City of Green Bay
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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

 

 

 

 

Robert E. Minahan, MD
(1858 - 1935)

Mayor Robert E. Minahan
Mayor Robert E. Minahan, MD
1904 - 1907

Robert Minahan was born in Howard, NY, on January 27, 1858. His parents,William B. and Mary Minahan, natives of Ireland, lived on a farm until 1860 when they moved to Calumet County, WI.

Robert attended the public schools and Oshkosh Normal School where he graduated in 1880. He was awarded his medical degree by Rush Medical College, Chicago, in 1886.

Robert and his brother, John R., decided early in life to become doctors. It was up to them to devise the ways and means to finance the educations, as their hard working father was unable to finance an education for both of them. So the older brother, Robert, was first. John was four years his junior and secured a postion as motorman on the Chicago street car lines. With a small fund Robert had saved, plus the earnings of John, the motorman, Robert became the first "Dr. Minahan." Then John entered medical school. From the meager earnings of the country doctor at Calumet Harbor each week went a money order to finanace the ex-motorman at school. They became brother-partners in the medical field and remained so until Robert's death.

City Hall

City Hall, 1920. This City Hall was located on the southeast corner of Jefferson and Cherry, the site of the present City Hall parking lot. Notice the park in the foreground. The Sophie Beaumont building now occupies this site.
Neville Public Museum of Brown County

Robert practiced six years at Calumet Harbor, and in 1892, he abandoned the practice of medicine to study law. He entered the University of Michigan Law School and obtained his degree in law in 1894, passed the Wisconsin bar exam, and the same year returned to Kewaunee and put out his shingle reading "R. E. Minahan, Physician-Surgeon-Lawyer." In 1898, he came to Green Bay with his brother and forgot about the legal busines to specialize in surgery.

On December 28, 1880, Dr. Minahan married Nellie Mulcahy, of Milwaukee, the daughter of a neighbor farmer in Calumet County during his boyhood. They were parents of one son, Eben Roger, who distinguished himself in the Wisconsin bar.

 

 

Dr. Minahan was elected Mayor of Green Bay in 1904 and initiated numerous reforms in city affairs. He made his administration particularly memorable by his campaign against wide-open gambling devices. He chartered a number of strong carts and dispatched men to gather all the gambling apparatus. He cautioned them to handle the highly polished mahoghany tables and wheels and other paraphanalis carefully, and the owners offered but little resistance thinking the carefully handled equipment was to be returned to them. But when it had

John Denessen Steamer

Steamer John Dennessen, 1910. Vessels like this were popular modes of transportation to Bay Beach and pleasuer cruises.
Neville Public Museum of Brown County

all been unloaded on the city hall lawn, the mayor appeared, sleeves rolled up carrying an axe and a sledge hammer. He smashed the devices and poured kerosene over the rubble and set fire to the pile. The gamblers were awe stricken by the courage, and gambling has never been so open in Green Bay since. He received a death threat, and his life was guarded for some time after his victory over the gambling operators who openly flaunted the law and challenged his authority to stop them.

Dr. Robert E. Minahan died at his home, 840 S. Monroe Avene, after being in ill health for the previous year. He is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery.

 

840 South Monroe Avenue

This home, built in 1902, belonged to Robert E. Minahan and is the place where he died in 1935. The home is still standing and is located at 840 South Monroe Avenue.