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The Political Graveyard: A Database of American History
Mayors and Postmasters of Benton Harbor, Michigan


Mayors of Benton Harbor, 1900-2011 (may be incomplete!)
Fred S. Hopkins 1924-25 Fred J. Cutler 1925 Mervyn G. Stouck 1927-29 John J. Sterling 1929-31 Mervyn G. Stouck 1931-37 Leon P. Gideon as of 1949-51 F. Joseph Flaugh as of 1952-55 Alfred J. Hinkelman as of 1956 Wilbert F. Smith as of 1960 Wilbert F. Smith as of 1967 Joel Patterson as of 1981 Wilce L. Cooke as of 1982 Wilce L. Cooke 2004-11

Events and Candidates (may be incomplete!)

  • 1900 Apr 2: H. A. Foeltzer (Rep), elected.
  • 1902 Apr 7: Irving Conkey (Dem), elected.
  • 1903 Apr 6: R. B. Gillette (Rep), elected.
  • 1904 Apr 4: R. B. Gillette (Rep), elected.
  • 1908 Apr 6: W. H. Seitz (Rep), elected; Monroe H. Morrow (Dem), defeated.
  • 1910 Apr 4: C. M. Ryno (Rep), elected; Monroe H. Morrow (Dem), defeated.
  • 1912 Apr 1: James J. Miller (Dem), elected.
  • 1914 Apr 6: C. M. Ryno (Dem), elected.
  • 1929 Apr 1: John J. Sterling, elected; Mervyn G. Stouck, defeated.
  • 1931 Apr 6: Mervyn G. Stouck, elected; John J. Sterling, defeated.
  • 1949 Apr 4: Leon P. Gideon, elected.
  • 1981 Nov 3: Wilce L. Cooke, elected; Joel Patterson, defeated.
  • 2007 Aug 7: Wilce L. Cooke, nominated; James Atterberry, Sr., nominated; Ralph Crenshaw, defeated in primary; Etta Harper, defeated in primary; Japhy Bartlett, defeated in primary.
  • 2007 Nov 6: Wilce L. Cooke, elected; James Atterberry, Sr., defeated.
  • 2011 Nov 8: James Hightower, elected; Wilce L. Cooke, defeated; Dennis Knowles, defeated; Matthew Bradley, defeated.


    Postmasters at Benton Harbor, 1866-1969 (may be incomplete!)
    Henry C. Morton 1866-73 J. P. Thresher 1873 Almond B. Riford as of 1877-84 Hattie B. Riford as of 1884-89 L. M. Ward as of 1891 John T. Owens as of 1901-07 Charles K. Farmer as of 1911 Anne C. Parsal 1935-36 Clifton C. Garner 1936 Anne C. Parsal 1936 Anne C. Parsal 1936-54 Arthur J. Jackson 1954-56 Arthur J. Jackson 1956-58 James O. Bowen 1958-59 James O. Bowen 1959-69

  • "Enjoy the hospitable entertainment of a political graveyard."
    Henry L. Clinton, Apollo Hall, New York City, February 3, 1872
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