History of the Mayor

Peter Johnston 1870-1872

1. Peter Johnston 1870-1872

Peter Johnston was born in Dunblane, Perthshire Scotland in 1831. He moved to Manitowoc in 1857, and was elected the first Mayor of Manitowoc in April, 1870. He ran as Republican. Mr. Johnston presided over the construction of the city's first iron bridge, the creation of a new cemetery, sanitary cisterns for fresh water, and city sewers.
Charles Luling 1872 - 1873

2. Charles Luling 1872-1873

Charles Luling was born in Minden, Westphalia, Germany on October 6, 1830. He came to Manitowoc in 1861. He was elected Village of Manitowoc President in 1869, Mayor of City in 1872. He was a School Board member for 17 years. A school on Huron Street was named after him. In the 1870s he was involved in the first railroad venture into the county. Mr. Luling died June 25, 1892.
Alonzo D. Jones 1873-1878
John Schuette 1878-1884

3. Alonzo D. Jones 1873-1878

Alonzo arrived in Manitowoc in July of 1837. He made this move from Chicago at age 2. He was the Manitowoc Village President in 1864, and City Mayor 1873-78. During Alonzo's time in office a new bridge was constructed at 8th Street at a cost of $27,000. He also had a hand in the installment of another steam fire engine.

4. John Schuette 1878-1884

John Schuette was born on September 25, 1837 in Oldenburg, Germany. He arrived in Manitowoc in 1849 and ran as a Republican. John built the second flour mill in the city in 1868. He served as State Senator from 1874-76. He established the Electric Light Co. in 1889. He also had a part in the harbor development, a general merchandising store, bank, and a food processing plant.
George Pankratz 1884-1886

5. George Pankratz 1884-1886

George Pankratz was a Democrat. He was born in March of 1837 in Bohemia. He arrived in Manitowoc in 1856. Mr. Pankratz owned a lumberyard located at 10th and Franklin Streets. He was active on the Third Ward School Board and became Mayor in 1884 after defeating John Schuette by 156 votes. Mr. Pankratz died in April, 1894.
Reinhardt Rahr 1886-1887

6. Reinhardt Rahr 1886-1887

Reinhardt Rahr was born in Manitowoc on April 22, 1859. He was 27 years old when he was first elected Mayor, making him the youngest Mayor at the time. Reinhardt was elected Mayor in 1886 and served one term, refusing re-election. Mr. Rahr died October 18th,1921.
Thomas Torrison
Fred Schuette

7. Thomas Torrison 1887-1889, 1895-1899

Thomas Torrison was born on October 10th, 1855. He was a Republican elected by a majority of 141 votes over Reinhardt Rahr. During his second administration, funding was received to dredge the river, harbor improvements were done and railroad passenger freight service was begun in the city. He also served on the first jury in the new Courthouse in 1908.

8. Fred Schuette 1889-1890, 1891-1893

Fred Schuette was elected Mayor for the first time in 1889 and again in 1890 without opposition. During his administration a new waterworks system was put into place and the Fire Department was reorganized.
Max Rahr 1890-1891
Joseph Vilas 1893-1895

9. Max Rahr 1890-1891

Max Rahr served on the first Library Board and was also on the Board of Education in 1926. He was just one of the three Rahr brothers who served as Mayor. He formed William Rahr & Sons Co. with brothers, William and Reinhardt.

10. Joseph Vilas 1893-1895

Joseph Vilas was born in New York on March 31st, 1832. He came to Manitowoc in 1852. Joseph was a member of the Committee to obtain the first City library in 1868. He built a home in 1891-93 that was a family residence until his death, now known as the Rahr-West Art Museum. Mr. Vilas died January 6, 1905 from a self-inflicted gunshot following lingering illnesses.
William Rahr 1899-1903
William Kemper 1903 - 1905

11. William Rahr 1899-1903

William Rahr was born in Manitowoc in September of 1854. During his administration he accomplished the following things: police department was reorganized, police telegraph system was used, arc lights were installed on main streets, paving of 8th Street and commercial streets was done, an engine house on N. 8th Street was built, a public library was opened, and street car and gas franchises were granted. He also helped solicit funds to build the Holy Family Hospital in the 1890s.

12. William T. Kemper, Md 1903-1905

William T. Kemper was a Democrat and a physician. He served as secretary of the first County Medical Society organized in 1882. During his administration he was apposed to municipal ownership of Public Utilities. He was one of the incorporators of the Manitowoc County Historical Society.
Henry Stolze
Charles A. Groffman 1907-1911

13. Henry Stolze Jr. 1905-1907, 1911-1917

Henry Stolze Jr. was born in Germany in December of 1859. He arrived in Manitowoc in 1869. During his administration he agreed to purchase the Waterworks in 1911. He also originally proposed an idea that municipalities take ownership of public utilities. Before he was Mayor he founded Stolze Manufacturing Corporation, later known as National Tinsel. Mr. Stolze died in 1925.

14. Charles a. Groffman 1907-1911

Charles A. Groffman was a member of the committee that directed the operation of the Turner Hall and Society. A coalition of Democrats and Republicans endorsed him for Mayor, defeating Socialist Henry Stolze. He was a supporter of the Spanish American Veterans' Convention held in the city. Mr. Groffman died July 27, 1955.
John Schroeder
Martin Georgenson

15. John Schroeder 1917-1921, 1927-1929

John Schroeder was on the Board of the first Manitowoc County Teachers' Training School in 1900. He was the founder and operator of Manitowoc Building Supply Company.

16. Martin Georgenson 1921-1927, 1929-1935, 1938-1947

Martin Georgenson was an Active member of the Socialists (Labor) Party. He was defeated in his first attempt at Mayoral office in 1917. Martin was a community building contractor. Waldo Boulevard was completed during his administration in 1931.
Arthur Schuetze 1935-1937
Louis Bruechert 1937-1938

17. Arthur Schuetze 1935-1937

Arthur Schuetze was born in Two Rivers on June 3rd, 1878. Arthur was involved in early 1900s baseball. During a game at the old West Side Ball Park, lightening struck the grandstand killing nine people. He was playing left field, was knocked to the ground but was unhurt.

18. Louis Bruechert 1937-1938

Louis Bruechert was elected Alderman of the 2nd Ward in 1932. He became President of the City Council in 1937-38, and the Acting Mayor during the illness of Mayor Schuetze. He was employed at Mirro Aluminum from 1916 until his retirement as Shipping Supervisor in 1960. Mr. Bruechert died in May, 1970.
Herbert Schipper 1947-1949
George Sladky 1949-1950

19. Herbert Schipper 1947-1949

Herbert Schipper was active as an Assistant Boy Scoutmaster and also as Boy Scout Council Executive in the late 1920s. He became a member of the Manitowoc County Historical Society Board of Directors in 1978, and served as Chairman of the Maintenance and Development Committee.

20. George Sladky 1949-1950

George Sladky was elected Mayor in 1949 and died in office in July, 1950.
Walter Koepke
Rudolph Menchl 1951-1955

21. Walter G. Koepke 1950-1951, 1955-1961, 1963-1965

Walter G. Koepke became Mayor upon the death of Mayor Sladky in July, 1950. He had previously served as the Third Ward Alderman for 17 years. During his five terms as Mayor, many school projects were completed, new public library funding was approved, one way street system was developed and senior citizen programs were initiated.

22. Rudolph Menchl 1951-1955

Rudolph Menchl was born on January 31st, 1918. He was in enlisted in the Army and was branched out of Milwaukee. Mr. Menchl died on April 12th, 2010.
Robert Rand
John L. Krey 1969-1973

23. Robert Rand 1961-1963, 1965-1969

Robert Rand was an active member of the Manitowoc Council of Boy Scouts. On April 16, 1967, the new public library was formally accepted by Mayor Rand.The library was dedicated and opened to the public after many years of planning and months of construction.

24. John L. Krey 1969-1973

During John Krey's administration he attended the Commissioning of the USS Manitowoc, a tank loading ship, on January 24th, 1970, at the Naval Yards in Philadelphia. He also was proud to have ridden the bow of the Cobia as it was towed into Manitowoc. Mr. Krey is a former member of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Anthony V. Dufek 1973-1989
Kevin M. Crawford 1989-2009

25. Anthony V. Dufek 1973-1989

Anthony V. Dufek was a WWII Vet. During his administration he acquired the Manitowoc Transit System, completed construction of 21st Street bridge in Manitowoc Rapids, developed first industrial park, established I-43 corridor, developed marina, expanded public utilities, made recreational facility improvements, and completed numerous street upgrades and senior center construction.

26. Kevin M. Crawford 1989-2009

Kevin M. Crawford was the United Way Director from 1983-89. During his administration he established a sister city relationship with Kamogawa, Japan, completed construction of new downtown public library and City Hall building, welcomed the return of the Badger Carferry, rejuvenation of Burger Boat Company; and development of Harbor Town Complex. He served the longest term, 20 years, as Mayor.