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Mayors of Green Bay
W.C.E. Thomas
Francis X. Desnoyers
H. E. Eastman
Burley Follett
E. H. Ellis
Henry S. Baird
Nathan Goodell
M. P. Lindsley
C. D. Robinson
James S. Marshall
Anton Klaus
Alonzo Kimball
Dr. C. E. Crane
F. S. Ellis
J. C. Neville
J. H. M. Wigman
W. J. Abrams
Charles Hartung
Arthur C. Neville
James H. Elmore
Frank B. Desnoyers
Simon J. Murphy, Jr.
J. H. Tayler
Dr. Robert E. Minahan
Winford Abrams
Elmer S. Hall
Wenzel Wiesner
James H. McGillan
John V. Diener
John S. Farrell
Alex Biemeret
Dominic Olejniczak
Otto Rachals
Roman Denissen
Donald Tilleman
Harris Burgoyne
Thomas Atkinson
Michael Monfils
Samuel J. Halloin
Paul F. Jadin
James J. Schmitt





James H. McGillan
(1870 - 1935)

Mayor James McGillan
Mayor James H. McGillan
1927 - 1929

James was born in Appleton January 7, 1870, the son of Mr. and Mrs. James McGillan, natives of Ohio and Connecticut, respectively. He was educated in the public schools and Lawrence University. He was active as a debater, and it was said that his team never lost a debate. In 1889, he entered the law school of the University of Wisconsin and in June 1891 was admitted to the bar, beginning his practice in Marinette.

While there, he was married to Miss Gertrude Sommerville, daughter of a Marinette physician. Six months after locating in Marinette, he was made City Attorney, two years later he became District Attorney, and after that served as Municipal Judge. He moved to Green Bay in 1900 and practiced law here continuously until his death. During his years of practice, he practiced alone and then with others, ending up in 1927 forming a practice with Isadore Alk under the firm name McGillan & Alk. He was a member of this firm at the time of his death. He was regarded as a special authority in financial cases and was a brilliant trial lawyer in any action.

When the United States entered WW I, he immediately tendered the use of his yacht, the Killarney, and accepted a commission as ensign. At the Great Lakes Naval Training Station, he was made executive officer to Capt. William A. Moffatt, Commandant, and as recruiting officer for the region extending from Butte, Montana, to Buffalo, New York.

Walnut Street

Walnut Street 1923. You are looking at the south side of Walnut between Madison and Jefferson. Notice the cupula of the court house in the background. This block now houses businesses.
Neville Public Museum of Brown County

Shortly after his return to Green Bay, Lieutenant Commander McGillian organized the Green Bay Unit of the Naval Reserve and was largely instrumental in having the Sub-Chaser 432 stationed here.

He held the unusual distinction of declining the office of State Commander of the American Legion three times. He was a candidate on two later occasions but, through the irony of fate, was defeated when he did desire the office.


James McGillian was considered one of the most dynamic personalities in Green Bay. His ability and energy won him distinction in many lines. He was Green Bay's first mayor under the twenty-one-man commission from 1927 to 1929, receiving the office by the heaviest vote polled up to that time. He was a congressional nominee on the Democratic ticket in 1928 and had been prominently mentioned for the United States Senate and for the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

803 South Quincy Street

This saltbox home was owned by James McGillan and is the place of his death in 1935. The home is located at 803 South Quincy Street.

He died at his home, 803 South Quincy Street, of a heart attack. He was sixty-five years old and is buried in the family plot in Appleton, WI.