticked off the rest of the city leaders that they pushed for changes in the city charter to a council-manager form with the council called commission. So, he ran the "Green Slate" of candidates who won in 1931 and 1932 that[3] he was selected Flint Mayor in 1931 by the other City Commissioners. He entered the 1932 primary Governor of Michigan race. In 1940, he was a delegate to the Republican National Convention from Michigan. Along with his political ally, Frank D. McKay, McKeighan was charged with conspiracy to violate state liquor laws in 1945; he was given a judge-directed verdict of not guilty.[4]

Political offices
Preceded by
John R. MacDonald
Mayor of Flint
1915–1916
Succeeded by
Earl F. Johnson
Preceded by
Edwin W. Atwood
Mayor of Flint
1922–1923
Succeeded by
David R. Cuthbertson
Preceded by
Judson L. Transue
Mayor of Flint
1927–1928
Succeeded by
Ray A. Brownell
Preceded by
Harvey J. Mallery
Mayor of Flint
1931–1933
Succeeded by
Ray A. Brownell

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "List of Flint City Mayors". Political Graveyards.com. Lawrence (Larry) Kestenbaum. Retrieved 2009-02-09.
  2. ^ "William Henry McKeighan". Find a Grave. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d Crawford, Kim. "Flint mayor commanded attention from - voters, police". Journal of the 20th Century. The Flint Journal. Archived from the original on November 9, 2004. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Index to Politicians: Mckeegan to Mckenty – McKeighan, William H. Entry". Political Graveyards.com. Lawrence (Larry) Kestenbaum. Retrieved 2009-03-03.
  5. ^ Miller, James M. "Crackdowns on 'reds,' booze didn't silence decade's roar". Flint Journal: Journal of the 20th Century. Booth Newspapers. Archived from the original on May 27, 2011. Retrieved 6 March 2009.